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Japan Alumni eNews (Vol. 129)

Japan Alumni eNews Vol. 129 January 10, 2020

Japan Alumni eNews Vol. 129

1. Life in Japan by Photo

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

  • How to submit
  • Please send your photos with the information listed below to the following address.
  • alumni-newsletter at mark jasso.go.jp
    *Please convert "at mark" to "@" when you send an e-mail to us.

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

January in Japan

The January edition of Life in Japan by Photo introduces “January in Japan.”

Ozoni (Miso-Based Rice Cake Soup)
Ozoni (Miso-Based Rice Cake Soup)
Hatsuhi-no-De (First Sunrise of the Year)
Hatsuhi-no-De (First Sunrise of the Year)
Coming-of-Age Ceremony
Coming-of-Age Ceremony
Osechi Cuisine (Traditional New Year’s Day Cuisine)
Osechi Cuisine (Traditional New Year’s Day Cuisine)

2. Alumni News

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

News on International Students

NEWS 1: A Record Number of Approvals for Status of Residence Changes in 2018

The Immigration Services Agency of Japan announced in October 2019 that there had been a record number of applications and approvals for international student status of residence changes in 2018. 30,924 people applied (an increase of 2,998 people from the previous year), and the number of applicants approved was 25,942 (an increase of 3,523 people from the previous year). The approval rate also increased by 83.9% compared to the previous year. Applicants tended to be from Asian countries, with China coming in 1st in the number of approved applicants, at 10,886, followed by Vietnam, with 5,244, and Nepal, with 2,934. A more detailed analysis revealed that most of the changes were towards statuses that require high-level skills, with 24,188 people, or 93.2% of the total, coming in under the “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services” status. In addition, their job categories tend to be in fields related to communication, such as translation/interpretation (9,884 people), sales (5,615 people), and overseas work (3,753 people).

NEWS 2: International Students Studying at Culinary Schools to Be Allowed Opportunities to Train/Work Outside of Japanese Cuisine

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announced their plan to expand the scope of restaurants that international students can train at while attending culinary school, allowing them to also work at non-Japanese restaurants. The policy had initially been established in order to help Japanese restaurants make their way overseas. There were many applicants, however, who wished to study abroad at Japanese culinary schools, which provide high-level instruction on cuisine, confectioneries, etc., outside the scope of Japanese cuisine as well. The policy was also revised to better suit the needs of international students who wish to continue working and heightening their culinary skills in Japan, even after they graduate. In the future, international students will be able to study at a variety of chef training facilities, confectionery hygiene master training facilities, etc., without being limited to culinary schools for Japanese cuisine. They will also be able to work at restaurants, confectionaries, bakeries, hotels, Japanese traditional inns, etc., after they graduate. There is a five-year limit, however, on the length of time they will be allowed to work while learning new skills after they graduate.

Study Abroad Testimonial

Karnallisa Desmy Halim

Name: Karnallisa Desmy Halim
Nationality: Indonesia
University: Kansai University
Major: Civil and Environmental Planning Course, Department of Civil, Environmental and Applied Systems Engineering, Faculty of Environmental and Urban Engineering
Period of Study: April 2015 to present
Japanese Proficiency Level: Japanese-Language Proficiency Test N1

Ever since I was a child, I have always dreamed of studying overseas. However, even upon graduating high school in my home country, I had not found a country or university I felt was right for me. Unsure of my future, I took my first step in the form of language acquisition and went to Taiwan to study Mandarin Chinese. Over there, I met many wonderful Japanese students and that made me gain an interest in their culture and made me want to study their language.

When I first told my parents that I wish to pursue my higher education in Japan, they were opposed to the idea because they were worried about the language barrier. However, I wanted to study Urban Planning and Japan’s civil engineering is one of the most developed in the world. After showing them my determination, I was able to receive their approval and in 2015, I first stepped into the Land of the Rising Sun. Up until that point in my life, I knew next to nothing about the Japanese language. I couldn’t even read or write basic hiragana, let alone the more advanced kanji. But after dedicating myself to my studies, I passed my JLPT N1 exam a year later with grades I can be proud of.

In 2017, I entered the Department of Civil, Environmental and Applied Systems Engineering that is a part of the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Engineering at Kansai University. It is here that I get to study and experience first-hand what is one of the world’s leading civil engineering of our time. Kansai University is a big university and there are a lot of people here. Because of that, there are every organization imaginable right here in this institute and it feels like you can do whatever you want to do to better your campus life and enrich your overseas experience. Every November, the school festival continues for 4 days and in that duration, students and non-students alike get to enjoy the various activities available. Every year, I would put on a performance or run a stall with my friends.

By coming to Japan, I think it is safe to say that my childhood dream has finally came true.

List of Japan Alumni Associations

Introduction of Support for International Students Returning Home

Yokohama National University Global Alumni Network

The Yokohama National University Global Alumni Network engages in such efforts as hosting overseas alumni events, promoting Yokohama National University (YNU), etc., in order to deepen connections amongst alumni who live abroad, and expand their networks. The network has associations in 26 countries throughout the world, based mainly in the countries the alumni are from. They work alongside the YNU International Strategy Organization to provide active support for overseas alumni events.

3. Academic News

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

Introducing Universities

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

Tokai University

Campus

University Profile (As of May 1, 2019)
Name: Tokai University
Shonan Campus: 4-1-1 Kitakaname, Hiratsuka-shi, Kanagawa
Yoyogi Campus: 2-28-4, Tomigaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Takanawa Campus: 2-3-23, Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Shimizu Campus: 3-20-1, Orido, Shimizu-ku, Shizuoka-shi, Shizuoka
Isehara Campus: 143 Shimokasuya, Isehara-shi, Kanagawa
Sapporo Campus: 1-1 1-Chome 5-Jo Minami-sawa, Minami-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido
Number of Students: Undergraduate: 28,279 (Including Junior College and Junior College of Nursing and Medical Technology) / Graduate School: 1,780
International Students: Undergraduate: 882 / Graduate School: 109 / Short-Term Program: 70 / Research Students, etc.: 30 / Exchange Students: 42

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

Boseimaru

The Tokai University campus was constructed in 1942. The following year, in 1943, the Aerial Science College, the predecessor to Tokai University, was established in what is now Shimizu City, Shizuoka Prefecture. Later, in 1946, Tokai University became accredited under Japan’s old educational system. The application for accreditation submitted to the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture at the time states that the university would instill in students a firm historical, national, and global perspective, borne of the fusion of the social and natural sciences. This has formed the basis of the university’s educational philosophy, which seeks to combine the spirit of the humanities and the sciences. The university’s goal, in accordance with founder Shigeyoshi Matsumae’s founding spirit and philosophy, is to cultivate personnel with broad-based perspectives and flexible imaginations, without placing too much emphasis on the simple learning of facts. The school possesses the personnel, knowledge, skills/technologies, and functions required of an educational/research institution, works to engage in constant educational reform as a university with campuses all throughout the country, and engages in cutting-edge research, all the while working to give back to society through the results of their efforts.

2. Overview and Characteristics of Distinctive Faculties and Departments

Introduction to mid-term training program

As lifestyles have grown increasingly diverse, we have seen more and more the emergence of complex issues that had not previously been in society. In this kind of age, quality of life is something that has become a shared global value, across a variety of areas. Tokai University utilizes the combined power of its 19 schools and 75 departments to grapple with this most significant of themes, basing its education on its interdisciplinary research structure and the fusion of the humanities and the sciences.

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

Solar-powered car

The university offers its own scholarships for international students enrolled in its schools. There are also external scholarships such as the government-sponsored Japan Student Services Organization scholarship, as well as those offered by local governments, various other organizations, etc.

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

Job Hunting / Employment
The university offers special job hunting/employment support for international students. The International Student Job Hunting Guidance Program, for instance, helps international students prepare for the job hunting process, allowing them to learn about the current realities of job hunting in Japan, what they should be doing to prepare, and more. The International Student Internship Program, held in the summer, also provides a good opportunity for students to learn about various jobs, think about their future career direction, and generate motivation for job hunting, through experience working at an actual Japanese company. The International Student Corner in the Career/Employment Department of the Shonan Campus also posts job hunting information, acts as a constant source of information for international students, and offers career consultations, guidance on writing “rirekisho” (Japanese resumes), and mock interviews.

International Exchange
The Shonan Campus hosts cultural activities, recreational activities, social events, etc., throughout the year. There are also many social events planned by Japanese students, as well as local residents, school, and various other organizations. If you are interested, you can find this information on the Tokai University International Education Center’s Facebook page. There is also the International Fair, held as a part of the Glocal Festa on the Shonan Campus every October, where Japanese students and international students from all over the world can deepen their ties, and develop more international mindsets. Every year, the students come up with varied and creative plans that involve exhibitions, shows, performances, etc., introducing the cultures and lifestyles of more than 20 countries/regions. And finally, there is a speech contest (in 6 languages, including English and Japanese), which provide international students with an opportunity to present on their day-to-day academic efforts and think about various topics.

Testimonial on Scholarships, Grants, Invitations, Awards, etc.

Khuramov Daler

Name: Khuramov Daler
Nationality: Uzbekistan
Type of Scholarship: Monbukagakusho Honors Scholarship for Privately Financed International Students
University: OHARA Japanese Language School
Major: Two-Year General Course
Year: 2nd year
Period of Stay: April 2018 to present
Japanese Proficiency Level: Japanese-Language Proficiency Test N3

I’ve always liked nature, and have watched a lot of nature shows since I was a kid. One day, I saw a monkey swimming in a Japanese hot spring on TV, which was something I’d never seen before, and I thought, “Japan’s amazing!” Since then, I started looking up all kinds of things about nature and technology in Japan. And as I got to know more about the country, I started wanting to study in Japan more and more. Even in Uzbekistan, Japan is known for its high level of technology. So I decided to go to Japan.

The scholarship I’ve been receiving is the Monbukagakusho Honors Scholarship for Privately Financed International Students. I heard about the scholarship from my homeroom teacher. It caught my interest because I heard that it was for students who really wanted to work hard and study. I talked to my teacher about it, and decided to go to the interviews the school was conducting. As a result, I’ve been able to receive this scholarship, starting April of this year. The scholarship covers a part of my tuition, which means I can lessen the financial burden on my parents, who send me my allowance. My parents were very happy that I’ve been able to receive this scholarship.

My teacher wrote down the questions that I’d probably be asked in the interview, and I used these to prepare by myself for the scholarship interview. During the actual interview, I was asked things like how I would use the scholarship, what I wanted to study in the future, and where I wanted to go to study. I also understood that the people who receive these scholarships have to serve as a role model for the other students, by heightening their own skills. This really made me want to study as hard as I could to learn Japanese.

I think people who are looking to receive scholarships should come to Japan and experience lots of things outside of the academic scope as well. It’s important to see what makes Japan great, and use the Japanese language to speak to a lot of people. Scholarships can reduce the financial burden of tuition, and give you the mental and emotional space to experience these kinds of things as well. I also think you should study as much Japanese as you can before you even arrive in Japan. I personally attended a Japanese language center in Uzbekistan for eight months before coming to Japan. And because of that, I was able to win the Bronze Prize at the OHARA Japanese Language School speech contest, the year I got here.

In the future, I want to study AI programming and robot technology at a vocational school. Then, I want to work for a Japanese company, and act as a bridge between Uzbekistan and Japan. These technologies are evolving very rapidly, so I want to gain as much knowledge and ability as I can as well.

Information about International Symposium

2020 Symposium on Cryptography and Information Security (SCIS 2020)

This symposium, held every year since 1984, is the largest-scale symposium in the security field in Japan. It serves as a place for experts to exchange information and announce the latest research results with regards to cryptography and information security. This 37th installment of SCIS 2020 will be held in Kochi City, Kochi Prefecture. Paper presentations may be conducted in Japanese or English. See the following website for the latest information on this symposium. If you have any questions, please contact isec-scis2020 “at mark” mail.ieice.org. (*Please convert “at mark” to “@” when you send them an e-mail.)

Date/Time: Tuesday, January 28 to Friday, January 31, 2020
Location: The Crown Palais New Hankyu Kochi (4-2-50 Honmachi, Kochi-shi, Kochi Prefecture)

Academic Societies

Japanese Language Tests

  • Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)
  • BJT Business Japanese Proficiency Test
  • The BJT Business Japanese Proficiency Test is administered in two types: individual testing and group testing. For individual testing, please register your account from the official website of the BJT Business Japanese Proficiency Test, make a test reservation, and take the test. When making a reservation, you can select your preferred test center and test date. For information on group testing, please contact the applicable group.
  • Test of Practical Japanese (J.TEST)
  • (Japanese version only)
    148th J.TEST
    Date of Test: Sunday, January 12, 2020
    Application Deadline has passed.
  • 149th J.TEST
    Test Date: Sunday, March 8, 2020
    Application Deadline: Wednesday, February 12, 2020
  • Monozukuri Nihongo Kentei (MNK)
  • The Monozukuri Nihongo Kentei is a comprehensive (free) service that allows you to take classes, take tests, and be certified on your smartphone, through the Internet. You may also use the self-introduction video you post on the related website as part of your job hunting efforts. Go to the MNK official website for more details. If you wish to take the test, register for the test (English version available) on the official website.

4. Business News

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

Information About Job Hunting Related Events

Job Hunting Event Information

Events for International Students

  • Connect Job Japan Souki Seminar
  • (Fourth Valley Concierge Corp.)
    Date/Time: Sunday, January 19, 2020 / 1:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.
    Location: Bellesalle Akihabara
    (Sumitomo Fudosan Akihabara Building, 3-12-8 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo)
    Target Group: International students who are job hunting
    Pre-registration: Required (Please register at the URL)

Useful Websites for International Students

  • These websites have search engines for companies recruiting international students.
  • Asagaku Navi
  • (Gakujo Co., Ltd.)
    (Japanese version only)
  • Diamond Shukatsu Navi
  • (DIAMOND HUMAN RESOURCE, INC.)
    (Japanese version only)
  • MYNAVI
  • (Mynavi Corporation)
    (Japanese version only)
  • Ryukatsu
  • (Japanese version only)
    (Originator Co., Ltd.)

Job Hunting Report

Sangmok Han

Name: Sangmok Han
Nationality: South Korea
University: Graduate School of Science and Technology, Keio University
Major: Open and Environmental Systems, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Period of Stay in Japan: April 1997 to March 2007
Current Workplace: Toshiba, Hilti, HiKOKI (former Hitachi Koki)
Japanese Proficiency Level: Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (Pre-Revision) Level 1

It was 20 years ago that I came to Japan to study abroad. At the time, studying abroad in the U.S. was the mainstream option in Korea, but I was interested in the culture of Japan, which was closer geographically, and which I heard a lot about growing up (my grandfather studied abroad in Japan too). So I decided to study abroad in a Japanese graduate school.

I think, even with the language barrier, I was able to earn my degree because of the help I received from my instructors and peers in my research lab. When I graduated, I debated whether to return to Korea or find work in Japan, but ultimately decided to work in Japan so that I could try to give back to the country. My research at the time involved coordination with various companies, and I decided to enter Toshiba so that I could utilize my research results in the company. I later went to work in a foreign company, and then came to my current job (at the former Hitachi Koki). I think the most important thing in the job hunting process is not the name value of the company, but to choose a job that you’ll enjoy, and where your skills will be valued.

When interviewing with various companies, it’s important to be honest about your strengths and weaknesses, and clarify what exactly the corporate atmosphere and your work tasks will be like. It may be obvious, but lying or exaggerating about your skills will just cause you and the company stress after you get accepted and begin working.

Because I want to continue working in Japan in the future as well, I want more and more international students that are capable of bringing a breath of fresh air to companies in Japan to come here and challenge themselves with new things. I think one of our biggest roles as well is to improve the admittedly lacking diversity in Japanese companies.

Job Hunting Information Article

Job Hunting Support Services for International Students

Normally, when university students in Japan go through the job hunting process, they use websites that help support their job hunting endeavors, called shukatsu (job hunting) websites. These websites post information about various companies, the hiring of new graduates, and more. Students collect information about companies hiring new graduates through these websites before proceeding with the job hunting process, whether it be registering for company information sessions or submitting entry sheets.

There are several types of job hunting websites, but each will require you to register before you can use them. In order to gather a lot of information, students in the process of job hunting should register for at least a few different job hunting websites. Some Japanese companies hiring new graduates have different processes for Japanese students and international students, and some don’t, so be sure to register at these job hunting websites in advance and gather the information you need.

There are also several websites in Japan that offer job hunting support services specifically for international students. These websites list job postings from companies looking to hire international students, companies placing particular emphasis on hiring international students, etc. Since these services are oriented towards international students, they allow you to search job postings by your native language, nationality, etc. Some websites even post interviews with older international students, articles on job hunting in Japan, and more, providing you with a variety of information related to the Japanese job hunting process.

You may find yourself confused as to what website to use, since there are several types of websites that offer job hunting support services for international students. Since many of these allow you to register for free, try registering first, then check the number, type, etc., of job postings, or even the content of the articles, and choose the website that’s best for you.

By utilizing job hunting websites and websites that offer job hunting support services for international students, you’ll be able to go about your job hunting in Japan in a more efficient manner. Be aware, however, that some companies choose not to post about their hiring process on these websites, instead posting the information on their own websites. So if there is a company you are particularly interested in, or if you have a set industry you want to work in, make sure to keep an eye on the company websites as well.

5. Visit Japan

Introducing regions in Japan with universities, and more! The January issue looks at Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture.

Introducing Cities and Daily Life As a Study Abroad Student

View of Matsuyama City

Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture

Matsuyama City is a city located in the northwest of Shikoku, one of the four large islands that make up the Japanese archipelago. The area is abundant with nature, with mountains stretching to the northeast, and the Seto Inland Sea to the southwest. In Japan, it is known as a major production site for citrus fruits like the Iyokan citrus. It is one of the largest cities in Shikoku, with a population of approximately 500,000. Matsuyama City is home to seven universities and junior colleges, and a total of approximately 17,000 students. Of these, approximately 340 are international students.

Matsuyama City has three major characteristics. The first is that it evolved, historically, as a castle town for Matsuyama Castle. The second is that it is a hot springs town, home to the Dogo Onsen, which is famous in Japan. The third is that it is a literature town, with deep ties to famous writers like Masaoka Shiki and Natsume Soseki. It is also a very convenient place to live, with commercial facilities, cultural facilities, sports facilities, tourism facilities, etc., all concentrated in the area. It’s also easy to get around in, with four train lines that run through the city, and many streetcars and buses, concentrated mainly in the area around central Matsuyama City Station. Prices are also quite cheap, with the rent at around 30,000 to 40,000 yen for “1R” or “1K” apartments (i.e. one-room studios), etc., which are good for living on your own. (As of 2019)

The three universities and junior colleges with the highest number of the students are located in what is called the Johoku area, to the north of the small mountain in the center of the city (Shiroyama). For this reason, the Johoku area has a student town atmosphere, with many students and student-oriented apartments. There are many food establishments that provide “student food” (in other words, lots of food for a low price) which makes it a good environment for young people who want to eat a lot.

Matsuyama City is also home to an organization called the Matsuyama International Center*, which hosts social exchange programs, etc., for local residents and residents who have moved in from overseas, including international students. In the “My Matsuyama Family” program, for instance, households registered in the program think for themselves about how they could interact with international students. Each household comes up with creative ideas for the international students, whether it be having them experience what it’s like to live in a Japanese household or experience local/school events and Japanese traditions like New Year’s rituals and various festivals. The association also hosts tour events around Matsuyama City’s famous landmarks, as well as various other events, including legal consultation sessions for residents who have moved in from overseas.

6. NIPPON Information

This section introduces information on Japan for international students!

Lifestyle Information

How to throw away trash in Japan
  • How to Throw Away Trash in Japan

Japan is a country with very strict rules on throwing away trash. The various rules include “bunbetsu” (or classification), which consists in differentiating between different types of trash such as combustible and incombustible waste, washing empty cans, bottles, etc., before you throw them away, and more. The Japanese system is also unique in that the type of trash that can be thrown away depends on the day of the week. Why are there such strict rules for throwing away trash in Japan?

We go through the “bunbetsu,” or classification process, before throwing away trash in Japan, in order to recycle usable materials and reduce the amount of overall trash. Japan has very limited land, which means there is a limit to the amount of trash that final processing sites (where the trash is buried in the ground) can accept. Some even say these sites will all be full in about 20 years. The government has thus set strict trash classification laws in order to reduce the amount of trash as much as possible. The locations, days of the week, etc., for throwing away trash are also very specific to prevent trash from being unattended over long periods of time, and keep cities clean. Part of the rules’ rigorousness may also lie, of course, in Japanese culture and its emphasis on adhering strictly to laws.

Many international students, when they first begin living in Japan, may be bewildered at how strict the rules are for throwing away trash. From here on, we’ll cover the main points of the system, and explain how it works. Be aware, however, that rules for throwing away trash differ by region, so make sure to check the website, pamphlet, etc., for your municipality.

First, when throwing away trash in Japan, you should get in the habit of checking what type of trash it is. The basic types of trash are as follows, though these categories may differ depending on region.

- Combustible trash: Kitchen waste (fish, vegetables, etc.), paper, clothing, etc.
- Incombustible trash: Metal, glass, knives, rubber, etc.
- Plastic trash: Plastic bags, prepackaged food trays, films (labels on plastic bottles, etc.), etc.
- Recyclable trash: Glass bottles, cans, plastic bottles, used paper (newspaper, etc.), etc.
- Oversized trash: Large pieces of trash, such as furniture, electronics/appliances, bicycles, etc.

In many cases in Japan, different types of trash can only be thrown away on specific days of the week, so be sure to check the rules for your municipality.

Where you throw away your trash is also determined by each municipality. In some cases, you can leave your trash out in front of your house, and in others, you’ll have to take your trash to a “shusekijo,” or trash collection center, located in the city. Apartments and other residential complexes, however, tend to have trash collection areas located within their grounds, so be sure to ask your manager where it is.

Japan also has rules regarding trash bags. The rules differ by municipality: in some areas, you’ll have to put your trash in a clear plastic bag that shows the contents, while in others you’ll have to purchase specialized trash bags designated by the municipality. The trash collectors will not take your trash if it’s in the wrong bag, so be sure to check you’ve got the right bag before you set your trash out.

In most cases, municipal offices will hand out pamphlets to each household, explaining how trash must be thrown away within the municipality. These pamphlets, however, tend to only be available in English, so if you’re confused about something, try calling them directly, or looking it up on the website.

Get to Know Japan

In this section, we introduce Japan-related topics, whether it be culture, technology, or lifestyle. The January issue looks at Japanese professional sports.

Japanese Professional Sports

Japanese Professional Sports

Last year, the Rugby World Cup was held in Japan, to great excitement and fanfare. The performance of the Japan national team instantly elevated the popularity of rugby in Japan, to the point where there are now efforts being made to create a professional Japanese rugby league. There are already, however, various professional sports that are very popular in Japan, and sumo, which can be considered a traditional Japanese professional sport, is also still popular today. However, it’s baseball and soccer that lead the way in terms of the number of spectators. Here, we will explain the characteristics of Japan’s most popular professional sports (sumo, baseball, and soccer) as well as how to spectate them.

First up is sumo wrestling, which began around the 17th century, and is known as Japan’s oldest professional sport. The sumo currently being held in Japan as a professional sport is called “ozumo,” and many of the “rikishi” (ozumo sumo wrestlers) are from overseas. The main event for ozumo is a tournament called the “honbasho,” which is held every other month, with each season starting in January. Many spectators go to watch the honbasho, and in many cases it is broadcast on TV, making it an enjoyable part of Japanese day-to-day life. Tickets to watch the honbasho are sold in advance on the official website, various ticket websites, etc., with same-day tickets available at the venue as well.

Next up is baseball, the most highly watched professional sport in Japan. Every year, more than 20 million people in Japan go to stadiums to watch baseball games. The first professional baseball team in Japan was established about a hundred years ago, in 1920. Since then, baseball has become a part of the daily life of many Japanese people, with professional baseball player being one of the top jobs listed by children when asked what they want to be when they grow up. There are currently 12 professional baseball teams in Japan, with matches held every year from late March to late October. Matches are frequent in professional baseball, and are held even on weekdays. To watch a professional baseball game at a stadium, you’ll need to purchase your tickets on ticket websites online, or purchase them directly at the stadium.

Professional soccer, which began in 1991 in Japan, is also very popular. About 10 million people watch professional soccer matches every year, and there are many famous foreign players on Japanese teams as well. The Japanese professional soccer season is slightly longer than the baseball league’s, and is held from late February to late November. Unlike professional baseball, most matches are held on Saturdays and Sundays. Much like with professional baseball, you can buy your tickets on ticket websites or directly at the stadium. Since there are more teams, tickets are easier to obtain compared to baseball, making it a more casually enjoyable professional sport.

There are various other professional sports in Japan as well, including golf, tennis, bowling, martial arts (boxing, professional wrestling, etc.), and even motor sports. In addition, some professional leagues, like for basketball or table tennis, have just recently been established. Many professional sports matches are broadcast on TV or the Internet, and matches are easy to get to in urban areas. Try finding a team you like, in a sport you like, and cheer them on.

Magazines and Brochures from Japanese Government

Providing public relations materials regarding Japan, including culture and sport.

  • Japan Environment Quarterly(JEQ)
  • JEQ is an international Quarterly published by MOEJ. This Quarterly includes various articles that covers such topics as the latest efforts to address environmental issues, work undertaken by the private sector and NGOs in Japan and abroad, and introductions to Japan's National Parks.

7. JASSO News

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

Study in Japan Fairs in FY 2019

JASSO (Japan Student Services Organization) holds Study in Japan Fairs overseas for high school and university students who wish to study in Japan. It also participates in and assists with events and company briefing sessions held by other organizations.

  • Study in Japan Fair (Malaysia): Kuala Lumpur: Saturday, January 11 and Sunday, January 12, 2020

    See the official website for information on other events.

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 about international students' experiences 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 it in 14 languages such as Japanese, English, Chinese (simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese), Korean, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese, Myanmar language, Bengali, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, French, German, Mongolian, and Portuguese.

Official Facebook Pages of JASSO and Overseas Representative Offices

JASSO and Overseas Representative Offices 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”

Please read the January 2020 issue. It will be available on January 10.

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 with an opportunity 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.

New University Listing(s) This Month:
University of Miyazaki

Job Hunting Guide for International Students

New Japanese versions

This guidebook provides a great amount of information for international students looking to job hunt in Japan. This covers everything you need to know, from the preparation process to the entry sheets, tests, changes to statuses of residence, and more, categorized by time period, and in an easy to understand language.

8. From the Editor

Happy New Year to all of our readers, and here’s to another year of Japan Alumni eNews.
This is finally the year of the Tokyo Olympics. The last time the Olympics were held in Tokyo was 56 years ago, in 1964. Other 1964 milestones include the opening of the Tokyo Monorail Haneda Airport Line and the Tokaido Shinkansen, railway-wise. In terms of computer technology, the American company IBM began its sale of System/360, which would go on to be known as a “mainframe,” a large-scale calculator that would become the world standard. 1964 also marked the beginning of commercial sales for operating systems (OSs), which nowadays come installed in every computer. Though color TVs were finally making their way out into society, most households only had black-and-white TV sets. Still, the ownership rate for TVs jumped all the way up to 90% in Japan as a result of the Olympics. Now, in 2020, we are moving closer to the practical use of linear Shinkansen, and in terms of computer technology, AI is developing skills of thought that may surpass those of us humans. TVs have become more and more high-resolution, going from high vision to 4K to 8K, and flat-screen TVs have now become the norm. When we think of it this way, it’s hard to imagine what the world will look like in 2076, 56 years from now. But let’s hope that no matter what, the future will be bright and full of promise.

The Japan Alumni eNews Editorial Desk is looking for people who can share their job hunting experiences. We also welcome pictures from your life abroad as an international student, and your comments for our e-mail magazine. Our next issue of Japan Alumni eNews will be released on February 10, 2020. Don’t miss it!

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

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Contact

Follow-up Services Unit, International Scholarship Division, Student Exchange Department Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO)
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  • FAX (facsimile) number is +81-3-5520-6031
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