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.