Japan's Justice Ministry plans to set tougher standards for establishing language schools for foreign students studying Japanese. The number of such schools in the country has almost doubled over the past 10 years.
The Immigration Agency says the figure now stands at 749, and has been on the rise since the government announced about a decade ago a plan to increase the number of foreign students to 300,000.
The current standards include how many class hours the schools provide and how many teachers they have.
Companies are allowed to set up new schools if they meets those requirements. Some firms are believed to be using students from their schools as workers at the factories they also operate.
The ministry plans to tighten the standards as soon as possible. That includes requiring schools to make public its students' Japanese proficiency test pass rates.
The Association for the Promotion of Japanese Language Education says there are schools that are well-managed and those that are not. It adds that it is necessary to have a mechanism to check schools regularly.