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Japan to Step up Screening Student Visas in 2021

According to Yomiuri Shimbun, a major Japanese newspaper published in Tokyo, starting in 2021, the Japanese government will be more strict in reviewing the visa applications of international university students and foreign researchers in order to prevent advanced technology and information from flowing to China.

Japan’s National Security Agency will work with the Ministry of Foreign Affair, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of the Economy, Trade and Industry, and the Ministry of Defense to build a system to share information about suspicious personnel so that overseas diplomats can use the platform for visa approval and issuance. Suspicious visa applicants may be subject to denial. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has set aside a budget of 220 million yen (US$ 2.1 million) for this purpose.

The report refers to the U.S. and Australia’s heightened alert to China’s organized use of students to obtain foreign technology. As Japan is not conducting rigorous visa screening, experts worry that Chinese students who the U.S. turns away may choose to study in Japan.

Source: Central News Agency, October 5, 2020