The number of foreign students studying in Japan declined for the second year in a row in 1997 to about 51,000, down 3.5 percent from the previous year, according to an Education Ministry survey released Wednesday.

A total of 23,184 foreign students studied at Japanese universities last year and the number also decreased slightly — by 85 to 1,306 — at two-year colleges. Graduate schools, however, received more foreign students, up 77 to 19,856.

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