Fourth Basic Plan Concerning the Promotion of Reading Activities by Children


The Fourth Basic Plan Concerning the Promotion of Reading Activities by Children was approved by the Cabinet in April 20, 2018, and stipulates basic principles and concrete policies for the promotion of reading activities for children during the five-year period from 2018–2022, in accordance with the provisions of the Law on the Promotion of Reading Activities for Children, enacted in December, 2001.

The Fourth Basic Plan contains a review of the Third Basic Plan, according to which a number of improvements have been made over the past five years, including increases in the number of children’s books loaned by public libraries, increases in the number of schools that implement school-wide reading activities, and the establishment of a legal definition of school librarians per a revision of the Law on School Library. On the other hand, the percentage of high school students who are non-readers is still high, despite mid- and long-term improvements in the percentages for elementary and junior high school students. This review postulates that students who do not acquire the habit of reading by junior high school and who lose interest in reading during high school are prone to become non-readers. It also states that the widespread use of smartphones has had a significant effect on children’s reading habits.

Based on this analysis, key points of the Fourth Basic Plan are the following.

(1) Encourage children to acquire the habit of reading by tailoring reading materials to their stage of development

(2) Promote children’s interest in reading through cooperative activities with friends

Under the key points above, detailed policies that are of particular interest to librarians include the following.

School libraries

  • Promote reading activities based on curriculum guidelines.
  • Enhance school libraries through a five-year plan for school library development, the implementation of government standards for school library collections, and the placement of teacher-librarians and school librarians at schools.

Public libraries

  • Set up public libraries in municipalities that have no public library
  • Equip libraries with sufficient books and facilities
  • Initiate story hour and other activities for children and their parents at libraries
  • Provide proper allocation and enhanced training of librarians and assistant librarians
  • Collaborate and cooperate with school libraries and volunteers


(2018.5.20 update)