On Shinzō Abe's educational reforms: remolding ideal human beings in the age of empire




Clark, Joseph L.

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This study examines educational reform in Japan since 2006, when the first Abe administration added objectives to increase “love for the country” and “respect for tradition and culture” into Japan’s central edict on education. The Japanese education system has since been internationally criticized by academics and journalists as furthering a neonationalist revisionist history movement, but the initiative to remove ‘masochistic views’ of history from education is only one aspect of the reforms. This thesis argues that Prime Minister Abe’s educational reforms attempt to meet related demands coming from both the global and domestic environments. In fact, a close examination of Japanese educational reforms since the 2006 Basic Act reveals a strategic response to the new technologies and changing security environment of the Information Age, as well as an effort to make students think of themselves as members of a national community. This research contributes to understanding how Japanese educational policies are being affected by the changing global environment, and the ways in which efforts to meet different global and domestic demands can be negotiated with each other.



Education, Information-communications technology, History, Soft power, Japan