Introduction to Japan Overseas Educational Services


Main Office:
Atago Toyo Bldg. 6F, 1-3-4 Atago, Minato-Ku,
Tokyo 105-0002, Japan
Purpose of Establishment
As Japan has become increasingly active in international affairs, the number of Japanese working overseas has risen rapidly. Consequently, over 76,000 Japanese children of school age are now living outside Japan with their parents on overseas assignment.
In order to meet the demands of educating these children, there are currently 88 full-time Japanese schools and 204 weekend supplementary schools throughout the world. Since the issue of overseas education is highly important to those who work overseas and the future of Japan itself, the Japanese government has been taking steps to improve the educational standards of these schools. However, restrictions such as those nations' education laws, policies and funding can inhibit the implementation of such measures.
Japan Overseas Educational Services (JOES) was originally founded through the initiative of Japanese corporations as an organization aimed at promoting the education of Japanese children abroad in accordance with the government's policy of overseas education. Many corporations and organizations engaged in overseas business activities have come together to establish this foundation.
JOES was officially established on January 29, 1971 as a non-profit foundation with the approval of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Education. Since then, it has made significant contributions in promoting the education of Japanese children overseas.

Members and Funds
This foundation is primarily funded by the membership fees of the sustaining member corporations and educational organizations. These sustaining fees are used to give financial support to the overseas Japanese educational facilities and various activities related to the promotion of overseas Japanese educational services.
Budget for fiscal year 2019
General Accounts 1.19 billion yen


Services for Japanese Overseas and Those Who Have Returned

JOES provides services to Japanese families living abroad and to those who have returned.

1. Educational Services
Educational services, such as guidance and consultations, are offered on an individual basis to sojourning and returning families. Services are provided through individual guidance, correspondence, telephone consultations, and facsimile and e-mail communications by the Tokyo and Osaka offices. JOES has prepared unofficial documents/notebooks, called “kaigaishijo kyoiku techo” that report how students had been doing in their previous schools. The purpose is to provide teachers of host/receiving schools to which Japanese students enter, with a fuller understanding of the students. JOES aims to lessen the transitional difficulties experienced by Japanese sojourning/returning students. Further studies of the adjustment processes of Japanese students overseas are being conducted in order to come up with effective coping strategies.
2. Orientation Services
JOES holds guidance seminars for relevant organizations, corporations, and sojourning families. The seminars cover information and key points regarding living and attending school overseas. JOES has several pre-departure orientations and lectures that aim to reduce sojourning families' anxiety and pressures related to living abroad.
Courses include;
i. one for spouses who will accompany their partners working abroad,
ii. Parent-Child Class which introduces typical school life in North America; and
iii. Pre-ESL Class is also provided for children who want to learn basic school-English while they are still in Japan.

3. Continuity of Japanese Education Overseas
With an assumption that Japanese students return to Japan after their sojourn, JOES, on the request of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, distributes Japanese textbooks free of charge to all Japanese students going abroad.

For those who are not attending Japanese schools correspondence courses are provided for elementary and junior high school students. The subjects covered are Japanese language, mathematics, social studies, and science.

For Japanese students overseas, contests in the areas of essay, poem, haiku, and tanka (short poem) are held to promote their learning of the Japanese language.

4. Foreign Language Retention Programs
The programs are provided to Japanese returnees of elementary through high school age. English and French classes are provided to retain and develop their foreign language competence. Regular classes are held on Saturdays and weekdays at various locations in Japan. Special summer programs are also held.
5. Educational Opportunities for Returnee Students
JOES holds meetings with elementary through university school staff so as to increase special provisions for the returnee students in Japan.
6. Publications and Promotions
JOES publishes and distributes publications related to the education of Japanese children overseas and returnees. JOES also conducts preliminary research to obtain necessary information and data before publications. Promoting JOES as well as its publications to relevant organizations, corporations, educational facilities in and outside Japan, families, and interested people are also an important part of JOES' services.


Services Provided to Japanese Educational Facilities Abroad

JOES provides services to Japanese families living abroad and to those who have returned.

1. Fund-Raising for the Construction of Japanese Schools Abroad
Fund-raising is undertaken by JOES upon request of Japanese school boards abroad in order to meet their financial needs in constructing, expanding, or renovating overseas Japanese schools. The funds are collected from corporations in Japan and remitted to the boards via JOES. When particular conditions are met, with the permission of Ministry of Finance, donations are considered tax-deductible.
2. Assistance Provided to Japanese Educational Facilities Abroad
JOES assists Japanese schools and supplementary schools abroad financially and materially in the following four areas:
  1. To newly established Japanese schools or small-scale schools with limited budgets, financial and/or material support are provided from JOES funds.
  2. To Japanese schools abroad, which are equipped with their own facilities, JOES provides financial assistance for obtaining safety-related and security services.
  3. JOES, with financial assistance from the Ministry of Education, provides Japanese schools and supplementary schools abroad with educational materials, such as textbooks, science kits, computers, audio-visual materials, and library books.
  4. In cooperation with organizations and corporations in Japan, JOES provides the Japanese schools and supplementary schools abroad with necessary supplies and services, such as school buses.
3. Guidance Services to Japanese Educational Facilities Abroad
JOES staff are sent to the overseas facilities to offer professional guidance in school management. JOES also sends speakers to conferences for Japanese school principals.
4. In-Japan Services on Behalf of Overseas Japanese Schools
Upon the request of Japanese schools and supplementary schools abroad, JOES provides materials that are difficult to obtain or are otherwise unavailable overseas.
Also upon request, JOES, on behalf of the schools, handles insurance applications.

5. Employment Services of School Staff
Upon the request of Japanese schools and supplementary schools abroad, JOES selects and recommends school staff in Japan.