Foreign workers in rural Japan unable to access language schools

TOKYO, Nov 09 (Nikkei) - Foreign workers in 46% of Japanese municipalities do not have sufficient access to Japanese-language classrooms, as rural areas struggle to procure the necessary number of teachers, Nikkei has learned.

According to a report by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, more than 40% of qualified Japanese instructors are located in Tokyo, where the average student to teacher ratio is about 5.2 to 1. In rural Yamagata prefecture, that figure balloons to 49.2 students per teacher, the worst in the country.

As pandemic border restrictions are eased, foreign workers are once again coming to Japan. The strength of support infrastructure, especially Japanese language education, is vital to their success and well-being.

In June 2019, Japan passed the Act on Promotion of Japanese Language Education to ensure sufficient access to Japanese education across the country for foreign workers and their families. However, the reality in many areas indicates this goal is far from being met. ...continue reading

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