ABSTRACT

The second of the two recent education reform initiatives had several advantages over the first. Built around a cabinet-level council rather than just an MOE council, it began with a much greater opportunity to build government-wide support for education reform: the council was authorized to make policy recommendations on behalf of the entire government rather than just a single ministry. Equally important, the council had been established through a process which gave it a clear mandate to reform the education system. Prime Minister Nakasone had campaigned in the December 1983 general election on a platform of education reform and had received multi-party Diet endorsement of reform through the process leading to the legal establishment of the AHCE in August 1984. Finally, the great publicity surrounding the activities of the council gave it the chance to build broad public support for its reform proposals.