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Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Japan's foreign students complain Olympians given priority entry

With classes set to start, visas still held up by state of emergency

A nearly empty Narita Airport, and foreign students at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's expected decision later this week on whether to lift or extend the COVID-19 state of emergency in Greater Tokyo will determine the fate of the postponed Summer Olympics in July. Less noticed, perhaps, is that it will also affect the futures of hundreds of international students due to start at Japanese universities on April 1.

Foreign students who spoke with Nikkei Asia complained of a double standard. Japan is taking precautions to receive upward of 11,000 athletes from around the world with minimal public health risk this summer. Nikkei reported last week that the government is looking to limit international arrivals to 2,000 people per day.

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