MEXT is the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan.
Its web site in English is at http://www.mext.go.jp/english/
There is a useful organogram at http://www.mext.go.jp/english/org/struct/001.htm
Functions of MEXT
The functions of MEXT relevant to education are as follows:
The Minister's Secretariat is responsible for general administrative duties, such as personnel affairs, general affairs and accounting. Other responsibilities of the Secretariat include policy coordination and evaluation for the Ministry as a whole, public relations and information technology development related to the administrative functions, organization of international work, implementation of international aid and cooperation, and work on the development of educational facilities.
Lifelong Learning Policy Bureau
In order to promote educational reform, the Lifelong Learning Policy Bureau plans and drafts basic policy, conducts research and analysis on domestic and overseas education, and strives to promote policies on information technology. The Bureau also promotes social education, supports education in the home, and develops various lifelong learning opportunities such as gender equality. The Bureau is also responsible for the maintenance and enhancement of the University of the Air and advancement of specialized training college education and miscellaneous school education.
Elementary and Secondary Education Bureau
In order to advance elementary and secondary education, the Elementary and Secondary Education Bureau is responsible for establishing curriculum standards in elementary schools, lower and upper secondary schools, secondary schools, schools for the blind, schools for the deaf, and schools for the otherwise disabled children and kindergartens. It is also responsible for the enhancement of student guidance and career guidance, the promotion of education for Japanese children living overseas, and the free provision and authorization of textbooks. Lastly, the Bureau is responsible for the system for local education, systems related to government employees working in education, legal standards for class size and staffing numbers for schools, and the payment of school staff.
Higher Education Bureau
In order to advance higher education, the Higher Education Bureau is responsible for the formulation of basic policies for higher education, the establishment and approval of universities, junior colleges and colleges of technology, university entrance examination and the conferring of degrees, duties related to student welfare guidance, the scholarship loan program, and the promotion of student exchanges. In addition, to promote private education, the Bureau is also responsible for approving the establishment of school corporations, guidance and assistance on the management of school corporations, and the subsidization of private schools.
Sports and Youth Bureau
The Sports and Youth Bureau is responsible for promoting policies to encourage sports and improve children's physical strength. These policies include enhancement of physical education in schools, realization of a lifelong sports society and the improvement of international competitiveness in sports. The bureau is also responsible for the enhancement of health education, including education on dietary habits, enhancement of school safety and mental care, promotion of school health, etc., and promotion of fostering health in youth, including promotion of experiential activities for youth, measures to deal with problem behavior, promotion of children's reading activities, etc.
Director-General for International Affairs
Acting as the Secretariat for the Japanese National Commission for UNESCO, in accordance with the Law Concerning UNESCO Activities, the Director-General for International Affairs is responsible for promoting UNESCO activities. The Office also works on negotiations concerning Free Trade Agreements, Economic Partnership Agreements, and services trade in the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Agency for Cultural Affairs
The Agency for Cultural Affairs is responsible for activities aimed at the promotion of culture, as well as international cultural exchange. These include cultivation of artists and support of creative artistic activities; support for the promotion of culture in communities; designation of national treasures, important cultural properties, important tangible and intangible folk cultural properties, historic sites, places of scenic beauty and natural monuments; preservation and passing down of intangible cultural properties; maintenance and dissemination of copyright systems; improvement and dissemination of the Japanese language and Japanese language education; promotion of international cultural exchange; maintenance and establishment of cultural facilities; and advancement of Ainu culture. The Agency is also responsible for religious affairs.