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Tsukuba: Gaijin Capital Of Japan

Author: Author Unknown, Issue: June 1987, Topic: Tsukuba

Tsukuba Science City, which is not really a municipality, but a glob of six towns and villages, boasts a Wednesday evening population of about 60,000 people in the central Gakuen chiku area.

This population, composed largely of students, scientists, teachers and their families, also includes between 1,500 and 1,800 foreign citizens (the figure varies seasonally). The largest two groups, making up well over half the total, are Chinese and Korean citizens, followed by the Philippines, the United States, Canada, Australia, and Thailand.

The largest categories of gaijin are the international students and staff at the universities, with over a third of the total. The next largest concentration are the more than 200 visiting researchers at the Japan International Cooperation Agency. University-related internationals stay at Tsukuba an average of two years, with JICA participants staying and average of eight months. In addition to these groups, other categories include researchers (the largest group being related to the AMY Project at the High Energy Physics Laboratory), international spouses of Japanese citizens, and about a dozen Christian missionaries.

With foreign residents making up almost 3% of its residents, Tsukuba far outranks such "cosmopolitan" centers as Kobe, Yokohama, and Mitaka.

It is hoped that schools, markets, and organizations at Tsukuba will broaded their vision to server this ever-expanding and important element of our community.

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