Keeping foreign kids in the school system


By Seiji Umezawa

As at the end of 2004, Japan had more than 1.97 million registered foreign residents. Of them, Brazilians accounted for 14.5% at 286,500–the third largest nationality group after Koreans and Chinese.

The 1990 revision to the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law grants residents status to the children and grandchildren of Japanese emigrants and their spouses regardless of their occupations. This revision has led to a 20-fold expansion in the population of Brazilian residents in Japan.

Home to many automobile component manufacturers, Kani has a growing community of foreign workers. Of the city’s population of about 100,000 about 6,200 are foreign residents, of whom Brazilians comprise by far the largest proportion at about 4,600.

The city has conducted three surveys since fiscal 2003 to determine attendance of foreign children. The results show that out of an estimated 300 foreign children of school age, between 4 percent and 7 percent did not attend school.

The results prompted the city to launch various measures to encourage its foreign residents to send their children to school. For example, new foreign residents are told about Bara Kyoshitsu Kani when they visit the city hall for registation procedures.
classs like Bara… exclusively prepare foreign students for public school classes.


Source: Yomiuri Shimbun

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