Japan will introduce a new national accreditation system for Japanese-language schools from April in an effort to ensure their quality meets the needs of the country's growing foreign population.

Under the new system, Japanese-language schools will have to meet certain requirements on staffing and curriculum to receive the accreditation, while instructors at accredited schools will need to obtain new national qualifications for teaching Japanese.

The changes come as the number of foreign nationals residing in Japan hit a record high of over 3.4 million in 2023. Despite there being some 220,000 Japanese learners as of fiscal 2022, standards among the around 2,700 Japanese-language schools in Japan vary greatly.