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With summer’s heat blanketing Japan and school out, it’s study-abroad season for those students lucky enough to escape the humidity.

Depending on how you look at study-abroad statistics, the airliners flying students overseas are either half-full or half-empty. Government pamphlets show that increasing numbers of Japanese are going abroad to study. However, a close look at the data reveals that looser definitions are inflating the numbers — and that most students aren’t spending much time overseas anyway.

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