History of the Association / Activities

History of the Association

Special education in Japan developed after the Second World War, and the number of researchers increased in number at the beginning of the sixties. As a result, there was a movement towards the establishment of an association for special education in Japan. Sekishin Ojima, Kiyoshi Sakakibara, and Sanshirou Nishitani were the key persons in the formation of an executive committee, and, in November 1963, the first meeting took place at the former Tokyo University of Education. The first president of the Association was Mantarou Kido.

The present aim of the Association is to work for the development of and progress in scientific research in the area of special education and special needs education in Japan. The main activities of the Association are holding an annual Convention aimed at the promotion of research in the area, publication of the Japanese Journal of Special Education and The Journal of Special Education Research, and contacts between the Association and related organizations nationwide and abroad.

Members come from a broad range of areas, including research on special education, education, health, and welfare or rehabilitation. The number of members as of November, 2003, was 3,900. The Association is composed of eight disability-oriented subcommittees: blindness and low vision, deafness and hard of hearing, intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, health disabilities, speech and language disabilities, behavioral challenges, and severe and multiple disabilities; and a general subcommittee.


1. Holding the annual convention of the Japanese Association of Special Education
Every year, the Japanese Association of Special Education holds an annual convention in the fall.
2. Publication of Scholarly Journal
The Japanese Journal of Special Education (Japanese articles and English abstracts) is issued 4 times a year. The Journal of Special Education Research (All articles written in English) is issued 2 times a year.
Both Journals are edited by the editorial committee and the executive editorial committee.
3. Research Activities
Based on requests from the members, an ad hoc research committee can be formed to cover a specific topic.
4. Meetings for administration of the Association
General assembly, board officers' meetings and executive directors committee meetings are held regularly. Meetings for editing the journal, future planning, and investigating other matters relating to special education are also held as part of the administration functions of the Association.