A few years ago, Japan's efforts to increase international students seemed to have run into difficulties. Many international students were actually more interested in working and saving money than they were in studying. Some, it was alleged, were even involved in such dubious jobs as nightclub hostesses and prostitution.
The total seemed to have hit a plateau at around 120,000 and actually declined some. However, oversight of the students has improved--most are here to study Japanese or receive training in Japanese. And the number is now increasing over 5% per year, reaching a total last year of over 130,000. Most international students are from China, S. Korea, and Taiwan. SE Asia is well represented by increasing numbers from Vietnam and Malaysia. Most Malaysians come to do four-year and even graduate degrees.
International Students in Japan 2009 Japanese
132,720 international students in Japan as of May 1, 2009, 7.2% up from last year.
Number of international students by institutional type
University (undergraduate)/Junior college/
College of technology
Professional training college
University preparatory course
5 major countries/regions of origin
Republic of Korea