Chinese university to open Tokyo branch in April


A major university based in Beijing will open a campus in Tokyo in April, paving the way for Japanese and other students to earn a Chinese degree without studying in China.

The opening of Beijing Language and Culture University’s Tokyo college in the Ikebukuro district aims to tap Japan’s strong interest in learning Chinese, school officials said.

The Tokyo campus, which will target Japanese and non-Japanese high school graduates and exchange students in Japan, is the university’s second overseas branch, following one in Bangkok.

The officials said the university chose to open a Japan branch because it wanted to tap the Japanese market and offer the same level of education as the main campus at a time when Japanese enrollment in China is declining.

Despite increased economic exchanges between the two countries, there are concerns the number of Japanese students in China is declining due to its escalating industrial pollution problems and because many prefer to stay in Japan to search for jobs.

Other Chinese universities have set up campuses in Japan, including Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which opened a branch in Kobe, but this is the first time a university directly under the supervision of the Chinese Education Ministry has opened one, the officials said.

Beijing Language and Culture University’s Tokyo campus will offer enrollment in April and September, the same times when many schools abroad start their academic years, with the number of students limited to 150.

The Tokyo branch will offer a course on business communication in Chinese and English. It eventually plans to increase the number of courses to six in fiscal 2016, including a language course and a course on Chinese trade and economics. It hopes to see its graduates find work at trading houses and at firms that are helping Japanese companies set up overseas businesses, the officials said.

Subaru Ishikawa, an 18-year-old resident of Saitama Prefecture who plans to enroll, said: “I hope to have opportunities to speak in English and Chinese by learning together with other foreign students. I want to work abroad in the future.”

Beijing Language and Culture University, which designed the Chinese language proficiency test, or HSK, has accepted more than 150,000 foreign students so far.