Meiji University looks to aid foreign students hit by soaring yen

by Reiji Yoshida

The recent surge in the yen’s value has not only hit Japan’s export companies hard, but also drastically affected the finances of foreign students living in the country, many of whom have seen the value of their own nation’s currency plummet amid the global financial crisis.

In response to the economic crisis, Meiji University in Tokyo said Thursday it will provide ¥30,000 in January to every one of the 664 privately financed overseas graduate and undergraduate students studying at the university.

The total budget of the program will total around ¥20 million, which will be fully covered through donations from the university’s alumni association, the university said.

“This is a critical, unprecedented situation. During a meeting Saturday, the alumni association made a decision to provide the money to help foreign students,” said Kiyotaka Hirose, a university employee in charge of the program, noting many students are having a hard time finding jobs.