Statement from President of JANU “Dear Citizens, Regarding the Acceptance of Promising International Students (Request)” (February 7)

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak that began the year before last, national universities have been implementing emergency relief funds and food aid programs to support students, developing distance learning and physical and mental care programs to support students’ academic activities, setting up “COVID-19 aftercare outpatient clinics” and COVID-19 vaccine centers for not only university faculty, staff, and students, but also the neighborhood, research activities for virus countermeasures such as the simulation of virus droplet countermeasures using the supercomputer “Fugaku.” In addition to the efforts of individual universities, we have contributed to many people by responding to COVID-19 as a national and regional center.


Under such circumstances, the problems related to international students are becoming larger and larger day by day. Some students have been enrolled in Japan two years ago and are still waiting for the opportunity to come to Japan, taking remote classes. Some students could not wait to come to Japan and have changed their study destination to another country. International students are human resources who will support the future of Japan and other countries. It is also essential from the perspective of soft diplomacy to increase the number of people around the world who have an attachment to Japan. In fact, many international students who have become attached to Japan are appointed to important positions after returning to their home countries. It is not uncommon for them to support Japan from their countries. In addition, studying with international students from all over the world has a positive impact on Japanese students in many ways.


Currently, as an emergency preventive measure, the Japanese government has issued a policy to suspend the entry of new foreign nationals from all countries and regions, and national universities comply with this policy. A certain amount of easing of entry has been proposed for MEXT scholarship international students. When national universities have accepted some of them, they have maintained a strict management system, such as providing guidance to those students before they arrive in Japan and taking care of them after their arrival.


As is the case with MEXT scholarship international students, I hope that this measure to ease entry into Japan will also apply to the many privately-financed international students on the waiting list. In such a case, we will continue to take responsibility for each international student to control the spread of COVID-19 infection through the cooperation of individual universities (and their affiliated hospitals) and the national universities as a whole, in line with the national policy. For example, concerning management and supervision during the designated waiting period, we will limit the number of airports of entry, use special buses for transportation from the airports, keep students in designated hotels, and take appropriate care of them, including daily temperature checks, and conduct PCR tests during and on the last day of the waiting period (including prompt and appropriate isolation measures in case that a positive result is found). We will implement such strict management and supervision.


I understand that some people are concerned about foreign nationals coming to Japan during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, human resources development for the future must continue without interruption. I sincerely ask for your understanding in this matter.



February 7, 2022


NAGATA Kyosuke

President of the Japan Association of National Universities (JANU)