The site of Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) . The top of the page.

The contents of the "Study in Japan".

From here to the header. A region that contains the auxiliary functions that help the site title and browsing.

From here to the header. A region that contains the auxiliary functions that help the site title and browsing.

Japan Alumni eNews (Vol. 130)

Japan Alumni eNews Vol. 130 February 10, 2020

Japan Alumni eNews Vol. 130

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

February in Japan

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

Setsubun (Bean-Throwing Festival)
Setsubun (Bean-Throwing Festival)
Canola Flower
Canola Flower
Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day
A Fugu (Blowfish) Dish
A Fugu (Blowfish) Dish

2. Alumni News

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

News on International Students

NEWS 1: 48 Programs Selected as Special Programs for the Prioritized Assignment of Japanese Government-Sponsored International Students

In December 2019, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) announced the programs that had been selected as Special Programs for the Prioritized Assignment of Japanese Government-Sponsored International Students for the academic year 2019. Through this project, outstanding international student programs at various universities will be able to receive support from MEXT through Japanese Government Scholarships. This will allow universities to establish the systems they need to bring in more international students with excellent academic records. Applications started in July 2019, with a total of 62 applications from 54 universities coming in in total. The 48 programs in question (47 graduate school programs, and one undergraduate program) were selected that same November, following document screening and meetings by the special committee.

NEWS 2: Half of International Students Aiming to Work in Japan Wish to Work in One Company for as Long as Possible

Science- and engineering-oriented international students who are aiming to work in Japan want to work in one company for as long as possible, and believe that their strength is in the fact that they understand Japanese culture as well as their own, a survey revealed. The survey, conducted by a job hunting informational website for international students, was conducted from September to November 2019, and covered 217 registered users of the website. 47%, or approximately half of the respondents, answered that they wanted to work in one company for as long as possible, with another half (47.5%) of these respondents giving “clear standards for salary increases and promotions” as requirements for their continuing long-term work at the same company. When asked about their strengths as compared to Japanese workers, 62.7% said that their strength was their understanding of the culture/customs of both their home countries and Japan. However, despite the fact that 76% of the respondents had passed the N1 or N2 Level of the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test, many of them said that their lack of confidence in Japanese, and particularly in Japanese honorific language, was a source of worry about working in Japan. (This survey of international students was conducted by Originator Co., Ltd.)

Study Abroad Testimonial

Alizadehkolagar Seyedehmehrasa

Name: Alizadehkolagar Seyedehmehrasa
Nationality: Iran
University: Osaka University
Major: Graduate School of Information Science and Technology (Ph.D.)
Period of Study: October 2014 to March 2019
Japanese Proficiency Level: Japanese-Language Proficiency Test N2

I entered the PhD program at the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, Osaka University in 2016. Over three years of the PhD course, I conducted research on computer assisted language learning with focus on the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of a blended (face-to-face and online) course of English for general academic purposes targeting Japanese undergraduate students. I also presented my research findings at various domestic and international conferences, and after refining my research method and results based on other researchers’ feedback and comments, I published several journal articles.

While I was a Master’s student back in Iran, I developed an interest in the use of ICT in language learning and teaching, particularly in foreign language contexts where English is not the first language and as a result, I chose to continue my studies in Japan.

The lab I was affiliated with at Osaka University was a computer science lab where most students were involved in research on augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies, and there was almost nobody else doing research on education. However, there were many international students at our lab, and we regularly had events that allowed us to experience Japanese culture, enjoy communication with labmates during welcome and goodbye parties, and go on trips together, all of which also helped me with my research achievements.

The life of a typical graduate student in Japan is usually busy with research or experiments, yet it is a life full of interesting experiences and lots of learning. In the end, I would like to ask all prospective graduate students thinking of doing a degree in Japan to take full advantage of this invaluable opportunity not only to grow academically but also to take further steps in personal growth and development.

List of Japan Alumni Associations

Introduction of Support for International Students Returning Home

Fukuoka Association of Returned Foreign Students

The Fukuoka Association of Returned Foreign Students is a private organization comprised of residents of the Fukuoka region. Members of the association visit international students who have studied abroad in the Fukuoka region and who have since returned to their home countries, making efforts to deepen friendships and cultural understanding, help improve upon the fruits of the former students’ study abroad experiences, improve systems for bringing international students to Japan, and drive socialization amongst international students and local residents.

Since 1991, the association has made 27 visits to 12 countries and regions, and has continued to host social events with former international students. An example of a recent effort to support the formal organization of former international students is in Sri Lanka, Xi’An (China), and Taichung (Taiwan), where they assisted in the establishment of the Fukuoka International Student Association, and upon their visit, hosted a kick-off event for their association.

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.

Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo

Campus

University Profile (As of November 1, 2019)
Graduate School Name: Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, the University of Tokyo
Address: 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa-shi, Chiba (The University of Tokyo Kashiwa Campus)
Number of Students: 1,544
International Students: 518

1. Overview of Graduate School (History, Mission, etc.)

Japanese language class

The Graduate School of Frontier Sciences was established in 1998 under the principle of interdisciplinary study, or “academic fusion,” in order to create new academic fields. Highly passionate faculty members, each leaders of their fields, come together in this graduate school to grapple, in a cross-disciplinary manner, with important issues that have transcended each field’s traditional area of study in nanoscience, materials, energy, information, complex systems, the life sciences, bioinformatics, the environment, international cooperation, etc.. The graduate school’s diverse array of members socialize and work closely together in a free and open, unstratified environment. The school’s basic principle is to challenge itself to new frontiers: to the new problems that humanity comes to face, now and in the future.

2. Overview and Characteristics of Distinctive Graduate Schools

Student session of a symposium

The Graduate School of Frontier Sciences is comprised of 11 departments in the fundamental sciences, the life sciences, and the environmental sciences, the Graduate Program in Sustainability Science - Global Leadership Initiative, and 2 distinctive research centers. The school also operates many cross-disciplinary programs, in order to cultivate personnel with a wide range of knowledge and a deep level of specialization. In addition to its specialized education, which comes through collaboration with the research centers on the Kashiwa Campus, the school is also working to expand its variety of programs, auxiliary facilities, etc., in order for students to develop both the intellect and physical strength needed to be a leader in society.

3. Support for International Students (Accommodations Support, Scholarships, Tuition Reduction, etc.)

Social exchange at an elementary school

More than 30% of the student body at the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences are international students. Kashiwa Campus becomes even more international in the summer, when the school hosts multiple short-term research internship programs, bringing in even more students from abroad. As part of its efforts to support the day-to-day life of international students and foreign researchers, the school operates Japanese language classes, conducts Japanese culture tours, and even rents out private apartments, providing living environments that students can apply for without regard for their nationality. The Graduate School of Frontier Sciences is also working to expand the range of scholarship programs for foreign individuals who wish to study at the school.

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

Support for international students is offered in the form of the university’s basic support program, as well as special programs offered by the graduate school. In addition to the kinds of support mentioned above, the graduate school also offers its own distinctive kind of support, in which it makes efforts to engage actively in and coordinate with the local community. The Kashiwa Campus is located in the Kashiwanoha area, which is gathering worldwide attention as a smart city, and as the setting for research projects. The school also sends international students out to local elementary schools and high schools for the purposes of international exchange, and for international students to become more involved in their local community.

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

M&A Forum

Project Name
14th M&A Forum Award
1. Objective:
M&A Forum strives to popularize and spread the word about M&As in Japan, and develop personnel and markets towards that purpose. M&A Forum offers the “M&A Forum Award” to recognize outstanding works and research papers related to M&A, written from a variety of perspectives such as law, economics, business administration, accounting, tax affairs, society, culture, etc. Please feel free to apply.
2. Theme and Application Requirements:
- Works or research papers related to M&A (written about the relationship between M&As and law, economics, business administration, accounting, tax affairs, society, culture, etc.) and that presents a logical, empirical, and/or practical analysis of the topic at hand.
- The work/research paper must be written in Japanese. Works and papers published in economics journals, comprehensive journals, bulletins, etc., between the period of April 2019 and March 2020 are also eligible for this award. Students in graduate schools, undergraduate programs, and vocational schools are also allowed to submit their master’s theses, doctoral dissertations, and senior theses. (International students are also eligible.)
- All works, papers, etc., submitted must be written by the applicant him-/herself.
3. Application Method:
- Go to the URL listed below in “7. Contact,” then (1) Fill out the designated form, (2) E-mail the form and the summary of your work/paper (approximately 1,000 characters; no designated format) to maprize “at mark” maforum.jp (Please convert “at mark” to “@” when you send an e-mail) in PDF form, and (3) Prepare the work/paper you wish to submit (2 copies), attach the application form and summary you sent previously via e-mail, and send all of these to the e-mail address listed below in “7. Contact.”
- Please be aware that the work or paper submitted with your application will not be returned to you.
4. Application Deadline:
Thursday, April 30, 2020 (as indicated by the postmark on the envelope)
5. Judging / Announcement of Results / Awarding of Prize:
- A screening committee comprised of leading researchers and businesspeople from a variety of M&A-related fields will judge the submitted works and papers.
- Award winners will be notified by early September 2020, and the results will be posted on the M&A Forum official website (only winners will be notified).
- Award winners are expected to receive their award certificate and prize money in early October 2020.
6. Prize Amount:
- M&A Forum Grand Prize “RECOF Award” (1 recipient): Award certificate and prize of 500,000 yen
- M&A Forum Encouragement Award “RECOF Encouragement Award” (1 recipient): Award certificate and prize of 100,000 yen
- M&A Forum Screening Committee Special Recognition Award “RECOF Special Recognition Award” (1 recipient / For students, including part-time students): Award certificate and prize of 100,000 yen
7. Contact:
“M&A Forum Award” Representative, RECOFDATA Corporation
4-1-1 Kojimachi Diamond Building 9F, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0083
TEL: +81-3-3221-4942

Information about International Symposium

Integrated Engineering Symposium 2020: Battling Social Issues Through the Collaboration of the Humanities and the Sciences

Of the many kinds of academic collaboration, this symposium focuses on the collaboration between the humanities and the sciences. Part 1 will feature lectures on integrated approaches, artistic ideas, ethical, legal, and social issues and open technology assessments, as well as AI and its role in society. In Part 2, there will be discussions of efforts (case studies) currently underway with regards to self-driving vehicles and smart cities. In Part 3, there will be an open discussion on future issues and outlooks.

Date/Time: Thursday, March 12, 2020 / 1:00 P.M to 6:00 P.M.
Location: Science Council of Japan Lecture Hall (7-22-34 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo)

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)
    149th Test
    Test Date: Sunday, March 8, 2020
    Application Deadline: Wednesday, February 12, 2020
  • 150th Test
    Test Date: Sunday, May 10, 2020
    Application Deadline: Wednesday, April 8, 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

Events for International Students

  • Career Forum for International Candidates 2020
  • (DISCO Inc.)
    Date/Time: Tuesday, February 18, 2020 / 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
    Location: Bunka Kaikan, Ikebukuro Sunshine City
    (3-1-4 Higashi-ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo)
    Target Group: Those who speak a minimum of beginner-level Japanese, and who speak a language other than Japanese at a native level, and who fulfill the following requirements: (1) Have earned a Bachelor’s degree or higher (Master’s, PhD, etc.) from a university, or who are expected to earn such a degree, and (2) Have studied abroad in Japan before, and have some work experience
    Pre-registration: Required (Please register at the URL)
  • Connect Job Japan Engineer @Tokyo
  • (Fourth Valley Concierge Corporation)
    Date/Time: Sunday, February 23, 2020 / 1:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.
    Location: Belle Salle Kanda 2F
    (Sumitomo Fudosan Kanda Building, 7 Kanda-mitoshirocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo)
    Target Group: International students studying a science-oriented subject
    Pre-registration: Required (Please register at the URL)
  • Connect Job Japan @Tokyo & Osaka
  • (Fourth Valley Concierge Corporation)
    Date/Time: Sunday, March 1 to Monday, March 2, 2020 / 1:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.
    Location: Belle Salle Akihabara
    (Sumitomo Fudosan Akihabara Building, 3-12-8 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo)
    Target Group: International students
    Pre-registration: Required (Please register at the URL)

    Date/Time: Sunday, March 8, 2020 / 1:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.
    Location: Osaka Merchandise Mart Building
    (1-7-31 Otemae, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka)
    Target Group: International students
    Pre-registration: Required (Please register at the URL)
  • Job Fair for International Students (Nagoya)
  • (Mynavi Corporation)
    Date/Time: Monday, March 9, 2020 / 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.
    Location: Winc Aichi
    (4-4-38 Meieki, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi)
    Target Group: International students who are expected to graduate from university, graduate school, technical college, or vocational school in Spring 2021
    Pre-registration: Required (Please register at the URL)
  • Job Fair for International Students (Tokyo)
  • (Mynavi Corporation)
    Date/Time: Wednesday, March 11, 2020 / 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.
    Location: Shinjuku NS Building
    (2-4-1 Nishi-shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo)
    Target Group: International students who are expected to graduate from university, graduate school, technical college, or vocational school in Spring 2021
    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

Rosa Watanabe

Name: Rosa Watanabe
Nationality: Taiwan
University: Waseda University
Major: Short-term program (Japanese Language Program)
Period of Stay in Japan: April 2013 to March 2014
Current Workplace: Toppan Printing
Japanese Proficiency Level: Japanese-Language Proficiency Test N1

I decided to study abroad in Japan because my grandparents on both sides of my family spoke Japanese (my grandfather on my mother’s side especially knew a lot of people in Japan) and because my family’s work brought us into occasional contact with Japanese products, and I became interested in the Japanese language. Before I went to study abroad in Japan, I had an acquaintance teach me hiragana and basic grammar. It was only when I actually got to Japan that I started really studying the language. The more I studied Japanese, the more I recognized the depth in the language. When my study abroad ended and I returned to my home country, I decided to work hard to find a job in Japan, because I didn’t want to forget the language I’d worked so hard to learn.

The hardest thing for me in terms of job hunting was telling people about myself in Japanese. There were a lot of times when what I thought was good or natural actually felt off to Japanese people, because of cultural differences. I was also not very good at writing Japanese, so to get through the document screening, I asked Japanese acquaintances and people at school to look through my Japanese and give me advice.

The thing I remember the most from my job hunting experience was when I was late to an interview for a company. I’d gotten all my preparation done and left the house early, but there was an accident and the train was massively delayed. As soon as I realized I was going to be late, I immediately contacted the HR representative and apologized, telling them I was going to be late. I got to the office as fast as I could, and the kind HR representative was there waiting for me. Ever since that experience, I have been aware that I need a certain amount of buffer time for interviews and the like so that I could deal with unforeseen circumstances. I also started to recognize the importance of working hard, and not giving up.

If you’re from overseas and are thinking about working in Japan, I truly hope that you get to put your all into something that you really want to do. It’s also important to never give up. It’s hard to overcome cultural differences, but think about it as a form of studying. There are all kinds of people in international society, each with their own ways of thinking, so I think it’s good to have the courage to say what you really think. I studied abroad in Canada before coming to Japan, so my strength is that I can speak three languages: Chinese, English, and Japanese. My work brings me into frequent contact with overseas companies, so I’ve really been able to use the language skills I’ve cultivated. With the Tokyo Olympics next year, Tokyo will become more global than ever. I personally want to stretch my language skills further, and learn a fourth language. I also had a child this year and am currently right in the midst of childcare, so the goal is to keep working hard while balancing my work and my family.

Job Hunting Information Article

Company Information Sessions

The job hunting process for university students graduating in Spring 2021 officially begins in March 2020. This is when companies release information on their hiring processes and begin accepting entry sheets from those who wish to apply. They also begin hosting company information sessions for students. At these information sessions, companies explain what their characteristics are, what kind of businesses they operate, what kind of business developments they have planned for the future, etc., and also explain their hiring processes. It’s important that you be proactive in participating in the information sessions for the companies you’re interested in, and gather the information you need for the job hunting process.

There are three types of company information sessions. The first type of information session covers multiple companies. The second type is run by the company itself. And for the third, company employees go to universities and conduct their information sessions there.

The first type of company information session, in which multiple companies are in attendance, are called “joint information sessions,” and are hosted by job hunting website providers, etc. At joint information sessions, you can pick and choose which companies you’re interested in, and participate in their information sessions only. Some joint information sessions also feature job hunting seminars that you can attend. Because most joint information sessions require you to register beforehand, make sure to check the job hunting websites well in advance.

The second type of information session, which is run by the company itself, is usually longer than its equivalent at a joint information session, which means you’ll be able to hear about the company and their hiring process in more detail. For some companies, participating in this information session is even considered the first step in the hiring process, so make sure to participate in the information session for the companies you want to apply to. You can register for such information sessions through job hunting websites in some cases, and through the company website in others, so make sure to check both of these repeatedly once this season rolls around.

The third type, in which company employees visit universities and conduct the information sessions there, are often called “on-campus information sessions.” Unlike other types of company information sessions, these will sometimes allow you to come in contact with university alumni who now work for the company in question. This is a great opportunity to hear about the company more in depth, whether it is about the corporate culture or the details of their businesses, so be proactive about participating in these, and try to talk with the alumni. Information on campus information session can be found on your university’s portal website/official website, and at your university’s career center (or career support division, employment division, etc.).

Once we enter March, one after the other, companies will begin releasing information on their company information sessions. Because many of these information sessions can actually fill up, get into the habit of checking job hunting websites, company websites, etc., frequently starting February, so that you don’t get left behind.

5. Visit Japan

Introducing universities and other regions throughout Japan. The February issue features Sapporo City in Hokkaido Prefecture.

Introducing Cities and Daily Life As a Study Abroad Student

Former Hokkaido Government Office (Red Brick Office)

Sapporo City, Hokkaido Prefecture


Sapporo City is a major city located on the eastern part of Hokkaido, a large island on the northern end of the Japanese archipelago. It has a population of 1.97 million, making it the fifth most populated city in Japan, after Tokyo, Yokohama City in Kanagawa Prefecture, Osaka City in Osaka Prefecture, and Nagoya City in Aichi Prefecture. It is thought to be a comfortable place to live, with relatively warm temperatures and less snow pile-up than in the rest of Hokkaido, which is located in the very northern part of Japan.
Sapporo City is one of Japan’s most well-known tourist destinations. There’s a lot to experience in the city. To the west and south, there are abundant mountains; to the north, which faces the Japan Sea, the Ishikari Bay; and to the east, an abundant environment with fields very characteristic of Hokkaido, historical buildings with over 100 years of history, Umiyama and its delicious food, and more. 15 million tourists visit the city every year. The Sapporo Snow Festival, held in February every year, is one of the most famous events in Japan, with more than 2 million attendees per year.

There are a total of 24 universities and junior colleges in Sapporo City, with 50,000 students studying there. Of these, approximately 2,500 are international students. International students live in international student dorms like the Sapporo International Student Center, dorms run by the various universities, in private apartments, and more. The rent in Sapporo City is relatively cheap compared to other major cities, meaning the “1R” or “1K” kind of apartments (i.e. one-room studios) you’d typically want for living on your own will only set you back something in the range of 30,000 to 40,000 yen (as of 2019). The central city also has well-developed underground shopping areas, subways, etc., which are convenient in that they allow you to get around in the cold winter seasons without going outside. If it’s not winter, you can make use of the bicycle-sharing service Porocle, which makes it convenient to get around the relatively compact urban area of this major city.

The Kita District of Sapporo City in particular is home to many universities and junior college campuses, and thrives as a student town. It is an area that is convenient to live in, with many supermarkets, convenience stores, cafes, and restaurants located nearby. The Kita District also has stretches of residences, like apartment buildings and condominiums, and has an overall more relaxed feel than the central area, which is packed with offices and government buildings. However, government offices like the Hokkaido Prefectural Office, the Sapporo City Hall, etc., and the various embassies are still a relatively short subway or bus ride away, meaning international students won’t have trouble completing any necessary procedures.

In Sapporo City, the Sapporo International Communication Plaza conducts programs in order to encourage international exchange, drive international understanding, improve the lives of foreign residents, etc. They release information related to Sapporo City, lifestyle, medicine, events, disaster prevention, and the like through e-mail, and host consultation events where you can consult with lawyers, etc., for free. The Sapporo International Student Center, which is a part of Sapporo International Communication Plaza, also hosts classes and events where you can experience Japanese culture.

6. NIPPON Information

This section introduces information on Japan for international students!

Lifestyle Information

Individual Number Card and notification card
  • Japan’s Individual Number Policy

Japan implemented the Individual Number policy (also known as My Number) in 2016. Under the policy, every single resident of Japan is issued a number called an “Individual Number.” The number is then used in procedures regarding the payment of salary-related taxes, resident-oriented services, etc. Individual Numbers are also issued to foreigners who live in Japan for over a certain period of time. When coming to Japan for study abroad, etc., it’s important that you learn about the Individual Number system. That’s why in this issue, we’re covering how the Individual Number system works, and in what situations you will need to use it.

First, we’ll go over how Individual Numbers are issued to foreigners after they enter Japan. Foreigners are required to register as a resident if they stay in Japan for 90 or more days after first entering country. Within 14 days of deciding where you’ll live (your address), head to your municipal government office and register as a resident. Once registration is complete, you will receive a notification card with your Individual Number in the mail. The 12-digit number written on the notification card is your unique Individual Number. Unlike the Residence Card, there is no need for you to carry the notification card around with you at all times. However, make sure to store it in a safe place: do not lose it or give it to other people.

Next, we’ll go over the situations where you’ll need to use your Individual Number in Japan. Generally, when doing part-time work in Japan, you’ll be required to submit your Individual Number to your employer. If your employer tells you to inform them of your Individual Number, bring them your notification card. There are also times when you’re creating a bank account when you’ll be asked to write down your Individual Number as well.

Those who wish to do so may also request a plastic card called the “Individual Number Card.” The Individual Number Card can be used as a form of ID in Japan. It also has various other benefits, including the fact that it allows you to print your certificate of residence and other documents at convenient stores. If you wish to create an Individual Number Card, you can apply for it using the “Individual Number Card Application,” which comes with your notification card. You can also apply for it online.

Get to Know Japan

In this section, we will introduce topics on culture, technology, lifestyle, and more in Japan. In this February issue, we explain the industry-academia collaboration system in Japan.

Industry-academia collaboration in Japan

Industry-Academia Collaboration in Japan

Industry-academia collaboration, in which private companies coordinate with universities to conduct research and other forms of development, is an important undertaking that helps develop the country’s technological and scientific abilities, and allows the academic world to apply their knowledge and skills to efforts in the industry. The participation of university researchers and students in industry-academia collaboration projects with private companies allows for high-level, practical research and development, and offer benefits to both the company and the university. There are opportunities for international students to get involved in and learn from these projects as well, making this an element to consider when choosing the country or university in which you wish to study abroad. Here, we explain the industry-academia collaboration system in Japan, and introduce some of the concrete efforts being made in this regard.

The industry-academia collaboration system was established in Japan in 1983. This was the year the first joint research policy (for national universities and private companies, etc.) was implemented in Japan. 21 universities took in a total of 66 private researchers, and conducted 56 joint research projects. Later, in 1998, a system was established to transfer skills and technologies from universities to private companies, and in 2000, a system was put in place that allowed private companies to use university facilities for free. Even later, in 2013, it became possible for national universities to invest in venture capital, etc. As a result of these efforts, there were over 25,000 joint research projects conducted through industry-academia collaboration in FY2017.

This kind of industry-academia collaboration is occurring in various fields in Japan. Some concrete examples are listed below.

(1) Development of cancer testing device
The National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS), Kyoto University, and Shimadzu Corporation developed a breast cancer testing device called “Elmammo” through a joint research project. For this development project, NIRS and Shimadzu Corporation conducted most of the technological development, and Kyoto University conducted the clinical research.

(2) Commercialization of image recognition automatic cash registers
The University of Hyogo and blayn Inc. utilized image recognition and AI technologies in order to develop a technology that can instantly differentiate between different types of bread. Through this project, they were able to commercialize a cash register system that can automatically differentiate between different types of bread, and calculate their respective prices. A world first.

(3) Development of sports goods, child-oriented exercise programs, etc.
Waseda University and ASICS Corporation began an industry-academia collaborative project in 2016. Through this project, they have developed joint research that has led to the development of sports goods, child-oriented exercise programs, etc. They also offer opportunities for students to research and study topics relevant to ASICS businesses, participate in internships, etc.

(4) Research hubs, R&D agreements, etc., for industry-academia collaboration
In Spring 2020, Hakuhodo Inc. will open a research hub for topics like artificial intelligence and urban development. University professors and other specialists will be invited as staff members to this hub, with students allowed to participate as well. A system for industry-academia collaboration is planned for this hub as well. SoftBank Group Corp. and the University of Tokyo also signed an industry-academia agreement in order to research and develop artificial intelligence.

Magazines and Brochures from Japanese Government

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

  • We Are Tomodachi
  • A PR brochure that introduces “tomodachi” (friends in Japanese) all over the world to the various charms of Japan, and Japan’s relationship with the world.

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.

  • 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 February 2020 issue. It will be available on February 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.

New University Listing(s) This Month:
Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology
Shimane University
Kyoto University
Tokyo Institute of Technology
Kagoshima University
The University of Tokyo
Kanazawa University

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.

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.

The Japanese version of Job Hunting Guide for International Students 2021 is now ready. You can download it from the link below.
We will start sending out physical copies of the 2021 guide at the end of February.

8. From the Editor

In this issue’s “Visit Japan,” we headed to Sapporo City, located in the northernmost prefecture of Japan. Sapporo during this season is still very cold, with snow oftentimes piled up high along the sides of the city roads. Many students in Sapporo City head out to enjoy winter sports this time of year. Moiwa Ski Resort, which is about an hour away from the central city by tram or ropeway, is open at nighttime until 9:00 P.M. and is lively with skiers that drop by on their way home from school or work. This kind of outdoor fun would be difficult to access in very urban areas, and is perhaps one of the unique benefits of living in a more rural area. Who knows, this may be what gets you to consider schools in rural areas too, when deciding where you want to study in Japan.

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 March 10. Don’t miss it!

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

- Copyright for this online magazine belongs to Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO).
- Any copying, redistribution, reprinting, etc., of this material is forbidden.

Contact

Follow-up Services Unit, International Scholarship Division, Student Exchange Department Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO)
  • 2-2-1 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-8630 JAPAN
  • TEL (telephone) number is +81-3-5520-6030
  • FAX (facsimile) number is +81-3-5520-6031
  • E-mail address is alumni-newsletter at mark jasso.go.jp
  • * Please convert "at mark" to @ when you send an e-mail to us.

Pick up

  • EJU
  • Scholarships for International in Japan
  • Study in Japan
  • Facebook