Foreign researchers have called on the Japanese government to ease its entry restrictions to allow foreign students to re-enter the country.
The researchers who have been studying in Japan for many years made the appeal at an online news conference on Wednesday. They took part from the prefectures of Hiroshima and Fukuoka, and elsewhere.
The government currently denies the entry of foreign nationals from 129 countries and regions. Foreign nationals who have lived in Japan are also not allowed to re-enter unless they have special reasons.
Vice President of Hiroshima University, Carolin Funck, told reporters that although her university has resumed classes, 88 foreign students and two teachers have been unable to re-enter Japan.
She said that their studies have been disrupted because they do not have papers or materials on hand and cannot participate in experiments.
The government plans to allow the entry of business people from countries and regions that have brought coronavirus infections under control.
Funck urged the government to swiftly present a direction on whether it will permit the re-entry of international students who have studied in Japan.
She warned that the entry restriction may discourage foreign students to work in Japan, leading to a long-term shortage of foreign workers.
She called on the government to allow foreign students and researchers to re-enter Japan for the second semester that starts this fall.