The jōyō kanji (常用漢字, literally "regular-use Chinese characters") is the guide to kanji characters and their readings, announced officially by the Japanese Ministry of Education. Current jōyō kanji are those on a list of 2,136 characters issued in 2010. It is a slightly modified version of the tōyō kanji, which was the initial list of secondary school-level kanji standardized after World War II. The list is not a comprehensive list of all characters and readings in regular use; rather, it is intended as a literacy baseline for those who have completed compulsory education, as well as a list of permitted characters and readings for use in official government documents. Due to the requirement that official government documents make use of only jōyō kanji and their readings, several rare characters are also included by dint of being a part of the Constitution of Japan, which was being written at the same time the original 1850-character tōyō kanji list was compiled.
The 2,136 kanji in the jōyō kanji consist of:
1,006 kanji taught in primary school (the kyōiku kanji)
1,130 additional kanji taught in secondary school
Foreign learners of Japanese also often focus their kanji studies on the jōyō kanji list.
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