By 2020, computer programming will be introduced to every elementary school in Japan. This study explored the extent to which elementary school teachers in Japan are prepared for this. A two-stage research plan was adopted. The initial stage took a qualitative and inductive approach, in which the author visited elementary schools to observe computer classes, interview teachers, and administer a questionnaire. This stage was designed to identify problems and note actual conditions in the field. This knowledge was used to develop the questionnaire for the second survey. A quantitative and deductive approach was used, involving a nationwide survey. Completed questionnaires were returned by 309 elementary school teachers, covering 44 out of 47 of Japan’s prefectures. The results show ICT to be currently underused in teaching and revealed that many teachers lack confidence in, or are anxious about, the plan. Four barriers were identified: the low level of ICT use in teaching, teacher skepticism about the plan, the use of conventional teaching methods, and teacher workloads. Overall, teachers were neither technically nor emotionally prepared for the planned introduction of programming education. Ways of addressing each barrier were proposed: increasing access to technological resources, improving teacher training, introducing pupil-centered teaching and learning methods, and reducing teacher workloads.