The Japanese government announced that it is considering letting in international students after it suspended their access in late November because of the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.
- In 2019, around 121,637 international students were studying in Japan.
- This number rapidly dropped to 9,930 in 2021 after the global COVID-19 pandemic hit.
- The Japanese government would most likely allow the re-entry of international students in stages beginning in February.
The Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology Ministry said it would likely allow the entry of overseas students in stages. The first stage would most likely see 100 government-sponsored students enter by February.
These students would fall under the special circumstances category, which essentially means they are in a situation that is vital to the public interest.
In this case, these students have already begun taking online classes at Japanese universities but will not be able to graduate or advance to the next level of their program without attending face-to-face classes. Such cases include science or medical students, who would require experiments, laboratory, or hospital training in order to advance or complete their program.
After the initial entry of international students, the Japanese government will then assess the situation based on the spread of the virus. If things subside, just as they did in early November, it would most likely let in more students.
In 2019, around 121,637 international students were attending university in Japan. However, once the pandemic hit globally, this number rapidly dropped to 9,930 from January to December of 2021.
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