Japan Data

Number of International Students to Japan Increases for Fifth Consecutive Year


The number of international students to Japan increased for the fifth consecutive year, with a significant rise being seen in enrollment at Japanese language schools and specialized training colleges. The majority of students study at educational institutes in the Kantō area centered on Tokyo.

According to data published last year by the Japan Student Services Organization, as of May 1, 2017, there were 267,042 international students attending Japanese graduate and undergraduate schools, junior colleges, technical colleges, specialized training colleges, and Japanese language schools. This is 11.6% more than the number for the preceding year and marks the fifth consecutive year in which the number of international students to Japan has increased.

Of the 2017 total, men outnumbered women 56.1% to 43.9%. By region, 56.1% of students were enrolled in schools in the Kantō area, centered on Tokyo, 17.0% in the Kansai region, 10.7% in Kyūshū, and 8.2% in the Chūbu region.

Looking back, there was a temporary dip in numbers following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent Fukushima nuclear accident, but the number of international students to Japan has risen every year since 2013. Most pronounced is the increase in international student enrollments in Japanese language schools and vocational colleges, which has now surpassed the number going to Japanese graduate schools and is very close to the enrollments of international students in Japanese four-year universities, junior colleges, and technical colleges.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo: Job fair for international students. © Jiji.)

Tokyo international students Japanese language schools