1. Homepage
  2. Equities
  3. Japan
  4. Japan Exchange
  5. Rakuten, Inc
  6. News
  7. Summary
    4755   JP3967200001

RAKUTEN, INC

(4755)
  Report
SummaryQuotesChartsNewsRatingsCalendarCompanyFinancialsConsensusRevisions 
SummaryMost relevantAll NewsAnalyst Reco.Other languagesPress ReleasesOfficial PublicationsSector newsMarketScreener Strategies

Japan's border crackdown leaves students in limbo and economy in a pinch

01/26/2022 | 01:50am EDT
COVID-19 pandemic, in Tokyo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Two years after Japan locked down its borders to block the coronavirus, some 150,000 foreign students still aren't able to enter the country, left in limbo by a policy that has disrupted lives and caused headaches for universities and businesses.

The absence of the foreign students and researchers is being felt from big laboratories to small, private universities, highlighting the importance of overseas talent - and their tuition fees - as Japan grapples with a shrinking population.

While the policy to stop the virus has proved popular for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, some business leaders have warned about the economic impact, particularly as the labour market is tight.

What is less clear is the longer-term hit on Japan's "soft power" - in particular its academic reputation around the world.

At research institute Riken, geneticist Piero Carninci says he sees the impact first-hand. Japan has a shortage of bioinformatic researchers critical for genomic studies but he has not been able to fill the gap with foreign talent over the past two years.

"My lab, for sure, is slowing down and our centre for this type of analysis. We are struggling," Carninci, a deputy director at Riken, whose prize-winning research in genetics has been cited in 60,000 papers.

"Internationalisation in science is definitely critical, because you don't have all the expertise in the same country."

Many countries sealed borders to keep the coronavirus at bay.

The United States saw international student enrolment drop 43% in the fall of 2020 from the previous year, while some 80,000 immigrant worker visas expired unused last year.

But Japan stands out with the strictest borders among Group of Seven countries, effectively banning all new non-residents since March 2020. Only China, with its zero COVID-19 target, has been more closed off among major economies.

The stakes are high. A government-affiliated study showed Japan last year fell to 10th place globally in publication of noteworthy scientific papers, just behind India. Twenty years ago, it was number four.

'OWN-GOAL'

Nearly half of Japan's four-year private universities failed to fill all places for first-year students in 2021, up 15 percentage points from the previous year, according to an official at the Promotion and Mutual Aid Corporation for Private Schools of Japan, which represents private educators.

While the biggest reason was a drop-off in the number of Japanese students, the decline in foreign students was also felt, the official said.

More than 100 academics and international relations experts signed a letter asking Kishida to reopen borders last week. People shut out have protested outside Japanese embassies and an online petition calling for students and workers to be let in has more than 33,000 signatures.

The government said last week it would make an exception and allow 87 state-sponsored students in.

"It's a giant own-goal for Japan after decades of masterful use of soft power," said Wesley Cheek, a sociologist who recently left Japan for a research post in Britain.

"People like me, who'd usually be applying for grants to continue our research in Japan, just have to take a pass for the foreseeable future."

International students can work part-time in Japan and have traditionally provided a pool of what Japanese refer to as "odd-job" workers in places like convenience stores, in a country long wary of letting foreign workers in.

Even before the coronavirus, there were not enough foreign students to meet labour demand, said Yohei Shibasaki, an international hiring adviser to service and tech companies

He estimated there were about 170,000 students from trade and language schools in Japan before the pandemic, most of whom worked part time.

Hiroshi Mikitani, chief executive of e-commerce group Rakuten, which hires foreign engineers, has said the curbs should be reconsidered as they were not practically effective and were "only a minus for the economy".

The plight of international students, some dreaming for years of study, can be heart-wrenching.

On social media and in interviews, they described paying tuition for classes they took online in the middle of the night, losing scholarships, and months of stress waiting for change.

Some have exhausted savings. Some have given up and gone elsewhere.

Japan is no longer the main destination for study and research in East Asia, with more students now going to South Korea, said Davide Rossi, who runs an agency promoting study abroad.

Sujin Song, 20, a science major from South Korea, has lost her scholarship but tries to do lab work for her classes online. She was blocked again from entering Japan in November.

"I really liked Japan but now I feel betrayed," Song said.

(Reporting by Rocky Swift and Elaine Lies, writing by Rocky Swift; Editing by David Dolan, Robert Birsel)

By Rocky Swift and Elaine Lies


ę Reuters 2022
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
RAKUTEN, INC -5.20% 805 Delayed Quote.-30.50%
RIKEN CORPORATION -0.48% 2272 Delayed Quote.-11.15%
All news about RAKUTEN, INC
05:59aRakuten Group Posts Deeper Q1 Attributable Loss, Reiterates FY22 Revenue Guidance
MT
03:58aUkrainian singer highlights role of music in war against Russia
AQ
05/15Sports schedule for Tuesday, May 17
AQ
05/13Sports schedule for Sunday, May 15
AQ
05/12SoftBank jumps 10%, shaking off record loss
RE
05/11Japan's Orix to end shareholder incentive programme
RE
05/10Sports schedule for Thursday, May 12
AQ
05/09Sports schedule for Wednesday, May 11
AQ
05/08Sports schedule for Tuesday, May 10
AQ
05/04Sports schedule for Friday, May 6
AQ
More news
Analyst Recommendations on RAKUTEN, INC
More recommendations
Financials
Sales 2022 1 929 B 14 942 M 14 942 M
Net income 2022 -177 599 M -1 375 M -1 375 M
Net Debt 2022 38 585 M 299 M 299 M
P/E ratio 2022 -7,49x
Yield 2022 0,56%
Capitalization 1 270 B 9 837 M 9 837 M
EV / Sales 2022 0,68x
EV / Sales 2023 0,48x
Nbr of Employees 28 261
Free-Float 57,4%
Chart RAKUTEN, INC
Duration : Period :
Rakuten, Inc Technical Analysis Chart | 4755 | JP3967200001 | MarketScreener
Technical analysis trends RAKUTEN, INC
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
TrendsBearishBearishBearish
Income Statement Evolution
Consensus
Sell
Buy
Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 16
Last Close Price 802,00 JPY
Average target price 1 294,63 JPY
Spread / Average Target 61,4%
EPS Revisions
Managers and Directors
Hiroshi Mikitani President & Representative Director
Kenji Hirose Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President
Yasufumi Hirai Chief Information & Information Security Officer
Makoto Arima Chief Revenue Officer & Senior Director-Technology
Tareq Amin Chief Technology Officer & Executive VP
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capi. (M$)
RAKUTEN, INC-30.50%10 368
ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LIMITED-25.93%236 473
MEITUAN INC.-25.64%132 025
SHOPIFY INC.-70.78%50 769
PINDUODUO INC.-35.30%47 693
MERCADOLIBRE, INC.-41.04%40 048