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Govt to allow JETs, JICA trainees to enter Japan

  • August 28, 2020
  • , The Japan News , 4:05 p.m.
  • English Press

The government intends to soon allow foreign assistant language teachers, and also trainees from developing countries invited by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), to enter Japan despite the strict border control measures put in place to manage COVID-19.


Judging that education in Japan and aid to developing nations has a high benefit in the public interest, the government will accept such individuals by making exceptions to its containment measures at ports and airports.


Assistant langauge teachers (ALTs), invited through the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme, are assigned to public elementary, junior high and high schools nationwide. Each summer, some ALTs return home and are replaced by newly invited participants who typically have just graduated from universities overseas.


Due to the continued denial of entries to Japan this year, however, the government had not yet formed a clear view on whether the about 2,000 people it planned to invite for the program in September would be able to enter Japan.


The government had been considering extending the stays of about 500 ALTs who were otherwise scheduled to return home, but that would still have left about 1,500 vacancies unfilled.


As for the JICA trainee program, it is designed to help young people from developing countries acquire skills and knowledge at graduate schools and other institutions in Japan to contribute to the development of their home countries, but the government did not accept any trainees this spring.


The government now plans to accept about 1,200 students for the autumn enrollment period.


The government is also graduallly accepting foriegn students whose tuition fees and other expenses it will pay for. It started allowing such students from Mongolia to enter Japan on Monday.

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