Gov't inspects scandal-hit Yamagata college.
(EDS: CHANGING DATELINE, UPDATING WITH ADDITIONAL DETAILS)
Education ministry officials on Thursday inspected a junior college in Yamagata Prefecture that caters to Chinese students following reports of truancy and excessive admissions, ministry officials said.
About 10 officials from the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry, including foreign students division head Hiroshi Tsuboi, visited Sakata Junior College in northeastern Japan because it had not satisfied them in earlier questioning over scholarships and admissions, they said.
The school had also failed to submit documents they had repeatedly requested, the officials said, adding it is unusual for the ministry to conduct an on-site inspection.
School officials were questioned on five occasions in Tokyo, but failed to satisfy the ministry with their answers, they said, adding certain documents, such as paperwork concerning scholarships, could only be checked at the college's headquarters.
The officials said they heard the school's explanations on why it failed to give foreign students scholarship funds from the Association of International Education, Japan (AIEJ), which joined the inspection Thursday.
They also asked for scholarship receipts and a list of scholarship recipients.
Ministry officials said they had also questioned both the college and Chinese students about its finding that the school accepted more foreign students than it was allowed, as well as its treatment of them.
Chinese Embassy personnel recently inspected classes at the school. Their visit came after Japanese immigration authorities searched it last December to check on the status of about 200 Chinese students living in Tokyo and its vicinity to verify whether they were attending class.
In December last year, the college urged about 200 Chinese students registered for courses at its Tokyo campus to return to Sakata following the closure of the Tokyo campus. But the majority of them are apparently still living in the capital area and some were found to be working.
The two-year college caters mainly to students from China who apply for Japanese visas to study management.
Due to the controversy, the Sendai Regional Immigration Bureau decided not to issue student visas to 60 Chinese who were planning to enroll there this spring.