Japan to subsidize online Japanese lessons

NHK has learned that the Japanese government will subsidize efforts by Japanese-language schools to offer online lessons to students overseas who have difficulty entering the country.

Japan eased anti-coronavirus entry restrictions earlier this month. It is allowing foreign business travelers, students and technical trainees to enter on the condition that their firms or schools supervise their activities. But many students have still not been able to visit Japan due to a cap on the daily number of arrivals from abroad.

The Agency for Cultural Affairs therefore decided to promote online lessons for students who want to attend Japanese-language schools in Japan but cannot enter the country. It hopes this will help keep them interested in studying in Japan.

The agency plans to provide up to 10 million yen, or around 86,700 dollars, each to roughly 400 projects. The money will help fund the training of teachers, the development of teaching materials, and the borrowing of monitors, personal computers and other necessary equipment.

The agency plans to allocate about 35.5 million dollars for the subsidy program and incorporate the amount into a supplementary budget for the current fiscal year that ends in March. It says this will be the first financial assistance of its kind.

The agency says it will analyze the effectiveness of the program.

It says that as of September, some 90,000 people overseas were waiting to enter Japan to study at Japanese-language schools.