As a measure against the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, from November 30 last year, the new entry into Japan of foreign nationals, including international students, was suspended, other than those foreign nationals under special circumstances. Since then, in response to the earnest requests from international students who want to study in Japan, the views of universities, professional training colleges, Japanese language education institutions and other educational institutions, and the various voices within and outside Japan, I have been making all efforts for the unimpeded entry of foreign nationals as soon as possible.

At this time, Prime Minister Kishida Fumio announced new border measures that will allow the new entry into Japan of foreign nationals other than tourists, shorten the self-isolation period under the supervision of universities, etc., and raise the upper limit on the number of foreigners permitted to enter Japan each day. I believe that these measures will be the first step for having international students enter Japan.

Although I think that some time will still be needed for all international students to come to Japan, we are now in the important process of curbing COVID infections and resuming step by step the international movement of people. I sincerely hope for your understanding and cooperation during this period.

We at MEXT are doing our utmost to prepare an environment where we can welcome you safely and securely by taking all necessary COVID countermeasures in cooperation with universities. We are focused on ensuring that all of the international students who have been patiently waiting for over two years to study in Japan and those who are hoping to start the new semester in Japan will be able to enter Japan as soon as possible and continuously, and at the same time, we are aiming to open the doors to many more international students.

Suematsu Shinsuke
Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan
February, 21, 2022