US scholars call on Japan to resume issuing student visas

Hundreds of academics in Japan-related fields called on Tokyo to resume issuing student visas, put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic, as soon as possible, writes Daisuke Nakai for The Asahi Shimbun.

A petition signed by 656 scholars and others at mostly United States universities and research organisations was submitted to the Japanese Consulate General in New York on 21 October. The petition states that the visa suspension “has eroded the global relationships and reputations of Japan’s educational institutions”.

The government ceased issuing student visas in January due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. A limited number of visas have been issued since May, but only for students funded by the Japanese government. That effectively shut out almost all foreign students because 96% of those coming to Japan paid their own way or received private funding prior to the pandemic.
Full report on The Asahi Shimbun site