University of Tokyo

Survey Number PH010
Survey Title Japanese Life Course Panel Survey of High School Graduates (JLPS-H) Wave 1, 2004.3
Depositor Japanese Life Course Panel Surveys (JLPS) project, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo
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Summary The Japanese Life Course Panel Survey of High School Graduates (JLPS-H) started as a large-scale survey for the “Transformation of education and the labor market” project (2000-2006), a sub-project of the institute-wide joint research project of the Institute of Social Science (ISS) at The University of Tokyo, “The Lost Decade?: Reconsidering 1990s’ Japan” (principal investigator: Hiroshi Ishida). The survey was carried out later as part of “The empirical study of the relationship between employment behavior, the consciousness of young people, and the aged society with a low birth rate” (2004 - 2006) (senior researcher: Hiroki Sato, ISS, The University of Tokyo), a Policy Science Promotion Research Project funded by a Health and Labour Sciences Research Grant (from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare).

The purpose of this research is to understand the career behavior, attitudes, and values of young people who will become the working generation during the advent of an aging society with a low birth rate. The research will follow the changes in young people’s behavior and consciousness by conducting a panel survey. The survey addresses four topics: (1) the life and attitudes of young people while they are in school, (2) patterns of transition from school to workplace, (3) employment behavior (non-regular employment, changing jobs, etc.), and (4) changes in their consciousness and values.

The primary feature of this research is to investigate high school students not only while they are enrolled but even after their graduation and to capture comprehensively their advancement to university or their employment behavior and their consciousness and values during their life course. Second, the survey design incorporates items that are amenable to international comparisons, increasing its utility for rigorous international comparative research.

There are two surveys contained here: the “Survey on high school students’ lives and life courses” (the High School Student Survey) of students in their third (final) year of high school, and the “Survey on life course counselling in high schools (the High School Survey), completed by high school career counsellors.
The surveys have shed light on several matters which are reported in twelve research papers. Analysis of the survey results revealed that the life planning and future outlooks of high school students today are characterized by the frequent coexistence of conflicting attitudes. It was found that students’ attitudes toward careers are influenced by school grades, study time and other meritocratic factors, as well as gender, and school type, but also by their “interpersonal skills” such as being able to convey their thoughts clearly to others, and being able to get along even with those they find disagreeable. Moreover, comparison of lives and attitudes of high school students in Japan and the United States shed light on the typical features of a Japanese high school student: serious, but not particularly studious, and with low level of commitment to their school.

A follow-up survey (First Follow-up Survey) was conducted separately for high school students who responded to the High School Student Survey conducted from January 2004 to January 2005, and separately for their guardians (Guardian Survey). Further such follow-up surveys were conducted in 2005, 2006, and 2008.  

In promoting the panel research project of the Institute of Social Science, the following funds have been received.
Research fund of the Institute of Social Science of The University of Tokyo (from 2003); Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Grant for Scientific Research (Basic Research S: 2006-2010); Grant-in-aid for Health and Labor Science Research (Policy Science Promotion Research: FY 2004-2006); scholarship donation: Outsourcing Inc. (Chairperson and CEO: Haruhiko Doi, head office: Shizuoka city): FY 2006 - 2008.
Data Type quantitative research
quantitative research: micro data
Universe [High School Student Survey] Third-year students in full-time high school programs
[High School Survey] High schools that cooperated with/responded to the High School Student Survey
Unit of Observation Individual
Sample Size
Number of questionnaires distributed Valid responses Response rate
[High School Student Survey] 10,950 7,563 69.1%
[High School Survey] 101 78 77.0%
Date of Collection 2004-01 ~ 2004-05
[High School Student Survey] January - March 2004
[High School Survey] March - May 2004
Time Period 2004 ~ 2004
Spatial Unit Japan
Sampling Procedure Probability: Stratified
Probability: Multistage
[High School Student Survey]
- The survey was designed to sample high school students from among all students attending full-time programs in high schools across Japan.
- Each prefecture was assigned to one of four categories through a process of stratification on the two criteria of entrance rate and jobless rate.
- Within each category, prefectures were used as the primary sampling unit.
- The proportion of students in each category was calculated in order to determine the sampling rate in each prefecture.
- In line with these proportions, quota samples for each category were calculated based on a total sample of 10,000 students. The quota of schools from each category was then calculated assuming a sample of 80 students (two classes) from each school. The number of sample schools from each category was determined on the assumption that some schools may not cooperate with the survey.
- High schools were used as the secondary sampling unit, and sampled through random selection from each prefecture’s list of high schools offering full-time programs, in accordance with the numbers determined above.
- High schools were selected randomly from among all those with full-time programs, with no distinction between academic and specialist schools, but part-time schools were excluded.

[High School Survey]
- All 101 schools that completed and returned the High School Student Survey were surveyed.
Mode of Data Collection [High School Student Survey]
- Prefectural boards of education, high school principals’ associations, teachers’ unions and the like were informed of the survey in advance and asked to cooperate with it.
- The 162 schools sampled for the survey were sent survey request sets and invited to cooperate.
- 107 schools agreed to cooperate and were each sent one set of questionnaires by postal mail. 101 of these schools completed and returned these High School Student Survey questionnaires.

[High School Survey]
- Each of the schools that returned the High School Student Survey questionnaires was send by postal mail the High School Survey together with a High School Survey request letter.
- 78 schools returned these High School Survey questionnaires.
Investigator “Transformation of education and the labor market” project (2000-2006), a sub-project of the institute-wide joint research project of the Institute of Social Science (ISS) at The University of Tokyo, “The Lost Decade?: Reconsidering 1990s’ Japan” (principal investigator: Hiroshi Ishida)

The University of Tokyo Institute of Social Science, “Questionnaire survey on high school students’ lives and life courses” research group (2004-2006; senior researcher: Hiroki Sato)

The Research and Planning Committee of Japanese Life Course Panel Survey of High School Graduates

DOI 10.34500/SSJDA.PH010
Sponsors (Funds) (see above)
Related Publications (by the Investigator) Please refer to the abstract in Japanese.
Related Publications (based on Secondary Analysis) List of related publications (based on Secondary Analysis)
Documentation [High School Student Survey questionnaire]
Major Survey Items [High School Student Survey] (“High School Student Survey questionnaire”)
- Gender, course, age
- Preferred life course at different times (1st year/2nd year/April of 3rd year/August of 3rd year in high school)
- Intended life course at present

<Respondent with offers of regular employment>
- Place of employment (company size, whether or not within commuting distance of family home, whether or not prior graduates of the same high school are employed, occupation type)
- Satisfaction with prospective employer/occupation type)
- Items applying to prospective employer (preferred occupation type, well-known company, salary, overtime/vacations, potential to utilize prior learning, potential to acquire vocational skills)

<Respondent wishing to work but without offers of employment yet>
- Reasons for not being able to secure offers of employment
- Intention to continue searching for regular employment

<Respondent seeking higher level education>
- Reasons for seeking the type of higher level education, etc. (17 items)

<Respondent wishing to be a part-timer (freeter)>
- Reasons for choosing to be a part-timer (freeter)

- Thoughts on the lifestyle of part-timers (freeters) who support themselves through part-time or casual part-time (arubaito) work
- Thoughts on not marrying and continuing to live with parents

- Education/employment behavior
(Life course in general, matters related to further education, whether or not engaged in employment-related activities and when (21 items), number of employment exams undertaken, whether or not applied to multiple employers concurrently)

- Attitudes and value outlooks (19 items including outlook on life, outlook on society, life course, personality)
- Awareness of laws concerning workers’ rights and obligations

<Daily life from April to July in the third year of high school>
- Activities after school and at weekends (frequencies of 16 items including activities with friends/parents, using computers, community activities, after-school lessons, casual part-time (arubaito) work)
- Activities related to future work
- Average hours of study per week (at home, in tutoring schools(juku)/preparatory schools)
- Average hours of casual part-time (arubaito) work per week
- Number of times late for/absent from school (4 items)

- Outlook on high school (9 items)
- High school grades

- People the respondent refers to for advice on life course, etc.
- Number of friends, especially close friends, frequency of conversation with friends, things that friends cherish

- Things the respondent cherishes
- Ideas about effort, luck, personal abilities, etc. (6 items)
- Things that are important to the respondent (13 items)

- Ideas about women’s jobs and marriage
- Role of men within the family
- Work style around the age of 30
- Life plan (at what age to marry, move out of parental home, etc.)

[Family (guardians)]
- Frequency of discussions with family (guardians) (8 items including school, life course, concerns, etc.)
- Family’s attitude to life course
- Family’s preference for respondent’s life course

[High School Survey] (High School Survey questionnaire) <see Notes for Users below>

- Number of prospective graduates in March of the current year, number of prospective entrants to university, etc. (4-year university, junior college, specialized training college specialized course, specialized training college general course, public vocational skills development facility, etc.), number of prospective graduates entering the workforce, number of prospective graduates with other paths (additional year preparing for university entrance exams, casual part-timer (arubaito), other)
- Fluctuation in graduate paths in the past few years (by path)
- Prospective number of graduates in each course by gender

- Relationships with local community and guardians
- How many of the following types of students attend the school (10 items)

- Composition of life course counseling section (number of staff)
- Special measures for those responsible for life course counseling

- Information and materials collected for the purpose of career counseling
- Life course counseling activities implemented from entry through graduation
- Life course counseling policies (12 items)
- Activities toward guaranteeing life-course paths for students (6 items)

- Reasons for increase in students neither entering the workforce or entering university
- Basic policies on employment counseling (10 items)
- Changes in employment customs, etc.
Date of Release
Topics in CESSDA Click here for details

Higher and further education
Working conditions
Political behaviour and attitudes
Family life and marriage
Gender and gender roles
Social conditions and indicators
Topics in SSJDA Education/Learning
Version 1 : 2009-03-31
Notes for Users High School Survey data are treated as special data from the standpoint of confidentiality.
Moreover, High School Survey data are prohibited for use for educational purposes (teaching, graduation theses, etc.).

Those wishing to use the data should first gain access to the ordinary data, then confirm that an application for the special data is essential to accomplish their research aims, then send an inquiry to the SSJ Data Archive (

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