While the government stumbles around with new educational policies, a quiet revolution in high schools has already happened. The number of foreign students enrolled in Japanese high schools has hit an all-time high of nearly 2,000, with a new peak of over 100 schools nationwide now instructing children of international backgrounds. Japanese education is internationalizing whether the Education Ministry is ready or not.

The number of schools that continue to operate while waiting for government authorization as school entities is even larger than 100; the number of students enrolled there are not yet counted. Without full-fledged official recognition, these schools continue the difficult task of educating young people on strained budgets. The lack of support from the government seems an almost willful denial of educational and social realities. The number of schools that continue to teach “newcomer” children, foreign exchange students and students with various special needs will only continue to increase.

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