• Kyodo

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Nepal will send older people to be educated and trained in Japan in an effort to solve the problem of Nepalese students disappearing as illegal immigrants after studying in the country, a Nepalese government official said Tuesday.

Some 17 Nepalese students are known to have disappeared in Japan following the completion of their studies, Durganath Dahal of the Foreign Cooperation Coordination Division of the Nepalese Finance Ministry said.

“These students, who went to study under scholarship assistance provided by the Japanese government, are now believed to be illegally settling in that country,” he said.

A high-level Japanese economic consultation team that visited Nepal recently, raised the issue with Nepalese officials and indicated that the number of student scholarships given to Nepal by Japan could be reduced.

As a measure to arrest the trend, older, more mature people will be given preference in the scholarship selection process, Dahal said.

Nepal will also ask Japan to urge Japanese citizens to refuse jobs to Nepalese people living in the country without proper visas, he said.

Other measures being considered include the mandatory signing of a bond whereby prospective students promise to pay back the scholarship money, as well as the refusal of the Nepalese Embassy in Tokyo to extend the terms of passports of Nepalese who have completed their study or training, he said.

Over the past 20 years, hundreds of Nepalese in Japan — including students, athletes, factory workers and officials — have disappeared and illegally settled in the country, according to an official of the Nepal-Japan Friendship and Culture Organization.

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