Ministries Probe 700 Missing Foreign Students

Ministries probe 700 missing foreign students

Japan's government has investigated a university in Tokyo where hundreds of foreign students remain unaccounted for.

Officials from the education and justice ministries on Tuesday inspected the offices at Tokyo University and Graduate School of Social Welfare's campus in Kita ward.

The whereabouts of about 700 students enrolled there for the 2018 school year are unknown. They are from countries including Vietnam, Nepal and Myanmar.

Education ministry officials say they plan to ask university staff about the enrollment situation. They will also confirm whether lecture plans submitted to the government were appropriate.

The university says all the students came from Japanese language schools in Japan. It says they were registered as researchers instead of regular students because their language abilities were insufficient. It says it has expelled all the students.

Education Minister Masahiko Shibayama says some universities may have accepted foreign students who don't have sufficient language skills as a business to extend their resident status in Japan.

Shibayama said the education and justice ministries will carefully look into the problem and issue instructions for necessary improvements.

He added he will work with prefectural governments that have jurisdiction over language and technical schools to learn how this situation occurred.