From its exquisite cuisine to its extraordinary educational system, the reasons to study in Japan go on and on. Given the country’s many allures, it’s hardly surprising that aspiring international students are catching on -- in a big way. Here’s a closer look at the country’s skyrocketing international enrollments, as recently reported by the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO).

Edging Toward 300,000

JASSO’s annual survey of international students reveals that the number of international students in Japan skyrocketed to 267,042 as of May 1, 2017 -- up 27,755 (11.6 percent) from the previous year. These included 188,384 students at the country’s higher education institutions and 27,755 students at the country’s Japanese language institutes -- increases of 10.1 percent and 15.4 percent, respectively.

China Leads the Rest

In terms of sending countries, China, Vietnam and Nepal make up the top three at both higher education and Japanese language institutes. Rounding out the top ten were South Korea, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Malaysia. At a whopping 66.2 percent, Sri Lanka achieved the most noteworthy rate of growth, while South Korea experienced the most moderate growth at 1.8 percent.

Within Striking Distance

At this rate, the country is ahead of track to achieve its long-time target (and internalization strategy) of attracting 300,000 international students by 2020.

In addition to the many reasons Japan has increasingly attracted international students, experts attribute this growth to the country’s strategic attempts to meet student interest in employability when determining international study destinations.

This keenly aligns with the Japan Revitalization Strategy, which included the goal of raising the employment rate of international students in Japan to 50 percent by 2020 through measures including setting up support offices, offering Japanese lessons aimed at helping students achieve business-level proficiency prior to graduation, simplified visa procedures, and various recruiting activities and internship programs.