Japan Alumni eNews (Vol.106)

Japan Alumni eNews Vol. 106 February 9th, 2018

Japan Alumni eNews Vol. 106

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

Landscape of study abroad location

The theme of the February issue is Life in Japan by Photo introduces Memories of Japan. (Honorific title is omitted.)

Autumn leaves in January

Maria Hasti(Indonesia)
Kochi Gakuen College
Title: Autumn leaves in January

2. Alumni News

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

News on International Students

NEWS1: Japan Educational Program was Launched for Learning Tohoku Culture, Economics and Recovery from the Earthquake

As part of the "New Tohoku" Interaction Model Project led by the Reconstruction Agency, the "Honichi Kyoiku Puroguramu (Japan Educational Program)" was launched in January 2018 for foreign students at overseas universities and international students in Japan to learn the traditions, culture and the recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake through workshops and interaction with local people of Tohoku region. It aims to promote providing accurate information to all over the world and expand the exchange population of foreign nationals through six programs.

Introduction of Current International Students

Maria Pratt

Name: Maria Pratt
Nationality: American
University: Ritsumeikan University
Major: International Relations
Year: 4th year
Period of Stay in Japan: April 2014 to present
Japanese Proficiency Level: Japanese Language Proficiency Test N1

The reason I chose Japan as the destination for my study abroad was that in my first grade, I was able to take language, math and social studies classes together with Japanese students once a week at a school attended by the children of Japanese expatriates. Not only that, I was also able to learn the Japanese language and culture, having a lot of contact with Japanese people. But I realized that there were some things that could only be discovered by living in Japan, so I chose to study in Japan to deepen my understanding of the country.

My research at university is focused on "individuals" within international politics. I’m particularly interested in how individual experiences and differences in thinking affect international society. For example, are terrorists people with whom we have nothing in common? Needless to say, the acts they commit are atrocious. But the first step to dispelling misunderstandings is to find out what experiences and ways of thinking are behind their acts. I believe that the spirit of this research, that is the "desire to deepen understanding of others," must be prioritized to create trust in human relations, regardless of national background.

My favorite place in Japan is Kyoto. On days when I don’t have school, I like to bicycle or walk on roads I’ve never taken before. That lets me find historical spots and shops I didn’t know about previously.

My dream for the future is to work in Japan and give the Japanese people who I’ll work with and serve a more positive impression of Americans. I’d also like to improve Americans’ impression of Japan by deepening my understanding of Japan and sharing it with other Americans.

My advice to people thinking about studying in Japan is that if you’re going to Japan to study, make lots of Japanese friends. Get to know not only other students but also other local residents. Based on my personal experiences, there are many opportunities to meet locals, like chatting with people at the shops you visit on a daily basis, volunteering, participating in an internship or getting a part-time job. In addition to these, I also went to church and a childcare facility for about a half a year.

List of Japan Alumni Associations

Introduction of “Support for International Students Returning Home”

Overseas Chapters of Nagoya University Alumni Association

The Nagoya University Alumni Association has three chapters in Japan and 15 overseas (South Korea, Bangladesh, Shanghai, Thailand, Beijing, Vietnam, Cambodia, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Taiwan, Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia). They serve as bases for tracking the activities of alumni, which include international students, and promoting information sharing and human interaction while partnering with the university.

3. Academic News

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

Introduction of Faculties/Graduate Schools

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

Kwansei Gakuin University

Kwansei Gakuin University

University Profile (As of October 2017)
Name: Kwansei Gakuin University
Nishinomiya Uegahara Campus: 1-155 Uegahara-1bancho, Nishinomiya-shi, Hyogo
Nishinomiya Seiwa Campus: 7-54 Okadayama, Nishinomiya-shi, Hyogo
Kobe Sanda Campus: 2-1 Gakuen, Sando-shi, Hyogo
Osaka Umeda Campus: 19-19 Cyaya-machi, Kita-ku, Osaka
Number of students: 24,180 (Undergraduate), 1025 (Graduate)
International students: 428(Undergraduate), 127 (Grauduate)

1. Overview of University (History, Mission, etc.)

Kwansei Gakuin was founded in 1889 by the American missionary Reverend Walter Russell Lambuth with the aim of training missionaries and education young people based on Christian principals. Reverend Lambuth said, “Foster citizens of the world who are disciples of Christ,” and he lived in these words by dedicating his life to being a global servant. Today, Kwansei Gakuin has inherited Lambuth’s way of life as a world citizen and actively engaged in international exchange and contribution. Kwansei Gakuin has about 700 international students and about 200 partner universities overseas. Under this environment, we develop persons who globally contribute to the society.

2. Overview and Characteristics of Distinctive Faculties and Departments

Kwansei Gakuin University, KGU for short, is a leading private comprehensive and integrated educational institution offering 11 undergraduate and 14 graduate schools. KGU started the ‘Global Academic Port’ initiative in 2015 and launched ‘UN and Foreign Affairs program’ for undergraduate and ‘UN and Foreign Affairs course’ for graduate as a minor program. In the ‘UN and Foreign Affairs course’, all classes are conducted in English and internships will be compulsory for completing the program.

3. Support for International Students (Accommodations Support and Tuition Reduction)

KGU Tuition Reduction for Privately-funded International Students
KGU reduced 30 percent of the tuition fees for all eligible privately-funded, degree-seeking students holding a “student” status of residence (“student” visa) in 2017-2018 academic year. Details of this reduction for 2018-2019 academic year have not been decided.

KGU Scholarship for International Students
International Students who demonstrate an excellent academic performance and who can prove they are experiencing financial difficulties are eligible to be awarded the “Kwansei Gakuin University Scholarship for International Students.” In principle, all 1st year students will receive this scholarship, which covers 20 percent of the tuition fees. From the second year onward, approximately half of the students receive this scholarship.

4. Other Support for International Students (Employment, International Exchange, etc.)

For international students wishing to work in Japan, Japanese language skill is the most important. To help international students improve the skill, KGU Career Center organizes series of job-hunting guidance and practical seminars. KGU also offers internships by the cooperation in collaboration with the Osaka Employee Service Center for Foreigners and the Consortium of Universities in Hyogo.

Information about Scholarships, Grants, Invitations, Prizes, etc.

Japan Institute of Life Insurance

Program name
Life Insurance Research Grant 2018

1. Objective
The Japan Institute of Life Insurance conducts programs for the purpose of contributing to greater stability in the lives of the citizenry and promotion of their interests through various projects aimed at the sound growth of the life insurance system. The purpose of this research grant is to support research on life insurance and related topics by young researchers and return the results of said research to Japan.

2. Eligibility
Graduate school students (doctoral courses), assistant professors, lecturers, associate professors and equivalent researchers from universities within Japan. (In the case of joint research, all researchers must meet the above eligibility requirements.)
The following conditions must also be met:
(1) In the case of graduate school students, those who hope to work at a Japanese university in the future
(2) Neither this grant nor another from a different research grant organization has been received in the past for the same or a similar theme. (This must be the first grant applied for with respect to the theme.)
(3) In the case of individual research and representatives of joint research, this grant must have been received no more than four times in the past
(4) The research may either be individual or joint. However, in the case of joint research, the number of researchers must be five or less, including the representative.

3. Eligible themes
The research must be on life insurance or a related field. Related fields include laws, accounting, IT, finance and various other systems surrounding the life insurance business and life insurance itself as well as livelihood security, life planning and consumer behavior and other fields that can be approached from the perspective of life insurance. Specifically, eligible research is research on life insurance and related topics in a wide range of academic fields, including commerce, management, economics, law, home economics, sociology, consumer education, math and statistics.

4. Application Procedure
Download and submit the designated grant application form from the URL provided under "7. Contact." Graduate school students should attach a recommendation letter from their advisor in the case of individual research or if they are the representative for joint research.

5. Amount of grant
Maximum of 500,000 yen

6. Application deadline
Must be received by Monday, April 30th, 2018

7. Mailing address and contact information for application/inquiries
Kenkyu Josei Kakari, Hokenkenkyushitsu, Seimei Hoken Bunka Senta (Japan Institute of Life Insurance)
3F, Shin Kokusai Building, 3-4-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0005
Tel: 03-5220-8512
Fax: 03-5220-9090
E-mail: gakujutsu at mark jili.or.jp
*Please convert “at mark” to @ when you send an e-mail to us.

M&A Forum

Program name
12th M&A Forum Awards

1. Themes and requirements
• Writings or research papers on M&A (discussing the relationship between M&A and laws, economics, management, accounting, tax, society, culture, etc.) providing a theoretical, empirical and practical analysis.
• The writings or research paper must be in Japanese and, in principle, presented between April 2017 and March 2018. The paper may also have been published in economic journals, general magazines, bulletins, etc.
For students, including those at graduate schools, universities and technical schools, master’s theses, doctoral theses and dissertations will also be accepted. (International students may also apply.)
• The writings or paper submitted must have been written by the person submitting it.

2. How to submit
• Visit the URL provided under "6. Contact," fill in the designated submission forms (A) and (B), and submit them to the addressee provided at the URL together with an abstract (around 1,000 characters, any format).
• Be sure to submit two copies of the work (thesis). The work or thesis you submit will not be returned.

3. Application deadline
Submissions must be postmarked by Monday, April 30th, 2018.

4. Judging, presentation and awards
• The writings and research papers submitted will be judged by a selection committee comprised of leading researchers and professionals in various fields related to M&A.
• Winners will be notified by around the end of August 2018, and an announcement will be made on the M&A Forum website. (Notifications will only be sent to winners.)
• Commendations and prizes will be presented to winners around late September or early October 2018.

5. Prize money
• M&A Forum Awards Main Prize ("RECOF Award") - Certificate and 500,000 yen prize
• M&A Forum Awards Main Prize ("RECOF Honorable Mention") - Certificate and 100,000 yen prize
• M&A Forum Selection Committee Special Prize ("RECOF Special Award") (for students, including those working) - Certificate and 100,000 yen prize

6. Contact
M&A Forum Secretariat
3F, Soteira Building, 10 Ichiban-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0082
Nippon Research Institute
Tel: 03-5216-7315
Fax: 03-5216-7316

Information about International Symposium

Rikuzentakata Global Campus University Symposium 2018

This symposium is held for the purpose of promoting mutual understanding between persons connected to universities including students and researchers who have been engaged in activities and research primarily in the city of Rikuzentakata and its surrounding areas, and deepening relationships. This year, the presentations will be opened up to high school students, junior high school students, members of citizen groups and others in the Kesen area, and we hope to tie this into deepening understanding and interaction with persons connected to universities.

Dates: Saturday, March 3rd to Sunday, March 4th, 2018
Location: Rikuzentakata Global Campus

Academic Societies

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

<Law, Politics>

<Economics, Commercial Science, Management>




<Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences>

Japanese Language Tests

4.Business News

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

Job Hunting Event Information

The Program for Advancement of Foreign Human Resources is launched in 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

Job Hunting Report

Ou Wei

Name: Ou Wei
Nationality: Chinese
University in Japan: Hiroshima Shudo University
Major: Commercial Science (Master’s degree)
Period of study in Japan: April 2002 to March 2010
Name of Company: Hiroshima Shudo University
Japanese proficiency level: Japanese Language Proficiency Test N1

I came to Japan in April 2002. After graduating from a normal school in China, I decided to study abroad in order to acquire specialist knowledge related to business and marketing. The reason I chose Japan as the destination for my studies was that Japan neighbors China and at that time, it was the second largest economy after the United States.

While I was in school, the extracurricular activities I put the most effort into were those related to the friendship between China and Japan. After graduating, I wanted to do a job that would serve as a bridge of friendship between these two countries, so I decided to seek employment in Japan. I could be in China, fulfilling this goal, but having spent eight years studying, it’s a shame not to get experience working in Japan.

I am currently working as a staff member of the International Center at Hiroshima Shudo University. My main duties are accepting international students and sending out Japanese students. I am also involved in the planning and operations of exchange events held at iCafe, the university’s cultural exchange and language learning facility, together with iCafe peer students. My dream for the future is to make Hiroshima Shudo University one of the universities in Japan with the highest level of student satisfaction.

In the self-promotion part of my job hunting activities, I highlighted things like my participation in extracurricular volunteer activities while in school, teaching the Chinese language to Japanese people and my efforts to promote friendship between China and Japan. Also, to promote my personality, I talked about things that happened while I was working for my part-time job.

What I put the most effort into when preparing for my job hunting activities was self-analysis and company research. I think the main things that companies want to know when considering whether to hire you are why you want to join their company, how you can contribute to the company after you’re hired and whether you're a fit for the corporate culture.

My advice to people who are getting ready to engage in job hunting activities is that it’s important to first think about what you want to do in the future and what reason you want to work. I also encourage you to be confident and work toward your goal while having fun with job hunting.

Job Hunting Information Article

Visiting “OB / OG”

When job hunting, it’s important to research the industries and companies you’re interested in. To get more information about them, it’s also important to talk with people that actually work in them rather than simply looking up websites and reading books. Visiting OB/OG (graduate students) means making contact with graduate students of your school who has a job you would like to do, and meeting them to hear what they feel in working.

There are various ways to find these alumni, for example, getting an introduction from the career center of your school, the companies where they work, your clubs or your part-time jobs.

As “OB / OG” visit also leads to an improvement of the image of their industry and company, many companies are actively engaged in this activity. It’s one of the opportunities for companies to contact with students who will be applicants, so your information and what you talk during the visit can be treated as selection material. For that reason, if you are too familiar or ask too much, you could be seen as having an impolite attitude, which might have a negative impact later on in the selection stage. Prepare the questions you would like to ask ahead of time and voice your appreciation for giving you the time to talk.

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 February edition looks at Osaka prefecture.

Osaka prefecture

Universal Studios Japan

This theme park is so popular that people say East Japan has Disneyland and West Japan has Universal Studios Japan. It recreates the worlds of so many major hit movies. Its more than eight million annual visitors, mostly from Asia, make it Osaka’s biggest tourist attraction.

Kuromon Ichiba

Kuromon Ichiba, located five minutes from Namba Station on foot, is a lively market with a lot of local people from professional chefs to the general public. There are about 180 shops and restaurants selling fish, meat and daily necessities along the main street. It’s also getting popular among foreign tourists partly because of the eating tour that includes puffer fish or tuna sashimi (a luxury food), raw oysters, scallop tempura and freshly grilled Kobe beef.


This is typical soul food of the western part of Japan, especially in Osaka. You put the ingredients of your preference (okonomi) like vegetables, meat and seafood in a wheat batter, cook it on a hot plate and top it with a special sauce, mayonnaise and dried seaweed flakes. There are two types of okonomiyaki: Hiroshima-style and Kansai-style. With Kansai-style okonomiyaki, all the ingredients are mixed together with finely chopped cabbage and then cooked on the hot plate. The batter is often mixed with yams to make it thicker and give it a lighter, fluffy texture.

Sakai Hamono

In the latter half of the 16th century, tobacco began to be grown in Japan after being introduced from Portugal. A large number of knives for chopping the tobacco leaves were required, leading to production of the first tobacco knives in Sakai. In the Edo period, they received a special seal of approval called "Sakai Kiwame" from the Shogunate for the sharpness of the blade and were sold all over the country as a government monopoly goods.
Sakai Hamono are made in a division of labor where the traditional smith forging, sharpening and grinding are completely separate processes. The carefully crafted knives are also highly acclaimed by professional chefs.

Kishiwada Danjiri Festival
Courtesy of Kishiwada City

This festival takes place in Kishiwada City, Osaka. "Danjiri" refers to the carts pulled or carried in the festival. Two ropes are attached and pulled by large numbers of people as they run. The star of the festival is the "daikugata" (carpenter) who stands atop the danjiri with a fan in each hand. The people pulling the more than four-ton danjiri while they run follow his instructions and change directions in sharp turns in what is called "yarimawashi."

6. NIPPON Information

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

NIPPON Time Machine

Sapporo Snow Festival

The Sapporo Snow Festival got its start in 1950 when local junior high and high school students made six snow sculptures in Odori Park in Sapporo City, Hokkaido. It was held in conjunction with snowball fights, snow sculpture exhibits and carnivals, later taking root among the citizens as a winter event in Sapporo. Now held annually in early February, it has become a major winter event in which more than two million people visit Sapporo from Japan and other countries. In Odori Park, various snow and ice sculptures large and small stand side by side along a roughly 1.5-kilometer stretch and are illuminated from sunset to 10 p.m. Since 1974, the International Snow Sculpture Contest has been held for the purpose of promoting international goodwill. Teams come from cities all over the world, so you can also see many international snow sculptures. In 2018, there will be 12 international teams representing their country/region/city: Finland, Hawaii, Indonesia, Australia, Macao, Poland, Singapore, Thailand, USA, China, Daejeon (South Korea) and Portland (USA).

Lifestyle Information

Hay Fever

In February every year, the number of people that suffer from hay fever of cedar increases in Japan. Hay fever is a kind of allergic rhinitis, and the main symptoms are sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion and itchy eyes. In Japan, about 50 different plants cause hay fever, the most common type is known as cedar pollinosis. The more severe symptoms can present in the whole body, including itchy skin, a heavy feeling in the head, fatigue, insomnia and decreased ability to concentrate.

Countermeasures for hay fever
• Wear a mask and glasses to decrease the amount of pollen exposure. Also, avoid wool clothing, which collects pollen.
• When you get home, shake out the pollen on your coat and in your hair at the entrance, wash your hands, gargle and wash the pollen off your face.
• It’s important to keep your immune system up, and this will also prevent the symptoms of hay fever from worsening. Try to get plenty of sleep and eat three balanced meals a day.

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).

Plan for 2018 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.
JASSO also cooperate with universities in holding events as a part of "Coordinator for Study in Japan Project" supported by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
Plan for 2018 Study in Japan Fairs will be announced in the middle of February at:

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.

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!

Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU)

JASSO Scholarship Programs

Web Magazine “Ryugakukoryu”

The February 2018 issue will be published on February 12th. Please make sure to read it!

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.

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 February edition of Japan Alumni eNews?
February 4 is called "risshun," or the first day of spring. According to the traditional Japanese calendar, spring begins on this day. Plum blossoms begin to bloom, and it becomes warmer gradually, ringing in the spring. In this month’s NIPPON Time Machine, we take a look at the Sapporo Snow Festival held in Hokkaido. In Lifestyle Information, we cover hay fever.
In Japan, job hunting activities by students graduating in March 2019 will begin in earnest on March 1st. This e-mail newsletter features columns that are useful for job hunting and events information, so if you’re thinking of finding employment in Japan, make use of the information and prepare carefully.

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 March 9th. Don’t miss it!

  • Information in this issue may change without notice. Please visit their web sites for latest information.
Follow-up Services Unit, International Scholarship Division, Student Exchange Department Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO)
  • Address 2-2-1 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-8630 JAPAN
  • TEL +81-3-5520-6030
  • FAX +81-3-5520-6031
  • E-mail alumni-newsletter at mark jasso.go.jp
  • Please convert "at mark" to @ when you send an e-mail to us.