TOKYO - The government will enable culinary school students from abroad to stay on in Japan after graduation for two years if they take up apprenticeships at Japanese restaurants.
Under the stay conditions to be eased from Friday, the school and the host restaurant will have to jointly work out an internship program for approval by the agriculture ministry. Without such a program, the student would have to leave Japan after finishing school.
If approved, the student's visa status would be switched to the "designated activities" category that includes "working holiday" programs.
One restaurant may accept up to two graduates.
Once the training is complete, the nonprofit Organization to Promote Japanese Restaurants Abroad will help the graduates find jobs in their home countries using its network of Japanese restaurants overseas.
With the recent addition of traditional Japanese cuisine to UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list, the government hopes that the students will help promote Japanese cuisine around the world.