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The history of modern school system in Japan can be traced back to 1872 although significant developments have taken place since then from time to time. Preschool education in Japan that starts at the age of 3 is primarily meant for preparing students for elementary education. The elementary education in Japan is compulsory and it lasts for 6 years up to the age of 12. One needs to spend 3 years at lower secondary schools and 3 years at Upper Secondary schools.

In fact some schools have started providing unified 6 years lower and upper secondary education and some schools are providing part time and correspondence courses at upper secondary level.

Junior Colleges, Colleges of technologies, specialized training Colleges and Universities constitute the institutes of higher education in Japan. One can join a Colleges of Technology soon after completing the lower secondary courses for getting in depth training in specialized courses. The term of study here is 5 years and graduates are awarded the title of associate. One can earn an associate degree in Japan from the Junior College. The term of study here is two to three years. In order to earn a bachelor degree one needs to join a University where the term of study would depend upon the course pursued. Those who complete the graduate course can earn a master's, doctorate or professional degree course from a University in Japan.

The education system in Japan is mainly characterized by the presence of three types of institutes- public, private and national. The ministry of education is putting tremendous effort to improve the quality of education in Japan of all types of institutes and offers equal opportunity to all sections of the society. While the disabled students are provided special facilities at various levels, the Japan Scholarship Foundation provides scholarship loans to meritorious students from the economically weaker sections of the society. Moreover the Japanese govt. also puts efforts on research and development and actively encourages students from various parts of the world to pursue higher education in Japan.