Three university co-ops in Japan to stop using ‘foreign students allowed’ sign for housing


Cooperatives at three universities in western Japan plan to stop using signs in student housing guides that indicate they will allow non-Japanese to live there.

The co-ops at Kyoto University, Doshisha University and Ritsumeikan University said the decision was made after the Anti Racism Information Center, a student association, criticized the practice as discriminatory.

Such labeling could prompt discrimination against foreign students, the co-ops said.

According to the Kyoto University cooperative, annual apartment guides have used the kanji ryu, meaning foreign student, for more than a decade to indicate that a landlord is willing to rent to non-Japanese.

Housing units without the mark are not necessarily off-limits to non-Japanese, the Kyoto co-op said, adding that further efforts must be made with local authorities to offer better accommodations to foreign students.

  • Liars N. Fools

    I don’t get it. A sign that says a housing coop will accept foreign students is racist. Is it better to have no sign? Is this a shaming tool against coops that do not have similar signs because they do not in fact “allow” foreign students?

    This is sort of strange for Ritsumeikan and Doshisha, which in my experience, like having lots of foreign students to help their bottom line as private universities.

    I think it better to leave 留 things as they were.

  • That Scottish Guy

    Very simple – these universities should flat-out refuse to deal with any company or landlord which refuses to treat Japanese and foreign students equally.

    Pretty sure these organizations will change their tune very quickly when it starts to hurt the bottom line.