Tokyo starts Japanese lessons for foreign high school students

Foreign children in Tokyo have begun receiving Japanese language lessons to help with their studies.

The Tokyo board of education held a study session on Friday for students who will enter high schools run by the metropolitan government in April.

The nationalities of about 30 participants include those from China, Nepal and Mongolia. They learned simple words such as "this" and "that", as well as phrases for greetings.

Officials noted that since COVID-related restrictions were eased, a growing number of foreign students were seen to have been struggling to keep up with their classes due to low Japanese language aptitude.

A student from Liberia in West Africa says kanji characters are difficult to learn. But he says he wants to improve his Japanese skills to help his family and friends who do not understand the language.

The board of education plans to continue the lessons every Saturday until the end of June.