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Mayor wants permanent resident status for overseas students who graduate from Kyoto Univ

12 Comments
By Andrew Miller

Kyoto Mayor Keiji Yamada has made public his intentions to appeal to the government to award overseas students who graduate from Kyoto University with the right to permanent residence. It is a proposal entitled "Kyoto University Special Ward" and also incorporates other supportive measures for foreign students. With a decrease in student intake within Japan in recent years, it is hoped that by providing incentives for academically skilled overseas students, Kyoto will not only be able to compete with other cities like Tokyo but will also be able to add a new lease of life to its cultural city.

The plan to introduce incentives for overseas students came to light after The Japanese Business Federation and Kyoto’s prefecture office held a panel discussion on how to revive the town. The same prefecture estimated that due to decrease in birth rates, the number of students enrolling in university was also likely to see a significant decrease in years to come. Looking at the birth rate statistics from 2011, it is predicted that the 160,000 students currently residing in Kyoto will see a 25,000 student decrease in the future.

On the other hand, the number of overseas students currently residing in Kyoto is 6,000. According to research carried out by Kyoto Prefecture, several universities in Singapore have over a 60% foreign student uptake. What’s more, the same students are awarded the right to permanent residence upon graduating. Singapore is no doubt leading the way in attracting, and fostering, talent from abroad.

At the same panel discussion, Kyoto’s mayor was enthusiastic about providing an environment like Singapore in which to support foreign students with finding employment after graduation, and nurturing talent through education.

With air of conviction, Kyoto’s mayor put his proposition to the panel:

“What I’d like to ask you to consider is whether overseas students who graduate from Kyoto university and take part in the city’s job training program can be given permanent resident status. I’d like to work with everyone in producing an effective policy.”

It is reported that at the end of the discussion all the parties were keen to provide a fertile ground in which to foster a “University utopia” and backed the mayor’s proposal. Kyoto Prefecture is set to cooperate with the parties concerned and appeal to the government to put this measure in place during the year.

Source: Yahoo! Japan

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12 Comments
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How about Todai? I was always too lazy to do the paperwork for PR, maybe this is my chance (if the procedure is simplified for graduates)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

PR status for merely graduating college? That's just silly. Sounds like the mayor just wants some PR for his town.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

That would certainly increase the number of foreign students in Japan. The government would never allow it though.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

hope not!.. let em suffer like the rest of people

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Right so students graduate and get PR yet I have to prove why I want PR when I'm married and having kids with my Japanese wife.....anyway it's good for the graduates but I don't think you should be handing out PR as a gift....it's a serious thing.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

PR status for merely graduating college? That's just silly.

No, on the contrary.That's the case in some other countries where students have a possibility to settle after they graduate. Future students get that they'd better study directly in a country where they can start their career. Common sense. If they have access to PR status, that doesn't mean they will all stay all their life and Japan will be flooded, that means they can apply for work in their specialty.. Look at Canada, in the airport hall, they grant PR status to foreign young graduates and a give a coupon to get the PR to future graduates, and they only get benefits from it. A large part of the new PR leave after only a few years anyway, and those that stay are the best type of immigrants for a country, professionals with the language skills, experience of life there, young and flexible and they are already part of a local social network. They attract many bright persons that see that Japan would not give them any stable status even in decades (if they don't marry a local of a certain category). Without PR in Japan, they have to do something in a restricted list like eikaiwa and branches of foreign companies. So we've seen some Chinese post-grads in law managing gyoza-restaurants (as that was accepted for the visa.... but no way if they worked for a Japanese lawyer office). So when they are tired of gyoza, they leave, and they tell their younger compatriots to not study in Japan. Frankly, they should take the foreign nurses at the level of uni entrance, on the base of language test and ability test, and they would have all of them passing the exam, maybe 80% settling forever (which is what Japan needs no ?). Otherwise, why would a foreign future nurse lose her time with nihongo and big loans for studying in Japan ? For the vague prospect of being given some temporary visa maybe someday ? Idem for other specialties.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Give automatic permanent residence to them just because they went to a university? doesn't seem fair to the rest of us now does it? I've been living here 3 years married to a Japanese citizen and have to live here a certain period of time before I can even apply for permanent residency..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

just because they went to a university?

Because they paid and studied to become fluent in Japanese and attain the level to a first rank uni, they paid several years of tuitions and living expenses in Japan, they studied, most of them worked too, they graduated.And because hard-working young educated people ,fluent in Japanese plus at least another language, with an experience of life in 2 countries should be considered as an asset by Japan... while they are asked to go back home.

doesn't seem fair to the rest of us now does it?

If you can see any fairness in the system of visas, residency, nationality... I'd be glad if others had better conditions than me.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

With the help of J-goverment, these people should have initiative to find an internship or training program. Maybe Japanese companies appreciate individuals who show their willingness to pursue their own positions. The more energy they put into searching for a position, the more likely they will find a program that suits them. Once you complete an internship that last year or two, the J-goverment should encourage you to complete an inquiry and request a full application for legal permanent residency. But your talking about Japan, they rather starve then let hardworking educated foreigners in Japan to live permanently. The Japanese would rather see you just visit and go home.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How about having a real immigration policy for not only Kyoto but Japan as a whole? Suggestions :

Reduce the number of years to get PR from 10 to 5 years (for people no married to a J-citizen) Eliminate the minimum 5 years work requirement for getting PR (right now the minimum is 5 years)

A student coming to Japan to get a master's degree usually spends 1 year in Japanese preparatory classes. Add to this 2 years for the actual degree, another 2 years of working in Japan and then give her/him PR.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe for the top 30 universities......better than PR to a bunch of eikaiwa teachers who happen to get married here.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

a) Filipinos will be very happy about this news. b) Why would anyone from overseas go to Kyoto University? c) Does this mean Japanese companies are going to rescind their racist attitudes towards employing foreigners? (answer: no)

So Jonathon-foreigner is going to sit in Kyoto with no job, getting stared at all day with a nice residence permit. Glorious idea.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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