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Economy

Foreign students grow in universities outside Japan's big cities

Boon to schools in areas hit by population decline

Students from abroad make up about half the enrollment at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Japan's Oita Prefecture. (Photo by Mitsunori Narabu)
Students from abroad make up about half the enrollment at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Japan's Oita Prefecture. (Photo by Mitsunori Narabu)

TOKYO -- Study-abroad students made up more than 5% of those enrolled in Japanese higher-education institutions in rural areas for the first time last year, Nikkei has learned.

The 39 prefectures outside of the three major urban areas of Tokyo, Osaka and Aichi hosted a total of 73,320 foreign students in 2018, or 5.4% of all students, up 0.5 percentage point from the prior year. Six prefectures boasted higher proportions of foreign students than Tokyo's 7%.

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