May 16, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

International students hoping to work for a start-up or create their own in Japan may be eligible to receive help from the Japanese government.

How? Residency options.

Currently, recent graduates who aspire to business ownership in Japan cannot gain residency while preparing to launch their business, except in certain zones with "heavy documentation" from their Japanese school. 

The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, in conjunction with other agencies, aim to swing open the residency doors for entrepreneurs looking to build businesses in Japan. The goal? To keep skilled and creative international graduates in the country. 

Why now? The Japan Student Services Organization reported that the country hosted 267,042 students in 2017, an increase of about 60 percent in the past five years.

About a third stay in the country to work after they graduate, and the rest leave, taking their ideas and start-ups with them.

The Japanese government wants to increase that proportion to half and bring new talent to the country. 

In a recent article in the Nikkei Asian Review, a reliable source at a private Japanese university reported that "it's difficult to simultaneously prepare for students' studies and entrepreneurship."

This new program helps to fix that.

Those international graduates who want to stay in Japan and start a business need to have the required documentation, school records, business plans, letters of support, and evidence of funding.

The new program will also change from a six month period to a one year period to allow international graduates to stay in the country while thye prepare to apply for residency and start-up status.

Learn more about studying in Japan

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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