|At a Japanese language class for Vietnamese workers
Chinese students came first in the list at 10,886, while Nepalese and Republic of Korea nationals secured the third and four places at 2,934 and 1,575, respectively.
Foreign students in Japan are required to change their residence status if they want to work in the country after graduating from universities or completing vocational schools.
The number of foreign alumni granted the change increased in eight consecutive years to reach 25,942 last year, up 3,523 from 2017 and marking a record high since data collection began in 1992.
More than 93 percent of the students obtained the Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International services visa. This group includes interpreters and IT engineers.
Since April 2019, the Japanese Government launched a new "specified skills" working visa system, which introduces two new categories that allow foreign workers to be employed in 14 types of jobs, including nursing care and construction – which face serious manpower shortages, to remain in the country for up to five years.
In the next five years, Japan expects to receive about 345,500 foreign workers.