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Magazine frets over 'prestigious' university's alleged plans for a 'China School' on campus

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Use of "prestigious," when applied to educational institutions in Japan (from K-12 to university), has probably been done to death. But there's one school that few would deny warrants the term: Gakushuin.

Previously referred to in English as the "Peers School," Gakushuin, located in Tokyo's Toshima Ward, may not rank at the top scholastically, but still leads in terms of prestige. According to its website, "Gakushuin’s origins lie in an educational institution for the court nobility that was established in Kyoto during the last days of the Tokugawa Shogunate. After the Meiji Restoration, in 1877 Gakushuin opened its doors in Tokyo for the education of the nobility."

After the Pacific War, Gakushuin was privatized, and merged its separate male and female schools to become coeducational. Among its best-known graduates are former Emperor Akihito, present Emperor Naruhito, his brother, Crown Prince Akishino and their various offspring.

But Asahi Geino (Feb 29) is worried about this prestigious institution. We know this because its headline on page 152 warns that the school faces a "serious crisis," in that moves may be afoot to establish a "China School," ostensibly in the form of an "international school," on its campus.

Working behind the scenes to bring this about are a pair of influential Japanese, only referred to as Messrs A and B, both of whom have attracted the attention of Japan's national security apparatus.

"Mr B has extensive business ties in China," a source involved in national security tells the magazine. "Mr A is registered as an agent. When he was working for North Koreans, he went from working as a sales representative for a hotel that served as a base of their operations in Japan. This has been confirmed. Since then, he let his son succeed him and more recently built up his contacts in China via North Korea."

So well connected is Mr A that he's said to have even been involved in introducing a potential future suitor to Princess Toshi (typically referred to in the media as Aiko-sama), who is 22 years old.

As far as Gakushuin is concerned, the article's repeated use of the term "China School" seems purposely vague. Perhaps it might be referring to the Confucius Institute.

Founded in 2004 under the auspices of the People's Republic of China's Ministry of Education, with a stated purpose of promoting and teaching Chinese culture and language around the world, Confucius Institute is said to operate over 500 facilities worldwide, with the highest concentration in Japan, South Korea and the U.S.

The U.S. Department of State, however, regards the institute as something more than a mere forum for education, but sees it as a form of creeping infiltration. In August 2020 it designated the Confucius Institute U.S. Center as a foreign mission of the PRC. And in March 2021, the U.S. Senate passed a bill that would restrict colleges hosting Confucius Institutes from receiving some federal funding.

"China makes efforts to send exchange students to study in Japan or nurture students who are sympathetic toward China, and by so doing obtain access to advanced technologies or knowhow," said the security source. "These efforts constantly continue to evolve." 

The notion of a "China school" at Gakushuin is not entirely implausible, as quite a few branches of the Confucius Institute operate at Japanese universities. Another example, the source noted, is a "Confucius Study Hall" that was recently set up inside a famous hospital.

Still, Asahi Geino is not typically known as a publication boasting cutting-edge investigative journalism, and its main purpose in running the article might merely be to stoke nationalistic sentiments, by suggesting that constant vigilance is needed to ensure that members of Japan's royal family are safely insulated from potentially insidious foreign propaganda. Or perhaps it has some other ulterior motive for running the story.

On the other hand, weekly magazines, Asahi Geino included, do have a well known knack for spotting potential scoops and running them before all the facts are in.

To its credit, the magazine was careful to inquire directly to Gakushuin, which responded, not surprisingly, by denying allegations that plans for a "China School" exist. For the record, here are its exact words: Keikaku ni tsuite wa, zonjiagete orimasen (We are not aware of any such plan).

© Japan Today

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8 Comments
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The whole of Japanese society is based on Confucian principles.

Or is it confusion?

Anyhow,I am sure they'll be happy to take any revenue from this venture.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Money is everything in Japan!

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Money is everything in Japan!

Unlike everywhere else in the world where no one cares about it at all, right?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Universities and churches are both giant receptors of money, often with strings attached.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Huh?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Now that the Confucious institutes (foreign universities) and unauthorized Chinese police stations are being exposed in Western countries, they are just smuggling people illegally into other countries. Part of it could be poor Chinese fleeing oppressive China by working manual labor jobs in South America then sneaking into the US.

Chinese migrants flock to U.S.-Mexico border on economic pressures

https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/International-relations/Chinese-migrants-flock-to-U.S.-Mexico-border-on-economic-pressures

However, China is also taking a page from Russia's book by trying to destabilize adversaries with the use of human migration.

More than 37,000 Chinese citizens were arrested for illegally crossing the southern border of the US in 2023, according to US Customs and Border Protection. That number is nearly 10 times the total in 2022 and more than double that of the entire previous decade.

Considering the heavy surveillance, the CCP uses on it citizens abroad and at home. It is surprising that China is unaware and is probably allowing their people to find illegal ways to enter the US.

It makes easy for China to send bad actors (Chinese agents) to infiltrate the United States. The US governement will have no evidence of these people then they can acquire multiple aliases with the help of the networks in the various Chinatowns and the illegal "police stations."

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@ NotTheOne

WELL SAID!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Do these people not follow the news?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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