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The Association for the Promotion of Japanese Language Education recently convened over a government proposal to increase the number of foreign students in Japan to 300,000 by 2020. That plan is positive not only for students, schools and teachers, but also for Japan as a whole. This increased opening of Japanese education to foreign students is better late than never. The benefits are immense.

Japan was flooded with foreigners in the ’80s and ’90s. Many came on false documents and overstayed their visas. Those problems with foreign students are largely in the past. Nowadays, schools and immigration are better at managing the application process and focusing more on students in higher-level programs. Students these days have often already studied the Japanese language back home. While they might eventually also want to find work in Japan, they know the value of studying first. The programs and courses of study have improved tremendously in recent years.

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