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Japan's universities tightening background checks on foreign students

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Instead of doing "background checks", how about not letting anyone from outside Japan into the program? This way, there is no danger.

-22 ( +9 / -31 )

Cold hard cash, same reason US universities bend over backwards for foreign students.

14 ( +19 / -5 )

It is a well known fact that spy organizations recruit on university grounds.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Check the Chinese students.

6 ( +17 / -11 )

There are also some Japanese students, faculty members as well as school officials spying or closely collaborating with Beijing.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

In other words, Japan is tightening the screws on spies.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Unfortunately any Chinese student, especially those with family in China, can be made to divulge information and act on behalf of the CCP regardless of background.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Some steps are necessary to protect Japanese technology and innovation.

I support foreign students and workers, especially those who care about this country and love this country. We should always try to do better.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Consider, also, a thorough and diligent review of all prospective foreign (and domestic) investors in your universities. And those who want to finance professorships. If you are not paying attention, you may suddenly find yourself taking lots of money from potential undesirables, and their entirely unreasonable science and technogy espionage activity.

Not naming names, mind you . . .

8 ( +8 / -0 )

It’s appalling that 40% of the foreign students studying in Japan are from China, the country that constantly violates Japanese waters and airspace. Japan hasn’t paid much attention to national security since 1945. The country’s insular mentality is partly to blame for this.

10 ( +17 / -7 )

They should do background checks on instructors as well.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Do you think Japan, I just wonder who their real sponsor is, Just maybe the CCP?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

-There are also some Japanese students, faculty members as well as school officials spying or closely collaborating with Beijing.

Are you suggesting it is time for a McCarthyite witch hunt of communist sympathisers in Japan, looking for 'reds under the bed' and asking prospective students and academics if they now or have ever voted for the JCP?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@Meiyouwenti

Japan hasn’t paid much attention to national security since 1945. The country’s insular mentality is partly to blame for this...well there was this thing called WW2 where you know Japan attacked you know the USA then you know well you know the rest of the story dont you....ya know maybe your education taught you something out of a manga in regards to all of this....

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Good luck, the Chinese can steal sugar, out of a cake

6 ( +8 / -2 )

It sounds like a good idea. China has been getting a free ride for long enough.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

How on earth can "background checks" on students from totalitarian nations - like China - be performed? Impossible.

While democratic nations can provide criminal histories of prospective foreign students to Japan, there is zero chance the Communist Chinese govt will reveal the backgrounds of the very students they send to Japan.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Instead of doing "background checks", how about not letting anyone from outside Japan into the program? This way, there is no danger.

The last time Japan's universities were at full capacity was 2009. A shrinking university student aged population creates an oversupply of universities with spare capacity. That leaves only 3 options, the number of universities needs to decrease, or the income and therefore salaries and services at the universities decrease, or the spare capacity is made up by foreign students. That brings up the issue of who is doing background checks on foreign students. If it is the universities, then the background checks are being done by the same organization that is desperate for every foreign student they can get.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The last time Japan's universities were at full capacity was 2009. A shrinking university student aged population creates an oversupply of universities with spare capacity. That leaves only 3 options, the number of universities needs to decrease, or the income and therefore salaries and services at the universities decrease, or the spare capacity is made up by foreign students. 

How about lowering the barriers to entry for domestic students – not making them devote their last two years of high school almost solely to preparing for the entrance exams, for example – but actually make them attend classes, pay attention, and maintain a reasonable academic level once they're in university?

A novel concept, i know...

3 ( +6 / -3 )

they realize spies can lie on forms, right?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I was in a Japanese university's foreign students' program about 20 years ago. We had about 10 students from China, as "colleagues". The university also made the mistake of enrolling all of them in one class, and they were basically forced to accept them, as discrimination wasn't politically correct.

You can't imagine the amount of pro-communism activism those guys were doing, right in the middle of the class. They were extremely indignant whenever anyone complained about anything China. They were also organized by rank, with one guy obviously a leader of some sort (we couldn't get more insight as they were of course using exclusively Chinese among themselves and confirming everything before one of them was allowed to speak English to the rest of us). All in all, an extremely creepy situation.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

@GBR48

Are you suggesting it is time for a McCarthyite witch hunt of communist sympathisers in Japan, looking for 'reds under the bed' and asking prospective students and academics if they now or have ever voted for the JCP?

No. Japan is far from China where Chinese nationals under "foreign influences" are constantly monitored, arrested without warrant or good reason, or sent to re-education camps. Many critics "vanish" from the streets all of a sudden; but unfortunately such is not unusual in neo-Maoist society.

BTW, the JCP is very critical to the CCP over a number of issues including territorial disputes and human rights abuses.

共産党・志位氏「共産党の名に値しない」、結党100周年の中国共産党を痛烈に批判

https://www.huffingtonpost.jp/entry/dokuji-kyosanto-shiishikyosantononaniataishinai-ketto100shunennochugokukyosantowotsuretsunihihan_jp_60dd69cae4b0ddef8b0ca119

1 ( +2 / -1 )

You can't imagine the amount of pro-communism activism those guys were doing, right in the middle of the class. They were extremely indignant whenever anyone complained about anything China. They were also organized by rank, with one guy obviously a leader of some sort (we couldn't get more insight as they were of course using exclusively Chinese among themselves and confirming everything before one of them was allowed to speak English to the rest of us). All in all, an extremely creepy situation.

I have similar experiences at school setting. Chinese students seem "well-organized" in collective actions and thoughts. For example, their counter-protesting acts against Tibet, Uighur or HK are timely and coordinated despite a short notice. It's no wonder as all Chinese students and expats are registered at local Chinese embassies, and they are regularly monitored and contacted by authorities (in the pretending form of social activities).

Japanese schools shouldn't discriminate Chinese students, but should take into account this inconvenient truth. They are kept hostage or string-attached even overseas.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Fighto* good point. Exactly how do you do these background checks. Difficult problem. Working at a university though the exchanges with most of the Chinese students are usually awesome. They get to let their hair down a bit and speak freely. We need to keep the good exchanges going. Has to be done carefully this and not in haste. Don’t want to cut off the good stuff.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

How about lowering the barriers to entry for domestic students – not making them devote their last two years of high school almost solely to preparing for the entrance exams, for example – but actually make them attend classes, pay attention, and maintain a reasonable academic level once they're in university?

If the UK is an example, you do not want a large proportion of young people going to university if the proper graduate jobs for them do not exist. All that will do is load families and young people up with debt. Young people would be far better off in jobs with technical training or very vocational training colleges.

As for sensitive technology, is that actually taught at university anyway at undergraduate level?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My own experience of Chinese students at a 'mid-ranking' university is that most were not the sharpest knives in the drawer and seemed as lacking in ideas as the vast majority of their Japanese counterparts. Is there such a thing as a 'mid-ranking spy'?

But I am sure we will all feel the effect of this tightening of the screws. My bank are getting ever more restrictive about me using my bank account as a .... erm .... bank account, but when I checked with Japanese friends if they have been getting the same letters and demands for information to 'stop terrorism and money-laundering', they say they haven't received anything.

Just one more nail in the coffin making every furriner feel less and less wanted here.

It would be funny though, if Japan followed one poster above's line and banned all foreign staff and students. I think 60% or 70% of unis would be out of business within 5 years. That's the hard reality for Japan, though this is true of the higher education sector in many other countries.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I was in a program for fireign students in Japan. I had some Russian friends. Nice people but not exactly the smartest Russians that can be found in all of Russia. One who was doing his Ph.D in 'politics' told me Communism was 'invented in Russia:.

Another doing a Ph.D in economics told me, 'Marx never conidered the effect of technological innovation on the economy.' Of course technological innovation is at the very center of Marx's analysis of capitalist economy. This guy was doing a Ph.D!!!

The moral of the story is that Japanese tax payers were funding morons to study at a prestigious Japanese university.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"...they realize spies can lie on forms, right?"

lol. Yes, true. But perhaps the "background checks" don't have to go all that deep in order to eliminate some of the largest security holes currently existing in the J-system?

For example, anyone with any connection in China to universities known as the "Seven Sons of National Defense" which have close links to China's defense industry, that might be a good place to start restricting, right?

And the Communist Party of China isn't a secret society anymore...the names of its 95 million card-carrying members aren't exactly difficult to come by, if one knows where to look (yes, almost 7% of China's total population now belong to the "Party")...maybe they could restrict actual party members from "studying" inside Japan?

You know...baby steps....

1 ( +3 / -2 )

You can't screen people based on specific nationalities, that's open discrimination and is subject to law suits. If you must do it, apply the same rule to all countries.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

foreign students seeking to study civil-military technologies, according to a Kyodo News survey.

hahaha so anyone can get sensitive information by attending Japanese university. How absurd

1 ( +1 / -0 )

US and UK universities should do a good bit more of that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Decades ago, when Chinese students first came to study in Japan in the post-Mao era, they tended to be very grateful to be here. Many remained, committed to freedom. Later I noticed how both smugly nationalistic their successors were becoming. They had little appreciation of Japan and were here simply as a career move.

At the university where I was a professor, any sort of criticism of the current Chinese regime was discouraged. Why? Money, of course...

"The capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them." (Did Lenin really say that? He might just as well have. It's still true...)

4 ( +4 / -0 )

China has taken advantage of the freedom of a democracy to further their brutal dictatorial cause.

High time we put a stop to this nefarious plan!!}

4 ( +4 / -0 )

There should be background checks for teachers as well

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why spy on Japan,when you can use Google

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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