University students in Astralia were investigated in order to find how their motivation affects their persistence in or termination of their study of Japanese. It is a universal phenomenon that the number of students learning a second language diminishes as they advance to higher levels. Japanese language courses in Australian tertiary institutions are not an exception. An examination of students'' motivational traits revealed that there is a typical characteristics that continuing students tend to obtain. The reasons of dropping out of the courses were also examined from the viewpoints of learners'' gender and cultural/linguistic backgrounds, and these two factors seem to have some significant effects on the students'' continuation/discontinuation of their learning of Japanese.