Regarding the July 22 article “Japan to dial back entry restrictions on some foreign residents,” first and foremost, I would want to thank The Japan Times for prompt updates about Japan for us English speakers; your daily reports of what is happening inside Japan gives us an inside look into the current events and developments.
As an avid reader, I am writing this to raise an issue that has long been in the back burner of Japanese media and this is regarding the incoming international students like I am who are in limbo due to the pandemic. As an incoming education ministry Ph.D. scholar stuck in my home country, we felt neglected by the school and the government since I should have started in April but had to be enrolled as a research student. Since we are not able to access any aid or stipend, we are left to our own devices to fund our daily sustenance given that many of us have already resigned from our work in March in anticipation of the April intake.
With dwindling finances, we are fearful that we may not have enough savings once travel restrictions for international students are lifted. Sadly, many are already entertaining the thought of dropping out due to the lack of funds. As the days go by, so does our hope of studying in Japan, being thrown in the predicament of working for our families and give up our dreams or maintain our resolve in hopes of somehow making it through. Though I am deeply thankful for the updates and communication with our graduate school, I hope that we won't be forgotten by the Japanese government. I am excited to be part of such an esteemed university and scholastic tradition; I remain optimistic that hope could be extended to us who badly need assistance in this time of the pandemic.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.