The Liaison Council of Research Institutes in Tsukuba Science City is made up of representatives from all of the government research institutes and a large percentage of the private institutes operating in Tsukuba. The purpose of this entity is to discuss common issues and to make coordinated efforts in dealing with such issues.
As an "international city" focusing primarily on science and technology, Tsukuba has been attracting increasing numbers of foreign researchers. In order to understand the trends and to help governmental and private agencies dealing with future development, the Liaison Council has been doing surveys for the several years to gather statistics on such things as researchers' age, family status, living conditions, financial arrangements, countries of origin, etc.
The statistics for the 1994 fiscal year (April '94 through March '95) were released in a 65 page report last October. Several of the tables indicating the most significant trends in recent years are shown on page 2. Among the most significant trends is the steady increase in the percentage of foreign researchers in their 30's and 40's (along with actual decreases in the numbers of those in their 20's or 60's), the recent sharp increase in the numbers of researchers bringing their families to Japan with them, and a tendency towards longer stays in Japan. Likewise, the total number of foreign researchers and students has continued to swell, with a total of 3047 such persons residing in Tsukuba for at least 2 weeks during fiscal 1994.
These tendencies have been reflected in the number of foreign children enrolled in local public schools (not including kindergartens), which now stands at well over twice what is was in 1989. Roughly 80% of these children are in elementary school and the vast majority attend just a few of the schools located in the center of the city. In fact, as of Feb. 1, 1995, 55 of the total 169 foreign children attending public elementary schools in Tsukuba attended Azuma Elementary School, with Ninomiya (21), Takezono Nishi (16), Matsushiro (14), Takezono Higashi (11) and Teshirogi Minami (10) well behind. Not included in these numbers are, of course, a significant number of bicultural children with one Japanese and one foreign parent.
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