Vietnamese among 700 foreign students missing in Japan

By Nguyen Quy   March 19, 2019 | 05:50 pm PT
Vietnamese among 700 foreign students missing in Japan
Vietnamese who live in Japan celebrate Vietnamese New Year at a Catholic Church in Kawaguchi, near Tokyo, Japan, February 10, 2019. Photo by Reuters/Issei Kato
Japanese authorities are investigating the disappearance of 700 foreign students at a local university since last year.

The Tokyo University of Social Welfare recently announced that its 700 foreign students, including those from Vietnam, China and Nepal have stopped attending classes and lost contact with the school since last April, the Japan Times reported Monday.

Many of them have overstayed their visas and been staying in Japan illegally, prompting the Japanese government to open an investigation to track them down.

The group of missing students enrolled in the university as researchers for the current academic year, which ends later this month. They have been removed from the university’s student profile.

In 2017, the Justice Ministry said dozens of foreign students registered with the university were found to be illegally staying in Japan even after their visas had expired.

According to Japan’s Immigration Department, Vietnam has surpassed China to become the largest group of technical intern trainees in the country, with around 127,000 in 2017.

But Vietnamese nationals also accounted for almost half of the foreign residents whose residency rights were revoked in Japan in 2017, according to the report from the Japan’s Justice Ministry in October last year. Many of them were found illegally staying in Japan after graduation.

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