Kokutai National Sports Festival to Be Almost Completely Opened to Foreigners

Daily Sports Presents!

It was announced on Mar. 2nd that the restrictions on qualifications for participation in the Kokutai, Japan’s national sports festival, will be greatly relaxed for students of Korean schools in Japan, Japanese-Brazilians, and other players and coaches with foreign citizenship to take, opening the door for their participation. The Japan Amateur Sports Association (JASA) will make the official decision at a Kokutai Committee meeting on Mar. 4. The changes are expected to be implemented in next years combined Kokutai in Hyogo Prefecture.

Under current regulation Japanese citizenship is a prerequisite for participation in the Kokutai, and limited to foreign students of Japan Basic Education Law Clause 1-defined schools (Clause 1 Schools) who are (1) entered in such high schools or colleges, (2) have been an exchange student of such high schools or colleges for more than 1 year, or (3) graduated from such high schools or colleges.

The revision to rules regarding players and coaches of foreign nationalities will admit long-term residents (as defined by the Immigration Law) as participants, treating them in the same way as Japanese citizens. This change will allow the participation of students of Korean and other ethnic and international schools, defined as “various schools” the same as preparatory schools in the Basic Education Law.

International students at Japanese universities, heretofore barred from participating, will be allowed in if they have lived in Japan continuously for 3 years.

The National High School Sports Federation has been accepting non-Clause 1 school students since 1994.

My Comment: Well, it’s about time. The government has also recently decided to allow graduates of International Universities apply to Japanese grad school. Good going, guys!