National

Poorly run Japanese language schools may lose license under new rules

Kyodo

The government will introduce new rules on running Japanese language schools to eliminate poorly managed facilities and keep educational quality at an adequate level, sources said.

The Justice Ministry will revise the relevant ordinance soon, more clearly stating disqualifying conditions and making its screening more stringent, the sources said Wednesday.

There were 549 approved Japanese language schools in fiscal 2015, which ended in March.

Due to Japan’s declining population, the government aims to promote the establishment of Japanese language schools to attract more highly skilled foreign workers, but inappropriate operations at some schools have surfaced recently.

A man running a Japanese language school in Fukuoka Prefecture was convicted in May of finding part-time jobs for students who worked more hours than allowed by law so they could earn money for school fees.

Under the new rules, an average student attendance rate of below 50 percent or immigration violations by more than half of a school’s students could result in revocation of its operational license, the sources said.

At the same time, the government will relax some criteria for establishing a Japanese language school to meet the target of more foreign students studying in Japan.

There were about 200,000 foreign students in Japan as of May last year, and the government aims to boost that number to 300,000 by 2020.

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