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61 Dismissed Teachers not Listed in Japan Government’s Official Publication

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry building in Tokyo

A nationwide survey by The Yomiuri Shimbun found that the names of 61 teachers whose licenses had expired, most of them as a result of disciplinary dismissals, were not published in the 10 years through the 2019 school year, even though their names were required to be listed in the Kanpo official government publication.

Of these 61 teachers, 46 were found to have conducted indecent acts. The survey also found that some boards had decided on their own not to publish the names, citing “victim protection” as a reason, although publication is required by the Education Personnel Certification Law.

Information published in Kanpo on expired teaching licenses is incorporated into a search tool run by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry. Local boards of education can use the tool to check disciplinary records when hiring teachers.

“If there are any omissions, the disciplinary history cannot be checked,” a ministry official said. “[Names] need to be published promptly, as this is a legal procedure.”

A case in which a name had not been published in Kanpo was discovered in Okinawa Prefecture in November, and The Yomiuri Shimbun conducted a survey of all prefectural boards of education this month.

The 61 teachers were located in 10 prefectures — 13 in Osaka, 12 in Chiba, 11 in Okinawa, 10 in Miyagi, six in Hokkaido, four in Hiroshima, two in Gifu, and one each in Tokyo and the prefectures of Saga and Kumamoto.

There were 24 cases of not publishing names among the four prefectural boards of education in Chiba, Miyagi, Saga and Kumamoto prefectures, and all of the 24 teachers’ licenses had expired due to indecent acts against students. The four prefectural boards said the names were not listed because the victims might be identified if the teachers’ names appeared in Kanpo.

The Chiba prefectural board of education did not reveal the names of 12 teachers in the 2016 to 2019 school years. A board official said, “We had planned to publish the names after the victims’ graduation or at other times when they would not be identified.”

Of the six remaining boards, five said that there have been procedural errors, while one was still investigating the cause.

Prof. Yukako Yanagimoto of Chukyo University said: “The purpose of publishing a teacher’s disciplinary record in Kanpo is to help employers decide whether to hire that person when he or she hopes to get back into teaching again.

“If this information is not published in some regions, or if publication is delayed in the name of protecting victims, it may be perceived as protecting the offending teacher. All disciplinary information should be published in accordance with the law.”