Japan Alumni eNews Vol. 86 June 10th, 2016

Japan Alumni eNews Vol. 86

1. Life in Japan by Photo Memories of Japan (Photo from readers)

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 June issue is Life in Japan by Photo introduces Memories of Japan.
(Honorific title is omitted.)


Graduated of Kurashiki University of Science and the Arts
Title:An art museum in Hakone

2. Alumni News

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

1) News on International Students

NEWS 1 : Japan to double number of foreign IT engineers to 60,000

Prime Minister Abe made a statement that “Japan is implementing bold reforms to be the most business friendly country in the world” at the Invest Japan Seminar held in Brussels on May 4, 2016 to call for expansion of investment. Also, the prime minister stated, “Japan will increase the number of foreign IT professionals from 30,000 to 60,000 by 2020.” Lack of IT Professionals in Japan is a serious problem. According to the “IT Human Resources White Paper 2016” by the Information-technology Promotion Agency, the number of IT professionals keeps getting lower after 2011.

NEWS 2 : Okinawa tourism website "OKINAWA: The Secret is Out" chosen as the local winner of the "8th Japan Marketing Award"

The tourism website "OKINAWA: The Secret is Out" of Okinawa Prefecture won the local prize of the 8th Japan Marketing Award by the Japan Marketing Association which commends outstanding marketing activities.
Six pairs from six nations "who were keeping secrets from their loved ones" were invited to Okinawa. While coming into contact with the beautiful nature, traditional culture, and the warm people of Okinawa, a "secret" is revealed to a partner while being filmed as a documentary, to confirm each other's bonds of love. The content was created by foreign staffs. The film was not about "Okinawa that Japanese people want to tell”; it was pictured as a "charming Okinawa to foreigners." It was chosen for the thorough creation of its plot focusing on the foreigner’s point of view.

2) Introduction of Current International Students

TAI Huay Wen

Name : TAI Huay Wen
Nationality : Singaporean
University in Japan : Hokkaido University
Major : Modern Japanese Studies Program
Academic year : Second year
Period of Stay in Japan : September 2014 to present
Japanese proficiency level : N1

I was ten years old the first time I came to Japan. My mother who loves Japan showed me not only Tokyo but many other areas. Every time I travel, I get to know the charms of Japan. So, I decided to study in Japan after graduating high school. I wanted to understand Japan more deeply and do something for those who have not discovered the charms of Japan yet.
Since it was not my first time to visit Japan, there was not much surprising things. I was worried if I can easily get used to Japan and if I can make friends because I'm an international student. I have many concerns since it was my first time studying overseas, but friends and teachers supported me well so my life in Japan is going smoother than I thought.
I enrolled in the 4-year undergraduate Japanese Studies program for international students. Classes on basic courses, liberal arts, and special introductory subjects on Japanese literature among others are held in English. Also, intensive Japanese language lessons are offered. Only students who take Japanese Studies program can take the same programs offered to Japanese students on their third year. So now, I am studying Japanese for that. My major is Japanese history and Japanese culture. I chose these majors because I have been interested in the history of the end of Edo Period since high school.
In extracurricular activities, I'm a utility staff for the rubber ball baseball club. In the East Japan Rubber Ball Baseball University Championship last year, we participated as a representative of Hokkaido. We lost at the first game, and I was mortified but the passion of my team members for baseball uplifted my spirit.
My favorite Japanese everyday object is the lunch box. I don't cook very much but after buying a lunch box, I tried to cook harder than before. Every time I use a lunch box, the more I wanted to become a good cook.
My dream is to get a job in Japan in which I can use English, Chinese, and Japanese. I might be an English teacher, a translator, or an interpreter. About two months ago, the Hokkaido government opened an office in Singapore. I want to work there to deepen the relation between Japan and my mother country.
For those whose Japanese skills may not be enough, you have to try what you want; otherwise you will lose many chances. I suggest you to just ask someone if you have something you don't know, and just try if there is something you have never tried. While studying here in Japan, it is important to gain various experiences.

3) List of Japan Alumni Associations

Introduction of “Support for International Students Returning Home”

Shimane University Alumni Association Sri Lanka

On December 16, 2015, the inaugural ceremony for Shimane University Alumni Association Sri Lanka was held at Kandy, the second largest city in Sri Lanka. Three members from Shimane University including the President, Dr. Yasunao Hattori, Prof. Hiroaki Ishiga of the Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Science and Engineering, and Prof. Harumi Ao of the Center for International Exchanges attended the ceremony.
This alumni association was established through the great efforts of the alumni of Shimane University who are now faculty members of the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka. This is the third international alumni association of Shimane University.

(Japanese version only)

3. Academic News

Introducing 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.

Shizuoka University

General Outline of the University
Name : Shizuoka University
Shizuoka Campus : 836 Oya, Suruga-ku, Shizuoka-Shi, Shizuoka-Ken 422-8529
Hamamatsu Campus : 3-5-1 Johoku Naka-ku, Hamamatsu-Shi, Shizuoka-Ken 432-8561
Number of students:8,657 undergraduates, 1,531 graduates
Number of international students:158 undergraduates, 169 graduates
(The numbers are as of 1st half 2015)

Shizuoka University

1. Outline of Shizuoka University

Overseen by the majestic Japanese symbol Mt. Fuji, Shizuoka is conveniently located at the midpoint between Tokyo and Osaka. It is known as home of a number of global corporations such as SUZUKI, YAMAHA, and HONDA.
The vision of Shizuoka University is “Freedom and Enlightenment & Creation of the Future”. With a philosophy of "Freedom and Enlightenment", students and teaching staff proactively pursue education, study, and social collaboration, striving for the "Creation of the Future" - creating a future that is peaceful and abundant.

2. ABP: a unique program provided for all faculties

Asia Bridge Program (ABP) is an industry-academia collaborative program for students from India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Working closely with Shizuoka-based global corporations, the program is designed to educate future global leaders for business and society. ABP provides you with comprehensive assistance from university admissions and campus life to post-graduate careers.
ABP is a 4-year program that starts in October with a semester of intensive language training followed by 3.5 years of expertise education offered in Japanese.

3. Privileges provided for ABP students

ABP offers all students with financial aid. In addition to exemption from the application and the enrollment fees, it is guaranteed that the first year’s tuition is waived. Assistance for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th years will cover 50% or 100% of tuition and fees based on an annual assessment of individual academic performance during the previous year.
In addition, 40,000 JPY monthly stipend is provided for all first-year ABP students enrolled in October 2016.

Privileges for ABP students

The University offers all ABP students affordable housing at a newly built dormitory.
WiFi / high-speed internet access is available in each unit.



4. Asia Bridge Program (ABP) entrance examination for students from India, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia

2016 Admission Screening in Japan

Application Period
Monday, June 27th to Monday, July 11th, 2016.
The online application system will close at noon on Monday, July 11th, 2016, Japanese Standard Time.

Online Application System
Applicants must submit all required documents through the online application system. If any information has not been completed and/or any fraudulent or inaccurate information is found, the application will not be accepted.
Please note scores of EJU ("The Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students" administrated by the Japan Student Services Organization) and Certificates of Proficiency of English Language (TOEFL, TOEIC, or IELTS) are required to apply for ABP. Please also note that EJU subjects required for application are different based on the faculty and department you apply for.

Those who have passed the screening of application materials will attend the interview at Shizuoka University in August. The final result will be announced in early September. Your first semester starts in October 2016.

Please download and read the Application Guide for Asia Bridge Program for details.

(Japanese version only)

Contact address for questions regarding the Asia Bridge Program entrance examination

2) Application information for scholarships, grants, appointments, prizes etc.

TEPCO Memorial Foundation

Project title : Scholarship
Overview : TEPCO Memorial Foundation provides funding such as research grants, support for international technological interactions and scholarship benefits with the aim of promoting creative basic research in the electrical and energy fields, international contributions to these research areas and cultivating young researchers.
Who can apply : Those who fulfill both No.1 and 2 conditions, and either of the last two conditions, No.3 or 4.
1. Those who have excellent academic standing and good moral character, who are both physically and mentally fit, and who will be recommended by their university.
2. Those who will be less than 28 years of age by April 1, 2017.
3. Those who are enrolled in a master’s course in a Japanese (domestic) graduate school and wish to progress to a doctoral course in 2017.
4. Those who are in the 1st or 2nd year of a doctoral course at a Japanese (domestic) graduate school and plan to advance in 2017.
Application period : April 1 to June 30, 2016, 24:00
Amount of grant : 50,000yen / month
Contact :
12F, Yurakucho Denki Building North,
Yurakucho 1-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Phone : +81-3-3201-2659

Iwadare Scholarship Foundation

Project Title : Iwadare Scholarship Foundation for
Overview : This scholarship is for graduate students who are majoring in Oral Biology. To help graduate students who are highly talented but are facing financial problems. To cultivate up-and-coming experts in the field of Oral Biology.
Who can apply :Graduate students studying Oral Biology in doctoral program in national, public, and private graduate schools who are recognized as highly talented but are facing financial difficulties. Following priority is considered.
(1) Graduate students majoring in oral biology whose research theme is related to oral biology
(2) Graduate students majoring in clinical practice but whose research theme is related to fundamental oral biology and research activities are performed in a basic science laboratory
(3) Graduate students majoring in clinical practice and whose research theme is related to oral biology and research activities are performed in a clinical laboratory
Application period : April 4 (Monday) to June 17, 2016 (Friday)
Amount of grant : 50,000yen / month
Contact :
Laboratory Molecular & Cellular Biochemistry, Faculty of Dental Science, Kyushu University
3-1-1 Maidashi, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka
Phone :+81-92-642-6317/6319

(Japanese version only)

3) Information about international symposium

“THESIS-2016” is an international symposium on the two-phase modelling for sediment dynamics, in which the dynamics of water and the solid-particle phases are considered with interface interactions and momentum transfer. Previous THESIS symposia (THESIS-2011, THESIS-2013) were successfully held in Chatou, France. In Japan, there are sediment deposition and re-suspension processes in rivers and estuaries, the morphological evolution of waterways and coastal zones, debris flows, the formation and displacement of turbidity maxima in estuaries, the impacts of sediment drainage, sediment transport and topographical changes due to tsunamis, and the process of breaching in dyke- and dam-break flows. Holding this symposium and discussing about the two-phase approach that is capable of describing the physical processes of sediment transport more realistically than a single-phase approach is extremely important. Also, there is a workshop that will focus on both conventional and novel models for sediment transport to enhance their accuracy and application to geophysical flows. We look forward to welcoming you to THESIS-2016.

Date: September 12 (Monday) to September 14 (Wednesday), 2016
Venue: Research and Development Initiative (RDI), Chuo University-Korakuen Campus

4) Academic Societies

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

<Law, Politics>

<Economics, Commercial Science, Management>




<Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences>

5) Japanese Language Test

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.

For International students

Useful web site for International students

2) Job-hunting report

Lu Shujun

Name : Lu Shujun
Nationality : Chinese
University in Japan : Rikkyo University
Major : Tourism, Graduate School of Tourism
Period of stay in Japan : October 2007 to March 2013
Name of company : Nippon Manpower Co., Ltd.
Japanese proficiency level : JLPT N1, BJT J1+

I was considering whether to stay in Japan or go back to my own country when I was in my second year of my master’s program. Back then, I didn't have any strong feeling about job-hunting, and there was no job that I wanted to do. I did job-hunting because I just wanted to stay in Japan a bit longer to improve my Japanese and understand more about Japan beyond an academic perspective.
There are two reasons for choosing where I work now. First is the company’s strong eagerness to hire international students. The second reason is the appeal of these words: "Career development makes people who work happy." I thought that the work there should be challenging and interesting. Also, in the last two to three years in China, the word "career development" has gotten much attention so I wanted to study about that in such a pioneering country like Japan.
For the first two years, I was engaged in the employment support for international students. My job involved managing joint company information session, planning and writing for seminars for international students who were seeking for job, and administering career counseling center for international students.
On writing the entry sheet in job-hunting activities, there are three points I considered. The first was to submit the documents only after the counselor of the career center had checked it. Second was to keep from using complicated grammar, expressions, etc., if possible. I think the important thing is to that you properly express what you want to tell. The third was to make your best efforts to explain your reason for application. Try to make your application very appealing so as to capture the interest of the company you’re applying for.
On the job interview, the right posture and right manner matter. Since first impression is very important, the posture and manners are things you have to consider first. Moreover, despite your Japanese ability, answer the questions loud and clear enough. And don't pretend like you understand even you do not. If you can't understand the question, it is better to ask. You need to understand the questions when answering them.
My advice to foreign students who are doing job-hunting in Japan is to not to be alone. Ask someone closer for help if you have problems or concerns. Once you talk with him/her, the problem will become smaller and will be gone at last. I want you to listen to people around who knows about job-hunting and other things. Moreover, job-hunting in Japan takes up a great deal of time. Especially for international students, it would be hard to allot your time to job-hunting, school and part-time job but do your best until the last without forgetting your goals.

3) Job Hunting Information Corner

Regarding the job-hunting of students who will graduate on March, 2017, there are companies that has started to offer informal appointments as early as June. Below are things to do for those who have gotten an unofficial job offer and for those who cannot get one.

(1) When you get a job offer from two or more companies
In such a case, you have to decline the unofficial job offer from the company you are not going to enter. When you decline, consider these things below.

1. Inform about your declination not by e-mail but by phone call.
Regardless of the number of meetings you had with the company, your sincere feeling cannot be understood if you decline only by e-mail. When informing your rejection, do it by phone as much as possible.

2. You don't have to tell which company you are going to join.
When you call a company to decline, the recruiting staff might ask you which company you will join. You are not obliged to tell. You can just politely refuse like saying “I'm sorry I can't tell.”

3. When you express your refusal but company won't let you go and other troubles
When you decline by phone, sometimes the company asks you to come to their office for explanation. There would be cases such as a company convinces you not to decline, ask you to sign a paper so you cannot leave the office for a long period of time. When such situation occurs, talk to your school’s career center or employment bureau. There are no legal bindings even if you sign a document. If a company forced you to do things you don't want, don't panic and take the appropriate actions.

(2) When you cannot get an unofficial job offer
Even if you cannot get an unofficial job offer in June, many companies will keep recruiting. From the end of June to July, big companies will be holding their second recruitment process while those of small- and medium-sized companies are just under way. Since many students are interested in major companies, some companies don't carry out recruitment at the same time. After July, there will still be companies which will gear up for recruitment. Be positive and gather information on companies that are continuing their recruitment and submit as many applications as you can.
A company will continue their recruitment until they have hired enough people. So you have to submit application immediately for the company you are highly interested in.
In order to join a company on April 1, you have to change your resident status by January. Let’s keep looking for jobs until you receive official job offer!

5. Visit Japan

Aomori Prefecture

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

Oirase Keiryu

Oirase Keiryu, located in the Towada Hachimantai National Park, is the only river that flows out of Lake Towada. It runs about 14 kilometers, and it is called Oirase mountain stream. You can experience the beautiful nature especially in the season of the fresh green and autumn leaves. Along the mountain stream, there are rich trees and waterfalls in many sizes, huge rocks, and sheer cliffs. The promenade along the mountain stream is maintained well so you can enjoy four and a half hours of trekking. It is designated as a natural treasure in 1928.


It is a general term for the over 130,000-ha. vast mountain belt which ranges from southwestern Aomori to northwestern Akita. The zone occupied with virgin beech forest was registered as a World Heritage Site in December 1993. Lake Aoike is located in the west side of Aomori Prefecture and is one of the Juniko Lakes. The color of lake is mystical which is like poured blue ink. The reason why it's blue still remains a mystery. The best season to see Lake Aoike is from spring to summer.


Kogin-zashi is one of the needlework techniques that originated in Edo Period and was passed around the Tsugaru region. Cotton threads are stitched in the linen cloth called kogin; certain embroidery design rules are followed to create the geometric patterns. It was started by female farmers to make linen warmer in cold winter by covering holes with needlework. Nowadays, Kogin is used for creating ties, handbags, wallets, etc., and is highly popular as a folk art.

Premium tuna in Oma

Premium tuna in Oma, which are caught off at the said town in Aomori prefecture, is regarded as the cream of the crop. The premium tuna in Oma contains high fat. Its price is much expensive than the frozen tuna from overseas (average is 7,000 JPY for 1kg), and it’s not a surprise when the price will be more than tens of thousands of yen. There was even a time when the price of a tuna was over 150 million JPY at the first auction in 2013.

Aomori Nebuta Matsuri

Using bamboo and paper, people make fans and big images of warriors and kabuki (traditional drama performed by male actors) scenes and put lights inside them. They set them up on floats and are marched along with the festival music of whistles and Japanese drum throughout the town. It is said that the origin of this festival is the Toro Nagashi (Setting Lanterns Adrift) of the Milky Way Festival, and it changed as it is now but no one knows the truth. Every year, the festival is held in various areas in Aomori in early August. The especially famous one is held from 2nd to 7th of August in Aomori City.

6. NIPPON Information

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

1) NIPPON Time Machine

June is a rainy season which can be either cloudy or rainier than the other seasons in Japan except in Hokkaido and Ogasawara Islands. Speaking of the rainy season, an umbrella is a necessary item. According to Japan Umbrella Promotion Association, about 120-130 million umbrellas are sold every year in Japan, and that number is almost the same as the number of population in Japan.
The Global Umbrella Survey (2014) by Weathernews Inc. showed that the average number of umbrellas a person owned in Japan was 3.3 per year (World average was 2.4.). Though Japan ranked 13th in annual precipitation, it placed no. 1 in the umbrella holder ranking in 35 countries.
It is said that the history of the Japanese umbrella began at the Heian period (794-1185). In the beginning, they were only for the noble class; the average people were using sedge hat and straw raincoat. After the Edo period, the commoners started to use umbrellas. In addition to its practicality, the Japanese umbrella was considered as a fashion item. The beauty and evolution of its stylish designs include its incorporation into kabuki and buyou (classical Japanese dance); thus, becoming a part of the unique and traditional Japanese culture.
In 1804, umbrella was imported for the first time from United Kingdom. From 1889-1892, umbrella was produced locally. It became affordable for the average people and so it started to spread.
It is said that there are three reasons why the umbrella spread in Japan massively. First is that Japan did not have the custom of wearing a raincoat because of its humid climate. Second is its long rains. Third is the difficulty to walk without getting soaked due to the town structure.
Rainy season this year will be average in the eastern part of Japan and rainier than usual on the western side. How about enjoying rainproof goods such as an umbrella? So that you can have a comfortable commute to company or school.

2) Lifestyle Information

Father’s Day on the June 19
The third Sunday of June is "Father's Day." Father's Day is the day of giving presents and message cards to show appreciation to the hard-working fathers. In United States, people send white roses to fathers. In Japan, the Father’s Day Council holds various campaigns and recommends to present "a yellow ribbon" on Father's Day. This is because "yellow" was the color for one’s protection during the ancient times in Britain. This was passed on to the United States, and eventually became "a happy yellow ribbon" signifying "our wish for the safety of those we love."
The custom of "Father's Day" started about 100 years ago. An American woman named Sonora Smart Dodd asked for the establishment of Father's Day to the pastoral association just as Mother's Day is celebrated, hence Father's Day was enacted. Father's Day began to spread in Japan from 1950 but it did not draw much recognition until 1980. Its spread can be attributed to the department store and other establishments that took Father's Day as one of its sales strategies.
Japan, United States, France and India celebrate Father's Day on the same day while other countries hold it on different dates in various ways. People celebrate this day and give present to fathers in many countries. Although the time and ways of celebrating is different in some countries, the purpose of conveying the feeling of the gratitude to fathers is common.
How about considering what you‘ll do or present on Father's Day to make your father the happiest man in the world?

7. JASSO News

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

1) Schedule, etc. for 2016 Japan Education Fairs

JASSO holds Japan Education 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 June 2016 issue will be published on June 10th. 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. From the Editor

How did you find the June edition of Japan Alumni eNews?
As we have said in our “NIPPON Time Machine” section, June in Japan is rainy season. Humidity of rainy season in Japan is pretty high, and it rains long. Recently, there are many rainproof items sold in Japan like umbrella that has much function, rain boots, and fast-drying insoles. To those people who are job-hunting, don’t forget to wipe your shoes with tissue before entering a company for your appointment on a rainy day.

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 July 8th. 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 address is 2-2-1 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-8630 JAPAN
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  • E-mail E-mail address is alumni-newsletter at mark jasso.go.jp
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