National Youth Development Policy

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3. Priority Issues

It is fundamental for an individual in society to foster human qualities such as independence, responsibility, solidarity, and tolerance, and to acquire the awareness to respect human rights and the normative consciousness of what is required and what is not allowable for living among other people. Thus, measures for the development of youth must be given consideration so that youth can naturally acquire this fundamental in the process of their growth. While this Policy sets forth that these measures should be basically implemented for people under 30 years of age according to the respective age groups, the issues to be addressed with priority throughout all age groups will be set as follows, considering today's delay in accomplishing social independence and an increased maladjustment to society.

(1) Supporting social independence

Support will be provided to allow youth to eventually get jobs, leave their parents' protection, participate in the community, and lead independent lives as members of society.

In order to support employment of young people, increased opportunities will be provided for vocational counseling and training, while coordination will be strengthened between educational measures and employment measures. They include increasing opportunities for internships (work experience), introducing a human resources development system that combines practical business and education (Japanese version of the dual system)2 and establishing local one-stop service centers to support employment (centralization of the contacts of related organizations; provision of a comprehensive contact point for initial consultation by consolidating related information). The scholarship systems and social security measures for young families raising children will also be improved so as to support independence from parents. Furthermore, comprehensive measures for supporting the independence of young people will be considered and promoted with respect to life planning, education, choosing jobs, vocational training, and life security.

With the aim of developing sociality from infancy, efforts will be made to provide creative playing opportunities, develop communication abilities, and promote volunteer activities. In particular, measures to promote volunteer activities, including necessary legislative measures, will be taken by also referring to examples in Germany so as to allow many youths to participate in volunteer activities regularly or for long periods of time.

(2) Supporting youth facing specific difficulties

Special support will be provided to youth who face specific difficulties, such as being in a situation that is liable to trigger maladjustment to society (e.g. delinquency), in order to remedy their environment and circumstances.

While increasing access to appropriate advice and guidance from medical, welfare, and educational experts, job assistance and social security benefits will be provided to low-income families and single-parent families. In particular, support will be provided so that youth living in unfavorable conditions and environments can also acquire basic academic abilities in the course of compulsory education to allow them to hold prospects for employment through education.

In providing support, sufficient consideration will be given so as not to create discrimination against certain individuals or certain families.

(3) Placing more emphasis on self-motivation for youth

In order to encourage the social independence of youth, measures will be taken to attach more value on positive attitudes and self-motivation among youth so that they will not only receive protection and education, but will develop their own opinions, express themselves, understand others, influence others, and take their own actions for their families and for society. While shifting the stance of education from uniform and passive to one that will develop independence and creativity, the idea of placing more emphasis on the self-motivation of youth, and the problems to be addressed in developing youth based on such an idea will be diffused through publicity activities and awareness-raising activities.

(4) Developing a social climate that allows candid discussions

In order to appropriately implement measures for the development of youth, efforts will be made to develop a social climate in which people can candidly discuss the current situation of youth.

Research and studies will be promoted and information will be offered in order for citizens to be able to widely share a precise recognition of facts concerning the actual status of youth with respect to physical and mental conditions, academic abilities, growth environment, delinquency, and accomplishment of social independence. Consideration will be given so that when one points out differences in abilities and environment between individual youths, it will not produce discrimination, and efforts will be exerted to improve the environment for free discussions so that such indication itself will not be criticized as a discrimination.


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