According to the Japan Student Services Organisation, 267,042 international students attended different Japanese educational institutions in 2017. This includes undergraduate and graduate schools, junior colleges, specialized training colleges, technical colleges and language schools.

Year Number of International Students in Japan
2017 267,042
2016 239,287
2015 208,379
2014 184,155

There was an 11.6% increase in the number of students coming to Japan between 2016 and 2017, representing the fifth consecutive year in which the number of international students coming to Japan.

The international students who came in 2017 have brought Japan closer to its goal of achieving the “300,000 Foreign Students Plan” Campaign, which began in 2008 with the aim of doubling the number of foreign academics studying in Japan.

While this number is expected to continue to increase over the coming years, the number of students remaining in Japan after graduation is not as optimistic.

In 2016, only one third of the international students enrolled at a Japanese university stayed to live and work in the country after graduation. Currently, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is working with other agencies to try to increase this number by helping students who hope to work in Japan after graduation by providing expanded residency options of up to one year.

This initiative aims to allow international students more time to job hunt and familiarize themselves with the Japanese job market so that they can continue to work and live in Japan.