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Japan's foreign students struggle to stay and study amid pandemic

Vanishing part-time jobs upends government strategy to recruit young talent

The number of foreign students in Japan has increased to 310,000 in 2019, from 164,000 in 2011. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

TOKYO -- A day after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency on April 7, Maya was furloughed by her employer.

Maya, a fourth-year university student from Nepal who did not want to give her real name, had been counting on her part-time restaurant job to fund her studies. Her employer had initially said the restaurant would resume operations on May 7, a day after the government was meant to lift the state of emergency. But Abe has now extended that to May 31 and Maya has been told that she will be working fewer hours than before when she returns.

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