More than 650 academics and students from universities in Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries on Thursday called on the Japanese government to resume issuing student and researcher visas, a process currently suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A group of academics, professionals and students led by Paul Hastings, executive director of the Japan ICU Foundation, submitted a petition to Kanji Yamanouchi, Japanese consul general in New York, warning that the ban on new visas "has eroded the global relationships and reputations of Japan's educational institutions."

"While Japan has started sending its students and researchers abroad, the country does not receive students and researchers. The lack of reciprocity damages carefully cultivated partnerships" between Japanese universities and schools in other countries, the petition said.