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politics

Kishida wants to increase number of foreigners studying in Japan

35 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Along with foreign tourists, Japan had been seeing a steady increase in its number of foreign students in the years leading up to the start of the pandemic. Those numbers have since dipped severely, but Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has now made it clear that he doesn’t just want to see the number of foreigners studying in Japan recover to what it once was, but for even more students from abroad to come to Japan as part of their educational development.

Earlier this week, Kishida held a meeting with Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Keiko Nagaoka in which the two discussed the state of higher education in Japan and issues to be examined by the Council for the Creation of Future Education, part of the prime minister’s cabinet. One of the topics that came up was the Plan for 300,000 Exchange Students, which was created by MEXT (as the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology is officially abbreviated) in 2008. During the meeting, Kishida instructed Nagaoka to conduct a thorough review and reformulation of the program.

This isn’t because the program was a failure, however. The Plan for 300,000 Exchange Students actually met its original goal ahead of time, with roughly 337,000 studying in Japan at the end of 2018. What Kishida wants now is for Nagaoka and MEXT to come up with a plan that will attract even more than 300,000 foreign students to the country.

What’s more, it’s Kishida’s hope is that an increasing number of those foreign students will remain in Japan as working adults after finishing their study programs. In addition, or perhaps as a part of, the Plan for 300,000 Exchange Students revamp, Kishida is asking MEXT to examine ways to improve Japan’s working environments and internationalize its educational system, both to retain foreign students following the completion of their studies in Japan and also to convince Japanese citizens who went overseas for college that they can utilize what they learned while abroad upon returning to their home country.

Source: NHK News Web

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© SoraNews24

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35 Comments
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Kishida wants to increase number of foreigners studying in Japan

But do foreigners want Kishida’s fingers in their wallet?

17 ( +25 / -8 )

Kishida wants to increase number of foreigners studying in Japan

Start with opening the border first then try to abolish anything that discriminate foreigner for example Japanese apartment rental among many things.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/04/17/national/social-issues/half-foreign-nationals-tokyo-experience-discrimination-survey-shows/

also to convince Japanese citizens who went overseas for college that they can utilize what they learned while abroad upon returning to their home country.

The problem is whether Japanese workplace interested to utilize that? Japanese workplace system more interested to follow hierarchy and seniority in doing things, rather than utilize what they already learn abroad.

4 ( +22 / -18 )

Unless you are studying Japanese the learning curve to be educated in Japanese is next to impossible.

7 ( +18 / -11 )

After the racially intolerant Covid measures Japan has placed upon tourists and foreign residents. Tell him he's dreaming! No one would want to come!

3 ( +25 / -22 )

Japan should change its academic year to match 90% of northern hemisphere countries which run September to July but this is never going to happen because nothing says Japan as much as entrance ceremony photographs with falling cherry tree blossom in the background...

11 ( +20 / -9 )

Good luck with that. But at least there seems to be some effort behind it rather than Abe’s announcing ’womenomics’ and expecting it to magically happen.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Kishida has now made it clear that he doesn’t just want to see the number of foreigners studying in Japan recover to what it once was, but for even more students from abroad to come to Japan as part of their educational development.

HA!! Comedy gold! After they nuked whatever goodwill they had with the outside world? What kind of fantasy land is he living in?? After the way the students were treated here during the pandemic and being forced to relocate to SK and other places because Fortress Japan was closed to everyone including PR residents for a while??

-9 ( +19 / -28 )

After the racially intolerant Covid measures Japan has placed upon tourists and foreign residents. Tell him he's dreaming! No one would want to come!

Exactly. Not going to happen.

-12 ( +12 / -24 )

The best example of how Japanese politicians have a selected memory, forgetting how they treat during two years foreigners...what a Joke!!

-4 ( +18 / -22 )

And people in Hell want ice water. What a joke!

At my uni several postdocs left and are now studying in Taiwan and Korea…and telling everyone they can how badly Japan treated them. Japan effectively created tens of thousands of Anti-Ambassadors, and they are spreading their experiences everywhere they can so other students avoid the disastrous mistake of wasting their college funds and time by coming here.

The programs those students were in are now in danger of shutting down entirely because…surprise, surprise, they can’t recruit any foreign students. This means exchange programs are effectively dead, so Japanese students are struggling for spots in overseas institutions. One student I know is applying for citizenship through a foreign relative so he can study in the EU (brain drain, anyone?) Profs in Europe and North America are actively discouraging study in Japan because foreigners are treated like lepers. Funny how slapping people in the face damages goodwill.

And Japan deserves it. Deserves every closed program, every snub by foreign investors, every lost opportunity. They made their bed, let them lie in it.

-5 ( +18 / -23 )

Perhaps, the J-Government should focus more on Japanese students who are struggling to pay back their student loans.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Good idea. Tax the H$LL out of the international students and get all their money! Tax them high since the young Japanese are not drinking as much beer as we want them to, hence the lack of revenue as our life style demands.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

Japan should change its academic year to match 90% of northern hemisphere countries which run September to July but this is never going to happen because nothing says Japan as much as entrance ceremony photographs with falling cherry tree blossom in the background...

No they shouldn't. If people want to come, they'll come. And it won't be because of introducing the American style academic year or the GPA system.

If Japan had a quality system where it was possible to get a world class education entirely in English, there would he no problem attracting top students.

The system as it is is completely and utterly broken here.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Reading between the lines - cheap student labour for a few years to help struggling businesses.

...hope that an increasing number of those foreign students will remain in Japan as working adults after finishing their study programs...

Will depend on their experience as a student, and how welcome they'll be in the communities that they decide to live within.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Sorry, Kishida, that ship has sailed to other nations when you slammed the doors shut with xenophobic Covid policies, and won't change them, either. Top that with the complete unwillingness to change the school year start to September (like most of the world has it) because old men have "Memories of the sakura blooming at the entrance ceremony" or claiming the Japanese people are fools and it would "confuse them", and students who want to come have to wait half a year or more to sync up. Plus the costs and poor educational ranking of Japan's schools. Nah...

-9 ( +12 / -21 )

After the racially intolerant Covid measures Japan has placed upon tourists and foreign residents."

Yep...gonna take a loong time to repair that reputational damage.

-8 ( +9 / -17 )

Who in their right mind would want to work in a Japanese workplace, with its enforced overtime, pointless meetings, rigidity, enforced drinking, bullying, and slavish adherence to the way things have always been done?

I don't think that a lot of foreigners being trapped in Japanese companies long-term is very likely. The usual Japanese short-term slave labor, yes, but not many high level workers will stay.

Japan's immigration system means that they can't get long-term visas (and forget citizenship for most, even if they were dumb enough to want it).

The third-world salaries mean they can't get married or buy a house...and are limited to the few slumlords who are willing to rent to them.

The way the Japanese economy is designed, they also know a decent lifestyle is permanently out of reach. Japanese companies will never offer more than short contracts, no raises, no promotions for non-Japanese, and constant racist bullying and harassment.

-10 ( +9 / -19 )

Kishida wants foreign students to learn Japanese.

Hower the learning of the English language isn't taken seriously in Japan and is very poor compared to other nations in Asia.

Any foreigners that lives or visits in Japan are constantly baffled at all the misspellings of English found absolutely everywhere and everyday.

It's like using a dictionary is too difficult to do.

After nearly a decade of trying to help correct the misspellings I've come to the conclusion 'why bother' as only a small percentage will actually correct the misspellings.

Basically they just want western products and don't care about the misspellings.

Heck- a large percentage of japanese think that romanji is English not Latin.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

During the covid foreign students were treated appalling so why would they want to study here again.

-4 ( +12 / -16 )

I'd agree that a lot of students will be put off from coming here while there continues to be border restrictions - I know they are lifted for most international students, but the continuing restrictions on tourists and other rules are still causing many other problems indirectly - what if a student wants to invite their friends to visit for example? - not happening as of now. Flight prices are through the roof.

Once all of that nonsense is finally gotten rid of, I think that the terrible way that foreigners have been treated will end up being forgotten about fairly quickly, however.

The main problem for opening up Japan to more foreign students continues to be the language problem. International students will want to study in English, but the vast majority of Japanese do not have the English ability to either teach courses in English or to take courses in English. So, they have to offer entirely separate lecture courses or even entire programs specifically for foreign students, often taught in English by foreign faculty on temporary contracts. Usually, these programs are run on a five-year basis and then end up being wound down or transformed into something else, the foreign faculty have to find new positions, the number of places on these programs is extremely limited and it is hard to find good quality students for the programs because of the low international ranking of Japanese universities - again mainly due to the low English standards. Having these separate courses and programs just ends up being a pain for the Japanese faculty and staff, so they don't have much enthusiasm to help make it work - especially when they see that the foreign students are often at a much lower level compared to the Japanese students. This isn't a problem that is going to be solved any time soon - Japan would need to take the study of English (as a spoken, working language, rather than as an academic subject) much more seriously starting at an early age. This does not appear to be happening - people seem to be less interested in studying English here in recent times than they did just a few years ago. Teaching English is now one of the lowest paid jobs out there.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Do people want to study in Japan? Yeah of course.

Do people want to work in Japan. Probably

can people who studied in Japan get non-English teaching jobs and make a livable wage? Extremely rarely

the last bit of wanting to get foreigners to stay or return and add to the work force makes sense but the systems in place and the jobs available to them at all levels is likely laughable for anyone who could. You make more money and have more opportunities outside Japan with Japanese skills these days than inside it as a foreigner. It sounds bitter but it’s a sad reality.

companies would have to do more to actively approach and accommodate the foreign work force in Japan beyond English teachers and manual labor to make this work. Several months and maybe crazy cases full time university stints of 4 years isn’t enough time to become “natural” at business Japanese on average so I don’t know what their actual idea is here other than just saying it

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Could decentralize things a bit more.

Foreign students are the international face of any japanese capital as they are the ones who engage the most in cultural interchange events, etc. too bad most of them end up moving to Tokyo (or Osaka if closer), lured by the media constantly talking and showing things about Tokyo nonstop, to the point of making someone think they are missing out staying in their clean, warm, friendly, spacious, convenient, beautiful capital. Tokyo is full.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I would say students want to live in Japan and experience it but I doubt it's the education itself they are interested in.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Japan will not attract students thanks to any possible English programs, but it will keep attracting students from Asian and East Asian countries as it has always beenwho want to come to a more developed country and hope to make money here after that. And many wanna come.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Although full of personal hate toward Japan by usual J-haters, the comment section for this thread is worth reading for Kishida and other politicians. Just increasing the number of foreign students wouldn't help at all.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Those who would decide to stay in Japan would do so not just for money but they rather think Japan fits their style. And most of them speak or would be able to speak fluent Japanese anyway. Those who are eager to study in Japan regardless from developed or developing countries, lots of them are studying Japanese already in their home countries.

Kishida is asking MEXT to examine ways to improve Japan’s working environments and internationalize its educational system

This step is good, and yet, creating English environment is not really necessary.

You made this mistake once and created delinquent foreigners disguised as students at large through Yakuza- related intermediators which debt trapped poor good-will foreign students. There will be no second chance to make excuse.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

an interesting article from the Mainichi

Expert warns Japan has long road to regain foreign students' trust after 2-yr entry ban - The Mainichi

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Some accounts I read of students nearly going insane and losing their minds trying to get to Japan to finish their studies and they were barred almost completely for two years, I think it will take a lot of time to gain trust and anyone would be foolish to take him at his mere word.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

What Kishida wants now is for Nagaoka and MEXT to come up with a plan that will attract even more than 300,000 foreign students to the country.

That’s because Kishida can’t even come up with a way to get in 300,000 tourists into Japan.

I mean, he could but………the J-Gov seem to love trying new ways to prevent foreigners from entering. Kinda sending mixed messages there, buddy.

What’s more, it’s Kishida’s hope is that an increasing number of those foreign students will remain in Japan as working adults after finishing their study programs.

In other words, more slave minimum wage laborers to help add more income tax to help support the UC and fill up his politician buddies’ pockets.

In addition, or perhaps as a part of, the Plan for 300,000 Exchange Students revamp, Kishida is asking MEXT to examine ways to improve Japan’s working environments and internationalize its educational system,

you know, because working conditions, housing options and the allowing of family members to live in Japan is already oh so lucrative to the rest of the world……I see a theme here KISH…….he’s trying to make other people do his job since he can’t do his.

also to convince Japanese citizens who went overseas for college that they can utilize what they learned while abroad upon returning to their home country.

you mean have the open minded people try to convince the close minded dinosaurs that there are other ways of doing things, instead of instilled crap from 1822? Good luck with that buddy, check out who’s in your Cabinet first, and tell us whether they aren’t stubborn old heads or not.

who does KISH thinks he’s fooling?

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Uh, is he trying to tell a joke?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Let's look at this a bit more closely.. recently news about people for differing countries are starting to not want to work here as wages in thier home countries are catching up to Japan's .... When students come to study in Japan they are able to work... Part time weekends etc... All those lousy jobs could be covered if we just have more students taking up classes here.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Japan isn't an attractive destination anymore.

Japan is great for retirees because Japan is a low-cost country now, but is terrible for working-age professionals. Japan's industries are in severe decline so Japan doesn't need foreign engineers and scientists.

According to the latest figures, Hyundai/KIA's US auto 2022 sales in August was within 80% of Toyota's, won't be long before Hyundai/KIA overtakes Toyota as the no. 1 Asian automaker in the US(Hyundai/KIA already is in Europe) as the transition to EVs accelerate, because Hyundai EVs are rated to be superior to Teslas while Toyota EVs are terrible with 2 hour fast-charging(Hyundai EVs fast charge in 19 minutes) and wheels are literally falling off brand new vehicles.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

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