The education ministry urged local governments Monday to promote the school enrollment of foreign students, and to cooperate in the country’s planned April investigation regarding their enrollment.

The urging comes at a time before the arrival of a large number of foreign workers after the new visa system starts in April.

The ministry currently has no figures for the number of elementary- and junior-high-school-aged foreign children who are registered as residents and yet not enrolled in school. According to the Mainichi Shimbun, there are more than 16,000 foreign children who have not been confirmed as enrollees by the municipalities in which they reside.

“Expecting an influx of foreign workers from this April, the ministry considers this to be a good time to conduct research,” a

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