Japanese language school decertified for abuse of Vietnamese student

Japan’s immigration agency on Wednesday withdrew a Japanese language school’s certification after discovering that a staff member had physically detained a Vietnamese student last October.

According to the Japan Immigration Services Agency, the staff member at the Nishinihon International Institute of Education in the southwestern city of Fukuoka held the student for several hours at the using a chain and padlock wrapped around his belt.

The building that houses the Nishinihon International Education Institute in Fukuoka, Japan is pictured on September 7, 2022. (Kyodo)

The incident arose following a disagreement between the school and the man in his twenties over his wish to change schools.

This is the first time the agency has removed a language school from its list of approved establishments since 2016, when stricter regulations were enforced.

With the school now unable to accept foreign students for five years, the agency plans to encourage the approximately 630 students currently enrolled to move elsewhere.

The school operator’s press officer said he was “currently investigating” the situation and could not comment further.

Even after returning to his dormitory, the Vietnamese was forbidden to leave his room.

The school employee who held the man stood guard outside his room until the next morning to prevent him from escaping.

The school admitted to withholding the pupil but described the behavior of its member of staff as “a prank without bad intentions”. The staff member in question has already resigned.

Sylvester L. Goldfarb