82 foreign students finally enroll in language school in Japan after COVID delays

This photo shows the entrance ceremony for international students at Mirai no Mori Gakuen, a Japanese language school in Sendai, on April 19, 2022. (Mainichi/Yudai Hiraka)

SENDAI – Eighty-two students from nine countries who attended the entrance ceremony for a Japanese language school in this northeastern Japanese city on April 19 were relieved to “finally come to Japan” after the relaxation of strict border control measures against the coronavirus in the spring.

The Japanese government suspended the entry of foreigners in principle in January 2021. The restrictions were eased in November of the same year, but were suspended again at the end of the same month due to the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus. It wasn’t until March 2022 that the ban was finally lifted for foreign students and others to come to Japan. On April 10, the upper limit for the number of visitors to Japan was lowered from 7,000 to 10,000 per day.

At Mirai no Mori Gakuen, a Japanese language school in Sendai, about 10 students had to drop out due to entry restrictions. New students from India, Vietnam and other countries celebrated with each other after waiting a long time due to the coronavirus pandemic, but were glad they hadn’t given up.

School principal Toru Yuki addressed the students, “Please study hard every day to achieve your dreams.

Vishal Sharma, 27, from India, had delayed his arrival in Japan for nearly two years due to visa restrictions in his home country, in addition to Japan’s border control measures. “I’m very happy because I’ve been preparing for four years. I’m interested in Japanese architecture. I want to study Japanese very hard,” he said.

Tohoku University in Sendai and Iwate University in Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture have also resumed accepting privately funded international students since March, following the easing of student restrictions. entrance.

(Japanese original by Yudai Hiraka, Sendai Bureau)

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