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November 12, 2003

Foreign Students Exceed 100,000

According to figures released by the education ministry yesterday, the number of foreign students studying in Japan is close to 110,000. The number has finally exceeded the 100,000 target set by the government in 1983, thanks to an increase of more than 14% in the last year. It includes a rapid increase in Chinese students, who make up over 60% of the total. Altogether, Asians make up 93.2% of the total. Among non-Asian students, the largest number - 1,310 - came from the US. Japan's declining birthrate makes attracting foreign students a necessity for many universities and colleges. But perceived increases in crime and visa violations by students means that in future the government will focus on the quality rather than quantity of students.

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