People-to-People Exchange

April 11, 2022

In order to solidify our mutual understanding and friendship with Japan and other countries, it is extremely important for young people, the leaders of tomorrow, to engage in international exchange programs. In particular, student exchange programs have the potential to further international friendship and mutual understandings, internationalize Japanese higher education institutions, revitalize industries and regions, and provide education for younger people of developing countries of the world. From this standpoint, Japan welcomes students coming from around the world to study in Japan and as well as encourages Japanese youths to partake in student exchange programs and study abroad.

1. Intake of foreign students

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), the governing body for education in Japan, and other ministries, provides wide-ranging services for international students. This includes providing study in Japan information, assistance for former international students and others.

2. Accepting International Students

(1) Provision of study in Japan information

Overseas missions of Japan act as major source of information for potential international students. They provide individual consultations and hold study in Japan information sessions which may cover Japanese Government Scholarship, university and college information, and other general information regarding life as a student in Japan. Information about studying in Japan is also available on the website, “STUDY in JAPANOpen a New Window”.

(2) Recruiting and screening of Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship Students

At present, prospective students from about 190 countries and regions interested in obtaining Japanese Government Scholarship can apply to Japan’s overseas missions where the initial screening process is conducted to be shortlisted for final selections procedure by MEXT in Japan.

(3) Pre-departure orientation

Overseas missions provide pre-departure orientation for Japanese Government Scholarship students about travel to Japan.

(4) Stay in Japan

MOFA provides support to cultural exchange programs and other international student support structures, conducted by local governments and private entities. In addition, cultural exchange and support for Japanese Government Scholarship students from ASEAN countries are conducted through ASJA International.

3. Support for Returning Students

After completing their studies in Japan, international students are expected to use their experience to play active roles in their home countries and beyond. They serve as a valuable bridge between Japan and their home countries, and thereby contribute to the deepening of the understanding of Japan and friendly relationships between Japan and other countries. MOFA, through overseas missions, provides support for organizing alumni associations of former international students to Japan and support for alumni activities and functions to ensure that the former students keep in touch with Japan. There are 219 Japan alumni associations of the former international students in 118 countries (as of December 2021). In this regard, MOFA holds Japan Alumni Conference in which representatives of Japan alumni associations around the world participate. This conference is held with the objectives of sharing good practices and challenges that each association faces, and strengthening networks among Japan alumni associations through panel discussions

4. Promotion of Japanese students to study abroad.

Due to the impact of COVID-19, travels of Japanese students and exchange programs between universities had been temporarily suspended or postponed. However, exchange programs are being resumed at universities and other educational institutions on the premise that they will take all possible measures to ensure the safety of students.

There is a global trend in demand for talented individuals who can take an active part in the ever globalizing world with valuable skills in foreign language and intercultural understanding. For this reason, MOFA encourages Japanese students to study abroad, bearing in mind the situation of COVID-19.

5. Related information

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