Japan Alumni eNews Vol. 101 September 8th, 2017

Japan Alumni eNews Vol. 101

1. Life in Japan by Photo

Learn the life in Japan with photos posted by our readers! We look forward to your submissions of memorable photos of your experiences in Japan, including your student life, exposure to Japanese culture and history, travel, and more.

1 Photo title (15 words or less)
2 Name (katakana and alphabet)
3 Nationality
4 Name of your school in Japan

September of Japan

The theme of the September issue is photo introduces September of Japan.

cosmos

cosmos

Fall is the best season for reading

Fall is the best season for reading

Respect for the Aged Day

Respect for the Aged Day

Pacific saury

Pacific saury

2. Alumni News

Bringing you news and first-hand stories about international students!

1) News on International Students

NEWS 1 : First International Student to Become a High School Yokozuna

At the All-Japan High School Tournament held in Miyagi prefecture, Mongolian wrestler Amarsanaa Amartuvshin, a third-year student at Tottori Johoku High School, won the individual finals in sumo, becoming the first foreign-born high school yokozuna or grand champion in the 95 times this competition has been held. His opponent in the final was another Mongolian, Byambasuren Sugarragcha, the nephew of the former yokozuna, Asashoryu, and a third-year student at Nippon Sport Science University Kashiwa High School.

NEWS 2 : Bon Dance Festival at the Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo

The First Shibuya Bon Dance Festival was held at the Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo. This event was the planned by the local Shibuya Dogenzaka Shopping Street Promotion Association to spread Japanese culture widely, and attracted more than 30,000 yukata-clad young people and foreign tourists, who enjoyed dancing.

2) Introduction of Current International Students

Lee Yejong

Name: Lee Yejong
Nationality: Korean
University: Kyushu Institute of Technology
Major: Graduate School of Life Science and Systems Engineering Department of Human Intelligence Systems
Academic Year: 1st year (Master’s degree)
Period of Stay in Japan: April 2017 to present
Japanese Proficiency Level: Japanese Language Proficiency Test N2


 

With a view to my future after graduation, I majored in electrical engineering at university back home. The more I studied specialized fields at university, the more interesting they became. I studied engineering in Japan as a short-term international student, taking advantage of the exchange students program at university. Visiting companies as well as a number of graduate schools during my time in Japan showed me just how very high Japanese technical skills were. This experience made me decide that, once I graduated, I wanted to see a new world, one different to the one I knew. So I elected to do my post-graduate education in Japan.

At Kyushu Institute of Technology, I joined a lab that looked at systems to substitute human functions and researched the development of a gait measurement device that could be used in a wider range of environments. As the field of life science and systems engineering requires a diverse range of knowledge, I selected courses on mechanics, new computer languages, and electronic controls. Classes were held in English and Japanese, which made it easy for international students who didn’t know how to read Japanese to keep up. We were also able to choose whether we wanted to use study materials and submit our reports in English or Japanese.

My favorite Japanese food is simmered mackerel in miso (saba no miso-ni). When I was working at a power plant, I would make my own lunches each day, but one day, a Japanese colleague gave me a can of saba no miso-ni, telling me it was good and I should try it. That was just a can of the stuff, but it was still unlike anything I’d ever tried, with the sweet taste yet with the right amount of saltiness of the miso and the tender fish forming a wonderful harmony. So whenever I come to Japan, I buy some sliced mackerel and made my own saba no miso-ni.

There are two things I would want to tell any younger students thinking about studying in Japan. The first is that you shouldn’t just rely on the internet to find information. This is the information age, and there’s a lot of information out there on the internet, but all it will give you is raw data, not how people feel. The second is that you should gain experiences as much as you can. Education today emphasizes deep study of one particular field. But once you graduate, you may need to transition from your own major to another field due to interpersonal issues or not being the right fit. So you should develop interests in a wide range of fields and grow your experiences in them.

3) List of Japan Alumni Associations

Introduction of “Support for International Students Returning Home”

Oita International Students Business Center

The Oita International Students Business Center provides support for international students to start their own businesses or to find jobs. The OIBC was established with the goal of allowing current international students, Japanese students interested in founding a business with international students, former international students, and companies interested in doing business with international students to be able to freely meet, mingle, and stimulate each other to create new ideas, values, and opportunities.
The OIBC holds frequent seminars and consultations on starting businesses or finding jobs. A backup system for founding companies is provided, with a co-working space that serves as a space to support startups.

3. Academic News

Introduction of scholarships, grants, unique activities at particular universities, and more!

1) Introduction of Faculties/Graduate Schools

Here we introduce you to particular faculties and graduate schools at Japanese universities.

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU)

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU)

University Profile (as of May 1, 2017)
Name: Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU)
Address: Jumonjibaru 1-1, Beppu City, Oita Prefecture
Number of students: 5,562 (Undergraduate), 176 (Graduate)
International students: 2,669 (Undergraduate), 165 (Graduate)

1. About Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU)

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) first opened its doors in April 2000 with the three founding ideals of Freedom, Peace and Humanity; international mutual understanding; and the future shape of the Asia Pacific region. What emerged was an entirely new multicultural learning environment with the aim of creating global leaders across all fields and industries.

In these past seventeen years, this goal has not only been reached but exceeded as thousands of students from more than 140 countries have come together to learn intercultural coexistence, responsible business leadership, and sustainable development.

2. Outline and Features of Distinctive Courses

APU has two undergraduate colleges and two graduate schools, offering students undergraduate degrees in Business Administration and Social Science, and graduate degrees in Business and Asia Pacific Studies. In August 2016, APU's undergraduate and graduate business programs earned accreditation from AACSB International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, becoming the third institution to earn this accreditation.

The diversity at APU is unmatched in Japan, with a student body population of about 6,000 students that is 50% domestic Japanese students and 50% full-time international students. This creates an environment where multicultural communication is a way of life, and having friends spread across the globe is commonplace. This diversity also helped APU capture one of the top spots in the 2017 Times Higher Education Domestic Japan University Ranking.

3. Scholarships and Living Support for International Student

International students at APU have access to a broad range of support, from housing to scholarships. A number of scholarships (reducing tuition in amounts from 30% to 100%) while there are many other scholarships available to students post- enrollment based on academic merit or activities, financial need, or a combination of other factors.

4. Career and Other Support for International Students

Because APU has had a significant population of international students since the first incoming class, the university has a well-established support system for these students. Advice and information is available from all offices in both Japanese and English, from a student's first days at orientation to their final year as they search for employment after graduation. On-Campus Recruitment is one of the major facets of support provided to student as they engage in their job search, where more than 300 companies come to the APU campus to hold company information seminars and other recruiting activities. Through support like this, international students at APU enjoy a high success rate in their search for employment. More than 90% secure a job offer before graduation, with almost two-thirds of those positions within Japan.

International exchange 1

International exchange 2

2) Application Information for Scholarships, Grants, Invitations, Prizes, etc.

The Japan Education Centre for the Hotel Industry

Program name
7th Student Tourism Essay Contest

1. Theme
Select one of the following three themes:
A: My proposal to turn Japan into a global tourism destination
B: My proposal for creating attractive regions that draw on their nature and culture: what the National Trust can do
C: My proposal for strengthening MICE competitiveness in my home country *Entries must not be previously published.

2. Applicant eligibility
Students who are enrolled in a university, junior college, or vocational schools within Japan (Individuals or groups from any academic department/major are welcome to apply.)
*Not applicable to graduate school students and graduates.

3. Application period
Must be received within these dates:
Sunday, October 1, 2017 to Tuesday, November 28, 2017

4. How to apply
An unpublished work written in Japanese, with a minimum of 8,000 characters and a maximum of 12,000 characters.
Use Microsoft Word file format. Text font must be MS Mincho and the text size for the main body must be 10.5.
Tables and graphs may be included but are excluded from the character count. Submit in A4 size paper, either by mail (ordinary registered mail) or door-to-door delivery service to the address below.
* Carefully read the application requirements at the URL found at the Contact section.

5. Awards
One grand prize winner of 500,000 yen
Two merit award winners of 250,000 yen

6. Contact
The Japan Education Centre for the Hotel Industry, Head Office - Educational Affairs Division
Address: 3-15-14 Higashi-Nakano, Nakano-ku, Tokyo 164-0003
TEL: 03-3367-5663
E-mail: support@jec-jp.org

“Diplomacy” Editorial Board, Toshishuppan Publishing

Program name:
6th Diplomacy Essay Contest

1. Theme
“Trends in international society and Japanese diplomacy”
“What is required of Japanese diplomacy for global issues (e.g. environment, development, refugees)”
“The potential of Japanese diplomacy seen from adjacent fields like economics, science and technology, or culture”
Choose one of these themes and add a separate title in line with your specific argument.

2. Format
Must be 8,000 characters at most (including footnotes). Cite references in a separate sheet.
Entry must be an original work written in Japanese.

3. Deadline
Must be received by Thursday, November 30, 2017

4. Applicant eligibility
Open to everyone.

5. How to apply
Send by email or registered mail.
If sending by email, place “コンテスト応募論文の送付” (Submission of Essay Contest Application) as the subject, and address it to “Gaiko” - Editorial Board, Toshishuppan, Inc. Please attach the entry to the email.
Please include your name, address, age, occupation, contact number and email address in the body.
If sending by registered mail, submit to:
“Gaiko” - Editorial Department
Toshishuppan, Inc.
6F, Waizu Building, 4-4-12 Iidabashi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0072

6. Awards
The entry that will receive the grand prize will be featured in the Gaiko journal. Winners will receive a monetary prize of 50,000 yen for the grand winner, and 20,000 yen for other outstanding entries. A courtesy call and visit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will also be arranged.

7. Contact
Gaiko - Editorial Department
E-mail: gaiko01@toshishuppan.co.jp

3) Information about International Symposium

Togo no Hi Symposium 2017: From “Making” to “Using” Bio Databases

The National Bioscience Database Center of the Japan Science and Technology Agency holds a symposium, “Togo no Hi,” on October 5 each year in order to consider issues revolving around the unification of life science databases and to deepen debate. In addition to presenting program research related to life science content, the 2017 symposium is scheduled to include lectures by academics in various fields related to the integration and use of databases, and presentations by database users on examples of database utilization.

4) Academic Societies

<Literature, Philosophy, Education, Psychology, Sociology, History>

<Law, Politics>

<Economics, Commercial Science, Management>

<Science>

<Engineering>

<Agriculture>

<Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences>

5) Japanese Language Tests

4.Business News

JASSO provides information about job-search for both current and graduate international students!

1) Job Hunting Event Information

The Program for Advancement of Foreign Human Resources is being launched from 2015, as a collaborative effort of related government ministries and agencies, and other relevant organizations. The Program seeks to increase employment of international students in Japan, and hence increase the number of highly skilled international professionals in the future, following the recent trend in policy that includes the 2014 revision of “Japan Revitalization Strategy – Japan is Back” (approved by the Cabinet on June 24th, 2014). The ultimate aim is to vitalize the Japanese economy further and enhance Japan’s presence in the global economy.
Through seminars, events and other activities, the Program will strengthen the system of connecting international students and other foreign nationals looking for employment in Japan, with companies in Japan looking to recruit international employees.

Events for International Student

Useful Web Site for International Students

2) Job Hunting Report

Nguyen Thi Huong Ly

Name: Nguyen Thi Huong Ly
Nationality: Vietnamese
University in Japan: Osaka University Graduate School
Major: Global Human Sciences (School of Human Sciences)
Period of study in Japan: April 2012 to March 2016
Name of Company: JESCO Holdings, Inc.
Japanese proficiency level: Japanese Language Proficiency Test N1

 

The reason I decided to look for a job in Japan is because I wanted to be able to utilize values and ideas that are different to those of the Japanese and help create a new foundation for Japanese companies. Also, by getting a job in Japan, I thought I could provide a welcoming workplace environment for a lot of other international students, including from my home country of Vietnam.

The place I work at now, the JESCO Group, is mainly involved in electrical installation work and telecommunications construction. When I first started, I was assigned to the General Affairs/HR Department, where I was in charge of labor management, social welfare matters, managing employee information, creating business cards, and translation and interpreting. Now, as a member of the recruiting team for the Strategic Management Planning Office, I’m involved in hiring new graduates, and in particular, as the person in charge of hiring international students, I’m responsible for information sessions, selection, and follow-up right until hiring. I also play a central role in following up on hiring activities in our local Vietnamese subsidiary branch. My dream for the future is to further expand JESCO’s reach from its current Japan and ASEAN scope and contribute to the world more broadly. To help make that happen, I am going to work harder at studying languages so that I can become a global human resources professional. One day, I also want to compile all my experiences as an international student in Japan and in getting a job into a book.

My industry and company research methods involved, first off, learning what industries there are in Japan. An industry is a category based on what people make and what services and things they provide. From the around one hundred types of industry, I looked at industries to see what products and services they provided to whom and how they did so. Then I considered what sort of company I would want to join based on what products it makes and how it handles them, and made a list of target companies. I compared the jobs on offers from these listed companies, and finally narrowed them down to about fifteen companies that I was interested in, and was able to get a specific idea of the work I wanted to do.

What I would like to tell students who are getting ready to start their job hunting in Japan is that almost all companies are composed entirely of Japanese. There’s a lot you won’t understand in terms of culture, and a lot that will confuse you and that you will struggle with. But if you can accept that, I urge you to give working here a try. I think there’s a value in overcoming obstacles and that you can contribute step by step to the company you are working for. Rather than expecting immediate results, you need to work to become someone who can shoulder serious responsibilities in the future. Also, Japanese companies are more interested in finding people who can become true global leaders rather than what country you’re from. It’s my belief that sticking to it right to the end and not giving up in spite of difficulties will open up paths for you. Good luck with your job hunting!

3) Job Hunting Information Article

Job hunting for September 2018 and March 2019 graduates
Once the summer break is over, more and more students will start preparing for their job hunting. The first step in finding a job is to understand how job hunting works in Japan.

March Preparing for job hunting
You should be all ready to start your job hunting by March, when it begins in earnest. Of researching industries and companies you’re interested in, visit companies in person, participate in internships to get experience with them, and prepare your entry sheet for document screening. In particular, as there are more and more companies offering internships during the winter and spring holidays, you should try out companies that you’re interested in.

March Job ads start
Companies start posting employment information for new graduates on job hunting sites and other places from March 1 for third-year undergraduates (or first-year Master’s students/second-year doctoral candidates). This marks the start of proper job hunting activities. Declaring your interest in applying to a company, participating in and information sessions, submitting your entry sheets, and taking written exams will happen at this time.

June Selection starts
Many companies start the selection process on June 1. It is common to have three rounds of interviews, and if you pass all three, you are given a provisional offer of employment. This provisional offer (nainaitei) is a promise by the company that they will offer you a job (naitei).

October Job offer
Companies start sending out formal job offers starting on October 1. Some companies may hold a ceremony for students they have offered jobs to.

This is the usual series of steps, but some companies may start earlier than this, so you should check ahead of time how it is likely to be done by industries or companies you’re interested in.

5. Visit Japan

Have you been travelling around Japan? In this section, we bring you information about sights, events, and foods from all over the country! The September edition looks at Okayama Prefecture.

Okayama prefecture

Korakuen Garden

Korakuen is a Japanese garden laid out about 300 years ago. Along with Kenrokuen in Kanazawa and Kairakuen in Mito, it is considered one of Japan’s Three Great Gardens. The expansive gardens, covering some 144,000 m2, offer wide lawns, ponds, artificial hills, and teahouses, all linked with paths and waterways, allowing visitors to enjoy constantly changing views as they stroll around. The garden also contains Okayama Castle, considered one of the Hundred Best Castles of Japan, and has been awarded three stars by the Michelin Green Guide Japan.

Bitchu Matsuyama Castle

Bitchu Matsuyama Castle, on top of the 430 m Mt. Gagyu, is the only mountaintop castle still with its keep left in Japan. It was registered as a National Important Cultural Property in 1950. The castle has a long history, as it was originally built in 1240, then rebuilt in 1683, leaving us with its present keep. From autumn until early winter each year, a sea of clouds often surrounds the castle, making it appear as if it is floating in the sky. This mystical sight attracts photographers to this hidden spot of Japan.

Tsuyama Horumon Udon

Tsuyama has long been a wagyu cattle country, so it’s very easy to get fresh, delicious beef offal there. Offal is lower in calories than red meat, while still being full of vitamins, iron, calcium, and other nutrients. Tsuyama Horumon Udon is a type of udon noodle cooked on a steel plate, made with plenty of offal, and eaten by dipping it in a special sauce. There are more than 50 restaurants in Tsuyama offering this dish, with each one preparing it slightly differently, such as by making their own sauce, the types of offal used, and how it is fried.

Jeans

Kojima is considered the birthplace of Japanese jeans, where the first made-in-Japan jeans were produced in 1965. Ever since, more and more shops have started selling their original, unique jeans. Not only do they produce a large volume of jeans, a number of companies involved in the production process, from weaving the denim to dyeing, sewing, washing, and finishing, have set up in the area, meaning that Kojima has a complete infrastructure for jeans production. Here they produce large numbers of high-value jeans that cannot be made overseas and one of the best in the world.

Hanzaki Festival

“Hanzaki” is the local name for the Japanese giant salamander. One of the world’s most important species, it is a living fossil that has survived for 30 million years, and was designated as a Special Natural Monument in 1952. The Hanzaki Festival is a festival inspired by the giant salamander held in the Yubara-onsen hot spring town every August 8. Floats with huge models of the giant salamander atop them and people in bright traditional wear parade through the town, and at night, some 500 fireworks are let off.

6. NIPPON Information

This section features enjoyable stories about pop culture, traditions, dining, cutting-edge technology, and more!

1) NIPPON Time Machine

Tokyo Game Show

Tokyo Game Show

The world gaming content market for 2016 was estimated at some 9 trillion yen. The Tokyo Game Show, or TGS, is one of the world’s three major game trade fairs, along with the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles and Gamescom in Cologne, Germany.

The TGS is held once every year, and this year it will be held over four days at Makuhari Messe, Chiba, from Thursday, September 21 to Sunday, September 24 (the 21 and 22 are business days). TGS, which got its start in 1996, celebrated its twentieth anniversary last year, and featured 614 exhibitors from 37 different countries or regions, and was attended by 270,000 people. This year’s theme is “Reality Unlocked.” The idea behind this theme is the desire to have the Tokyo Game Show itself provide new experiences, aside from the games, which thanks to technological progress now allow increasingly realistic renderings of reality. The VR corner, which made its first appearance last year, will be renamed the “VR/AR Corner” (Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality) and will offer VR, AR, and even MR (Mixed Reality) exhibits from various companies. Why not attend and try out some of the latest games?

2) Lifestyle Information

Disaster Forecasts

Disaster Forecasts

September is the season for typhoons. Recently, the damaging effects of global warming have worsened from typhoons and torrential rains to flooding, landslides, lightning strikes, tornadoes, and so on. This month we will talk about how to prepare for when a typhoon comes.

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) classifies the risk of damage from heavy rains or strong winds into Advisory, Warning, or Emergency Warning, and will issue each depending on how much damage is expected. In addition, evacuation notices will be given to residents through broadcasting channels, etc., if the municipality judges that evacuation will be needed. Remember to check your television or internet for the latest information so that you can act appropriately.

1. Evacuation preparation alert: Along with asking residents to prepare to evacuate, people needing assistance in emergencies, such as the elderly or handicapped, are asked to start evacuating as soon as possible.
2. Evacuation advisory: Residents in areas where disasters are expected are advised to evacuate.
3. Evacuation order: This is a stronger request than the Evacuation Advisory. Please evacuate immediately.

To ensure evacuation goes smoothly, you should constantly be prepared for when the time comes.
1. Stock up on food and water in case power or water are cut off.
2. Check the evacuation route to your nearest evacuation site.
3. Check the hazard map prepared by your municipality to learn where the risky areas are.

3) Magazines and Brochures from Japanese Government

Providing public relations materials regarding Japan including culture and sport.

7. JASSO News

Information about JASSO Scholarship programs, invitation program, Study in Japan Fairs, and the Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU).

1) Schedule, etc. for 2017 Study in Japan Fairs

JASSO holds Study in Japan Fairs overseas to provide information to high school students, university students and other individuals who are interested in studying in Japan. We also attend and cooperate to the events and seminars sponsored by other organizations.

2) Information about the “Student Guide to Japan”

For all those considering studying in Japan, we recommend you to read the “Student Guide to Japan” first.
In addition to information on the Japanese education system, scholarships, and daily life in Japan, the guidebook also includes stories on experience of international students in Japan.
You can read the guidebook on the JASSO website, so we encourage not only those who are considering studying in Japan, but also students already studying in Japan to take a look.

You can read in 14 languages such as Japanese, English, Chinese (Simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese), Korean, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese, Myanmar language and Bengali, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, French, German, Mongolian, and Portuguese.

3) Official Facebook Pages of JASSO and Overseas Representative Offices

We also provide the latest information on studying in Japan on our official Facebook pages. Check them out!

4) Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU)

5) JASSO Scholarship Programs

6) Web Magazine “Ryugakukoryu”

The September 2017 issue will be published on September 11th. Please make sure to read it!

7) Follow-up Research Fellowship (Invitation Program)

This program provides former international students who play active roles in education, research and government in their home countries to conduct short term research at universities in Japan.

8) Follow-up Research Guidance (Dispatching Research Advisors)

This program provides Japanese academic advisors with an opportunity to visit and to help further research of former international students who are teaching and/or researching at universities or research institutes in their home countries.

8. From the Editor

How did you find the September edition of Japan Alumni eNews?
September is when summer changes to autumn in the Japanese calendar, and after the autumn equinox, around the 23rd, the nights grow longer than the days, and we can feel autumn upon us.
In this month’s NIPPON Time Machine, we featured the Tokyo Game Show. The TGS is one of the biggest trade fairs in the world of computer games and other computer entertainment. Each year, thousands of visitors come to experience the latest in games. We hope to continue to regularly feature Japan’s pop culture and advanced technology, so hope you will enjoy reading about them!

Japan Alumni eNews Editorial Desk is looking for someone who can share their job searching experiences. We also welcome pictures from your life abroad as an exchange student and your comments for our email magazine. Our next issue of “Japan Alumni eNews” will be distributed on October 10th. Don’t miss it!

  • Information in this issue may change without notice. Please visit their web sites for latest information.

Contact

Follow-up Services Unit, International Scholarship Division, Student Exchange Department Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO)
  • Address address is 2-2-1 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-8630 JAPAN
  • TEL (telephone) number is +81-3-5520-6030
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  • E-mail E-mail address is alumni-newsletter at mark jasso.go.jp
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