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Language student held in chains by school staff

A Japanese language school has been kicked off the government scheme for enrolling would-be migrants after a member of staff used chains to forcibly restrain a student from switching to another course provider.

The student, believed to be a Vietnamese man in his 20s, was held for several hours at Nishinihon International Education Institute in Fukuoka with a chain and padlock attached to his belt, according to the Immigration Services of Japan. He was later taken back to his dormitory where the same staff member stood guard to make sure he didn’t leave.

The school has admitted the incident took place, according to reports in the local press, but described it as a “prank without bad intentions”.

The school is now banned from enrolling foreign students for five years and removed from the list of approved providers; the first time, reportedly, that the government has taken such stringent action. The 630 foreign students enrolled in the school have been advised to find another course provider.

The number of schools enrolling students from neighbouring countries who wish to work in Japan has grown enormously in recent years, as the country, which is struggling with the effects of an ageing population, has reached out to foreign migrants to fill low-paid job vacancies, on the condition that they learn the language. Students are allowed to work part-time while they’re studying and can apply for full-time employment when they have achieved the required language level.

Image courtesy of Alexander Fox | PlaNet Fox from Pixabay
Melanie Butler
Melanie Butler
Melanie started teaching EFL in Iran in 1975. She worked for the BBC World Service, Pearson/Longman and MET magazine before taking over at the Gazette in 1987 and also launching Study Travel magazine. Educated in ten schools in seven countries, she speaks fluent French and Spanish and rather rusty Italian.
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