Since Japan’s borders were opened in March, international students have begun trickling in. About 100,000 students were waiting to enter Japan as of last month after being kept out for nearly two years due to pandemic-related border closures. Meanwhile, progress in getting students back into the nation is said to be “doing smoothly.”
According to The Mainichi, citing Education Minister Shinsuke Suematsu, 30,000 international students have arrived in Japan since March, when the government relaxed COVID-19 border regulations. The country hopes to admit all people on the waiting list by May, and the minister stated that development is “usually going well.” According to the allegation, the government has prioritised foreign students by reserving empty seats on weekday flights into Japan.
Japan has gradually increased the cap on international passengers. The Japanese government increased the daily admittance cap from 5,000 to 7,000 on March 14, 2022, and to 10,000 on April 10, 2022. This number comprises both Japanese and international nationals. According to NHK World News, the Japanese government intends to raise the quota even higher in order to accommodate more international students, technical trainees, and business professionals.
International students have been lobbying to enter Japan for the previous two years. Since the outbreak, stranded students have had difficulties communicating with their individual Japanese colleges, as well as time zone discrepancies and remote classes. International students have already expressed their concerns and complaints on Twitter using the hashtags #EducationIsNotTourism and #JapanTravelBan.
In a second story, Professor Takakazu Yamagishi, director of Nanzan University’s Center for International Affairs in Nagoya, told The Mainichi that the country requires a “coordinated effort” to repair its image and entice back international talent lost during the border shutdown.
When analysing the impact of the Japanese immigration prohibition, Yamagishi believes that overseas students and other immigrants can be categorised into major categories. He referred to the first set of people as “Japan maniacs,” or those that desire to enter Japan no matter what. He was quoted as noting that these pupils made up the majority of those who expressed discontent with being kept out.
There is also a “middle group” that does not share the “core group’s” “Japan or bust” ardor. According to Yamagishi, many prospective international students base their decision on the experiences of their classmates who have already studied overseas.
When the “middle group” students are unable to enter Japan, they will be more likely to turn away from Japan if they hear positive things about somewhere else. Yamagishi believes that Japan’s pandemic admission limits did not have a significant influence on those in the “core group,” but that a large number of persons in the “intermediate group” were likely lost.
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