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There were 95,550 foreign students in Japan as of May 1, up 21 percent from a year earlier, the education ministry said Friday.

The number includes foreign students at universities and vocational schools, among other institutions, according to a survey by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry.

The figure brings Japan nearer to a government goal set in 1983 of accommodating 100,000 foreign students by 2000.

Some 58,533 of the students were Chinese, accounting for the largest portion of the foreign student population, at 61 percent, up 33 percent from a year earlier. South Koreans were next, at 15,846.

The University of Tokyo registered the largest number of foreign students, with 2,000, followed by Josei International University, with 1,371.

Foreign students at vocational schools increased 39 percent from a year earlier to 17,173, the survey shows.

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