January roundup for international students

Are you looking for the latest Japan travel update? A total of 87 international students will be allowed to enter the country in February 2022, out of the approximately 150,000 students still unable to enter the country.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno was quoted in a report as saying selected students – funded by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology – were to graduate during this year.

“We have decided to allow them into the country, taking into account their individual circumstances from a perspective of public interest and urgency,” he told Inside Higher Ed.

Japan is currently experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases. Credit: Philip Fong/AFP

Japan Travel Update: Too Few Students Allowed to Enter the Country

The country’s expelled students were waiting for a positive update on travel to Japan, but to no avail. Japan is currently experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases, and its daily tally of new cases topped 60,000 for the first time on Tuesday.

Inside Higher Ed reported that during a briefing with reporters, an official said the government understands the importance of international students to Japan’s economy and research and will continue to review its approach to other students.

Despite this, more 16,000 people signed a petition demanding that the Japanese government allow international students to return to Japan. Among those who have signed the petition is Davide Rossi, who advocates for international students to return to Japan.

“It’s only 0.06% of the total number of students waiting to enter the country, some of them for two years,” Rossi told Inside Higher Ed. With the travel ban underway in the country, students locked outside the country have faced a myriad of challenges, from the challenges of distance learning to impossible time zone differences.

“The majority of people in Japan can walk out and in, while only a minority are stuck in limbo. If it’s OK for back-to-school to exit and then re-enter Japan, why isn’t it OK for new entry (sic) such as international students, skilled labor, spouses, and people dependent? he was quoted saying.

japan travel ban

International students are waiting for a positive update on travel to Japan. Source: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP

Student mental health, finances, affected

Writing in Kyoto News, Rossi said his online survey conducted for 10 days through Sunday found that 58.4% of 3,115 people surveyed were feeling their mental health. “significantly reduced” and 26.2% “slightly decreased”.

The challenges posed by the border closure have drastically changed the lives of some students. “Altogether, nearly 85% said they have mental health issues,” he told an online press conference, adding that the Japanese government should “stop seeing international students as a major threat. ” for the country’s fight against the pandemic.

The CNA reported that nearly half of Japan’s private four-year universities failed to fill all the places for freshmen in 2021, up 15 percentage points from the previous year. according to an official of the Promotion and Mutual Aid Corporation for Private Schools of Japan. , which represents private educators. The main reason was a drop in the number of Japanese students, but the drop in the number of international students was also felt, the official said.

Alia Gallet-Pandelle, a French student who was supposed to do her research on the Tohoku University campus, previously told Study International, “I was supposed to fly to Japan in October last year. “, she said. “Due to the pandemic, Tohoku University asked me to postpone my program start in April of this year and I naively accepted that things would be back to normal by then.

Italian student Filippo Pedretti said he suffered financial losses and that disappointment to have a year of his studies canceled following the closing of the borders.

It’s not just the lives of international students that have been turned upside down. Businesses said continued border closures could discourage international businesses to maintain a presence in Japan, according to reports.

Japanese government rules are “affecting foreign students and companies that employ foreign workers,” Chairman Shinya Katanozaka, air carrier ANA Holdings, said last week. “I hope the government will balance both effective infection controls and socio-economic activities from a scientific point of view,” he said in a statement following an extreme reduction in flights. international.