7 October 2005: Intervention by Mr. NAKAYAMA Nariaki, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology , at the Ministerial Round Table "Education for All"



(Session I Five years after Dakar: Overview of progress and challenges in EFA)




(c) UNESCO/Niamh Burke - Mr Nakayama Nariaki (left) with Mr Koichiro Matsuura



Mr. Chairman,

It is a great pleasure to make a statement at this roundtable as the representative of the Japanese government.


According to evaluations at the present juncture, it is clear that if current trends persist, we will be quite far from reaching the Dakar goals by 2015.


Since it is difficult for children of impoverished homes in developing countries to receive a school education and then they have trouble finding employment, this leads families into a vicious cycle of poverty. Poverty impedes fulfillment of EFA goals; conversely there is nothing other than education that can break the vicious cycle of poverty.


This fact is also clear from Japan's own experiences. In Japan, both the government and citizens have shared a consciousness of emphasizing education as the foundation of the nation's development from long-term prospects. So we have made considerable investments towards its repletion and also strived for improvements. As a result, education accomplished a startling development both quantitatively and qualitatively, and became the base of economic and social growth.


Without a government's political will to position education as the nation's most important policy, EFA can not be reached. Moreover, given education's close relationship with economic and social development, not only measures from ministries in charge of education but also approaches that cut across the fences of anti-poverty measures, health and hygiene, the cultural sector, and so on are necessary.


Education is not only quantitatively expansion, for it is also simultaneously necessary to raise quality. Even in Japan, which has achieved a quantitative expansion of education, qualitative improvements in education are an important issue we have been trying to respond to needs of the present time. The qualities of teachers hold the key to qualitative improvements in education. For that reason, Japan has been advancing systemized measures in every stage such as teacher's education, recruitment, and in-service training.


Concerning UNESCO's role, we fully expect that, as an organization of intellectual cooperation and as the leading coordinator of EFA, UNESCO will manage to assemble cooperation from international society and make undertakings for EFA accelerate all the more. UNESCO has clarified its three core initiatives of literacy, teacher training in Sub-Sahara, and AIDS prevention education. And we want UNESCO to carry out coordination at the international, regional and national levels with results-based management. For that reason, we welcome the fact that UNESCO has been currently proceeding to formulate a Joint Action Plan. Given the fact that it is unlikely for the Dakar goals to be achieved by 2015, if the current pace continues, there is an urgent need to develop more effective measures.


Last but not least, I would like to speak about the role of member states. At the High-Level Plenary Meeting of the 60th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations last month, Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi made a speech saying that achieving the Millennium Development Goals demands action and not just statements of good intentions. Concerning the accomplishment of EFA as well, which is deeply connected to MDGs, for the industrialized countries, including Japan, to move into implementation of their commitments will serve as a foundation for a better world.


In Japan, my ministry, in close collaboration with other ministries, has been contributing funds-in-trust to UNESCO, and has been participating in educational cooperation with international aid
organizations, NGOs and higher education institutions. In addition to our undertakings to date, my ministry is considering strengthen educational cooperation in a more innovative way to African countries which have been faced with particular difficulties in reaching the Dakar goals. Japan is ready to utilize its experiences in education in its assistance and attempts to make it of practical value for educational development by developing countries with strong ownership.


I will now close my statement by expressing my hope that the discussions at this roundtable will contribute greatly to the undertakings of the decade from now towards fulfillment of EFA.


Thank you very much for your attention.





General Policy Statement by Head of Delegation of Japan
Mr. NAKAYAMA Nariaki, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (7 October 2005)


Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology


Ministerial Round Table "Education for All"



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