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Japan Alumni eNews (Vol. 138)

Japan Alumni eNews Vol. 138 October 9, 2020

Japan Alumni eNews Vol. 138

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
    *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

October in Japan

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

Sports Festival
Sports Festival

2. Alumni News

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

News on International Students

NEWS 1: Japanese Mangas Win U.S. Comic Book Industry Awards

Two Japanese manga artists, Taiyo Matsumoto and Kamome Shirahama have won the “Best U.S. Edition of International Material - Asia” award at the 32nd annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards (hereinafter the Eisner Awards), a U.S. awards ceremony sometimes referred to as the “Academy Awards of comics.” The ceremony was held online on July 24 (U.S. time). Matsumoto won with Cats of the Louvre, while Shirahama won with Witch Hat Atelier. Eisner Awards are given to comic books and comic book artists in the U.S. and around the world who have achieved outstanding performance or produced outstanding work in the previous year. This was Matsumoto’s second Eisner Award following his 2008 win with Tekkonkinkreet: Black & White.

NEWS 2: International Student Coronavirus Surveys Reveal Strong Desire to Work in Japan Despite the Current Pandemic

Results have been released for a series of surveys which sought to understand how international students are dealing with school and job hunting under the coronavirus pandemic. One survey showed that 77.6% of all international students wish to attend open campus events after the pandemic settles to help them decide their future (Survey conducted in June by Access Nextage Co., Ltd. among 1,571 respondents). In another survey, only 0.9% of international students responded that they intend to return early to their home country due to the coronavirus, while 96.2% of all international students responded that the impact of the virus has not changed their desire to work in Japan. These results illustrate the strong desire on the part of international students to seek employment in Japan despite the pandemic (Survey conducted in May by the Mynavi Corporation among 310 respondents).

Study Abroad Testimonial

Sara Tokhi Arab

Name: Sara Tokhi Arab
Nationality: Afghanistan
University: University of Tsukuba
Major: Doctoral Program in Appropriate Technology and Science for Sustainable Development, Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences
Period of Study: March 2016 to present
Japanese Proficiency Level: Japanese-Language Proficiency Test N5

I did my undergraduate studies in the Agriculture faculty of Kabul University. After graduation, I started working as a lecturer in the Agriculture faculty of Kabul University. I got the opportunity to complete my master’s degree at the University of Tsukuba in 2019, and currently, I am doing doctoral studies on Appropriate Technology and Sciences for Sustainable Development in the graduate school of Life and Environmental Sciences. The reason that I chose Japan for my studying was that it has a lot of high-ranking universities with excellent and high standards in education and academia. Besides all the above-mentioned reasons, one of the main motivations that I chose Japan for my studies was the usage of IoT and AI in the agriculture field as digital farming to make sustainable agriculture development. In this context, the focus of my research is to develop a geospatial insurance model based on damages proportion of yield to support producers during natural disasters. I presented my research findings in several international and national conferences. It was a great opportunity for me to interact with researchers from Japan and other countries.

The University of Tsukuba is one of the top research institutions and an international university in Japan. It provides the opportunity to experience a multi-cultural environment and a global atmosphere as there is a huge community from different countries. I found that Tsukuba and all of Japan are a very beautiful place and the Japanese are very kind people and supportive. It is one of the safest and most secure countries for everyone, especially for women and girls. Moreover, the residents respect the rules and regulations a lot. I learned compatibility and efficient time management from the people of Japan.

My suggestions for new students are to be prepared before coming to Japan. The majority of graduate programs here are based on research, so it is better to have research data available in advance or at least have some research ideas in mind. If possible, please learn some basic Japanese language in advance that will support you a lot in adjusting and starting life in Japan. I would like to mention that there are many social norms here that we don’t follow in our countries, so it is better to learn and know about them in advance. Finally, I would like to add that Japanese universities and people are very supportive and you will enjoy the kindness and beauty here.

List of Japan Alumni Associations

Support for International Students Job Hunting in Japan and/or Returning Home

Tohoku Innovation Human Resources Development Consortium (DATEntre)

The DATEntre Tohoku Innovation Human Resources Development Consortium is a community-based consortium of industry, academia, and government actors aimed at providing job hunting assistance to international students who wish to work for Japanese companies. The consortium is one of operational arms of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s (MEXT) “Program for Enhancing Employment of International Students.” Participants include five universities in Miyagi Prefecture led by Tohoku University, two municipal governments, one government agency, three business associations, and the alumni association of Tohoku University. The consortium helps international students deepen their knowledge through a core curriculum of lectures (on Japanese, career guidance, intercultural co-learning, internships, etc.) and develop relationships with companies early on in the job hunting process through extracurricular seminars, networking events, and company tours. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, DATEntre is continuing to promote vertical and horizontal networking through online lectures and extracurricular seminars.

DATEntre Tohoku Innovation Human Resources Development Consortium Secretariat
(Located at the Center for Career Support at the Institute for Excellence in Higher Education, Tohoku University)
41 Kawauchi, Aoba-ku, Sendai-shi 980-8576
TEL: 022-795-4994
E-mail: datentre "at mark"
*Please convert “at mark” to “@” when you send an e-mail.

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.

Nagasaki International University

View of the campus

University Profile (As of May 1, 2020)
Name: Nagasaki International University
Address: 2825-7 Huis Ten Bosch Machi, Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki
Number of Students: Approximately 2,300
International Students: Approximately 300

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

With the Kyushu Bunka Gakuen educational foundation as its parent organization and “Respect for Human Beings” as its basic philosophy, Nagasaki International University was established in 2000 through a public-private partnership of Nagasaki Prefecture, Sasebo City, and the local business community, and is supported by a hopeful and passionate local community. The university currently consists of four undergraduate departments in three faculties and five graduate-level courses in three graduate schools, each of which conduct education and research aimed at acquiring advanced knowledge and skills in their respective fields.

2. Overview and Characteristics of Distinctive Faculties and Graduate Schools

Students take a sado culture class

One of the distinctive features of Nagasaki International University is its liberal arts curriculum. One way the university manifests its founding philosophy of hospitality is by offering courses on “sado” (Japanese tea ceremony) culture. Sado forms the foundation of the humanistic education that the Kyushu Bunka Gakuen educational foundation, the parent organization of the university, has been pursuing for over 60 years since its establishment. One of the basic concepts in sado is “za” (literally “to sit”), which refers to the tea preparer and drinker sharing a common space by sitting across from each other. In the context of a university, za is the mutual support and respect, on an equal plane, between instructor and student, or senior student and junior student. The flexible attitude, dignified manner, and sense of hospitality that come from this principle form the very essence of the Nagasaki International University spirit. By encouraging students to embody this sense of hospitality and fostering their individuality, Nagasaki International University aims to produce graduates who are capable of contributing to the global community and are appreciated and beloved by people around the world.

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

Students take a seminar

Nagasaki International University has an International Office with a dedicated staff of individuals with a wealth of overseas experience. The office assists international students in various ways to help them lead a comfortable life on campus. The university also offers two dormitories dedicated to housing international students and a tuition reduction program. In addition, the Career Center has a team which specializes in assisting international students. With “career development support” and “job hunting support” as its two main functions, the Career Center provides tailored support to international students according to their individual interests and career aspirations through multiple one-on-one sessions with an experienced career advisor.

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

Students listen to a lecture

In light of an increasingly globalized society, Nagasaki International University is committed to producing graduates who have an appreciation of foreign cultures and are capable of contributing to the global community. The university has accepted around 300 international students from Asian countries such as China, South Korea, Vietnam, Nepal, and Myanmar, as well as various countries and regions in the West. The university has also sent its students abroad on long and short-term study abroad programs to overseas sister schools with which it has student exchange agreements. Thus, the multicultural campus of Nagasaki International University provides countless opportunities for cross-cultural understanding and communication.

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

Anselme Shyaka

Name: Anselme Shyaka
Nationality: Rwanda
Type of Scholarship: Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship
University: Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine (doctoral program)
Major: Doctoral Program in Animal Food and Hygiene, Graduate School of Animal Husbandry
Period of Stay: April 2011 to March 2015
Japanese Proficiency Level: Intermediate

After completing my veterinary training, I was hired in an academic position in Rwanda (East Africa). Faculty positions require well trained researchers and I needed to obtain a doctoral degree. Given my background, I felt that I had received enough from western education and needed new experiences. Japan was a perfect match to my desire of discovering innovative ways of doing and learning science.

I heard information about studying in Japan through internet and I applied for a MEXT scholarship through the Embassy of Japan in Rwanda. I successfully passed the written and interview exams organized and my dream became a reality. To qualify for the scholarship, conditions were not to be older than 35, an excellent GPA, fluency in English and to submit a sound research proposal for the graduate school(*). I did not encounter any problem during the application or after, because the process was well monitored and I was regularly updated. I arrived in Hokkaido on 4th April 2011, one month only after the major earthquake and tsunami that happened in Fukushima.

My first 6 months were dedicated to Japanese language at Hokkaido University. The course has been an eye-opener on Japanese people and culture; it helped making new friends and eased my life in Japan. From October 2011, I joined Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine and graduated in the doctoral program in Animal and Food Hygiene in March 2015. The period spent in the beautiful Tokachi area was an amazing, everlasting experience.

The scholarship helped me advance my career as a scientist. I joined back the University of Rwanda and got a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Leeds, UK.
I strongly encourage anyone to seek training in Japan. The trainings are hands-on based and this confers self-confidence and an ability to mentor other junior researchers.

*Please refer to the application guidelines as eligibility requirements may differ depending on the type of scholarship

Information About International Symposium

36th Annual National Toilet Symposium 2020

Every year, the Japan Toilet Association (JTA) holds a National Toilet Symposium based around a wide variety of themes. The theme for this year’s 36th annual symposium is “Disasters and Toilets.” In recent years, Japan has been facing a widening array of natural disasters such as earthquakes, heavy rainfall, and typhoons, making infection control at evacuation sites an urgent issue. The symposium aims to educate attendees from a wide range of perspectives on how to prepare for disasters in terms of toilets, a facility indispensable to everyday human life.

  • Date/Time: Thursday, November 12, 2020 / 10:30 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
    Venue: Lecture hall for the Japan Home & Building Show, Tokyo Big Sight South Exhibition Hall (3-11-1 Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo)
  • 36th Annual National Toilet Symposium 2020
  • (Japanese version only)
  • Host: Japan Toilet Association

Introducing Academic Societies

Name: The Society of Chemical Engineers, Japan (Engineering)
Location: Kyoritsu Kaikan 5F, 4-6-19 Kohinata, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Number of Members: Individual members: 5,048 regular members, 1,241 student members, 195 foreign members / Corporate members: 462 (As of March 2020)
Membership fee: Regular members: 5,500 to 11,000 yen / Student members: 5,500 yen / Foreign members: 3,300 to 6,500 yen

Overview of Academic Society (History, Mission, etc.)
Chemical engineering is a field that applies engineering processes to chemistry and is critical part of any effort to make something chemistry-related useful for society. The Society of Chemical Engineers, Japan (SCEJ) contributes to the development of a sustainable society through chemical engineering research and technology development as well as by fostering chemical engineering talent. SCEJ is an organization that emphasizes international cooperation. For example, it designates individuals who studied chemical engineering in Japan or worked for a Japanese chemical company that have now returned to their home country or work in another foreign country as regional liaison committee members (on a volunteer basis). SCEJ also awards Outstanding Asian Researcher and Engineer awards at its annual meeting based on nominations from society members and overseas partners in various Asian countries. SCEJ’s annual meeting also features networking events for international students and prospective employers. You can visit the society’s website for more information.

Japanese Language Tests

  • *Note that the tests may be cancelled. Make sure to check the official websites
  • Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)
  • Second test
    Test Date: Sunday, December 6, 2020
    Application Deadline has passed.
  • 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)
    153rd Test
    Test Date: Sunday, November 1, 2020
    Application Deadline: Wednesday, October 7, 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

  • Fukuoka Employment Service Center for Foreigners
  • (Available in Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean)
  • Offers job information, guidance for job hunting, support for industry research and self-analysis, job hunting prep seminars, private consultations, etc.

Events for International Students

  • *Note that the events may be cancelled. Make sure to check the official websites for these events before heading out.
  • Kagawa Job Fair for International Students and Companies
  • (Japanese version only)
    (Kagawa Prefecture)
    Date/Time: Friday, October 16, 2020 / 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.
    Venue: Sunport Takamatsu Symbol Tower 1F Exhibition Hall
    (22-1 Sunport, Takamatsu-shi, Kagawa)
    Target Group: International students who wish to begin working in Spring 2021 or wish to find out more about companies in Kagawa before they begin job hunting
    Pre-registration: Required (Please register at the URL)
  • Job Matching Event (Osaka)
  • (Japanese version only)
    (No Limit, Inc.)
    Date/Time: Thursday, October 17, 2020 / 3:20 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.
    Venue: GVH Seminar Room
    (Grand Front Osaka North Building Tower C 7F, Ofuka-cho, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka)
    Target Group: International students expecting to graduate from university, professional training college, or Japanese language school
    Pre-registration: Required (Please register at the URL)
  • Global Share Company Fair
  • (Japanese version only)
    (Vein Global, Inc.)
    Date/Time: Saturday, November 7, 2020 / 12:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.
    Venue: TKP Tamachi Conference Center
    (5-29-14 Shiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo)
    Target Group: International students who will have graduated or are expecting to graduate between April 2021 and March 2022
    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
    (Japanese version only)
  • (Mynavi Corporation)
    (Japanese version only)
  • Ryukatsu
  • (Japanese version only)
    (Originator Co., Ltd.)

Job Hunting Report

Amin Li

Name: Amin Li
Nationality: China
University: Shimane University Graduate School (master’s program)
Major: Department of Socio-cultural Studies, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Period of Study in Japan: October 2015 to March 2019
Current Workplace: Ichibata Electric Railway Co., Ltd.
Japanese Proficiency Level: Japanese-Language Proficiency Test N1

Through my study of Japanese at a university in China, I had the opportunity to hear about Japan from my professors and developed an even stronger interest in the country. Wanting to see and feel what it would be like to live in Japan firsthand, I decided to study abroad.

In graduate school, I mainly studied condominium development and migration patterns in provincial cities, focusing on topics such as the re-urbanization of provincial cities, urban renewal, condominium development, and urban planning. In my first year of graduate school, I participated in an internship program offered by the Ichibata Group, a company in Shimane Prefecture that operates locally in transportation, tourism, lifestyle products, and construction. During my internship, I worked in the company’s real estate and travel businesses in addition to being a salesperson at one of its department stores. Through this experience, I was inspired to work for a regional company.

In addition, Shimane Prefecture is an area with a rich natural environment and a vibrant “Jokamachi” (a city that historically grew around a feudal lord’s castle) and traditional performing arts culture. As a foreigner, the opportunity to live in close proximity to traditional Japanese culture was very enticing. Moreover, the fact that a lot of the people I had the good fortune of meeting in graduate school had put down roots in Shimane was another reason why I chose to work there.

At first, I had my worries about working for a regional company, but now I realize that there are things that can only be done in a provincial region and am leading a satisfying life. Many international students tend to job hunt in major cities such as Tokyo and Osaka, but I believe working in a provincial city is a perfectly valid option as well. One benefit of working here is the strong sense of connection that you feel to other people and to the community. If you have any doubts about working in a provincial city, I suggest you try experiencing what it is like firsthand through an internship. This will no doubt allay your concerns as it did mine.

Job Hunting Information Article

Japanese Proficiency

At most companies, international students and Japanese students are hired through the same process. In addition, working for a Japanese company requires you to communicate almost exclusively in Japanese. Therefore, both the job application and interview process require high, business-level proficiency in Japanese. Interviews, in particular, are where companies will be checking your listening and speaking skills.

For example, when sending an email, answering the phone, or speaking to a client, you must be able to use the appropriate form of “keigo” (polite speech) to suit the situation. To do this, it is important to also have an understanding of Japanese corporate culture and business etiquette. In addition to keigo, you will also have to know certain business jargon unique to Japan. For example, “horenso,” a word that combines the first syllable of “hokoku” (report), “renraku” (contact), and “sodan” (consult), is often cited as the key to communicating with superiors. The word is a homonym with the Japanese word for spinach, making it easy to remember. Being able to use words like this in an interview will help impress your interviewer.

The Job Hunting Guide for International Students 2021, put together by JASSO, features survey results and other information on what companies look for when hiring and the level of Japanese proficiency they require of candidates. The guide can be downloaded from the link below. Please use it to supplement the information above.

5. Visit Japan

Introducing regions in Japan with universities, and more! The October issue looks at Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture.

Introducing Cities and Daily Life As a Study Abroad Student

Bird’s-eye view of Kyoto City
  • Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture

Kyoto Prefecture is located in the Kansai region in western Japan and was the site of the nation’s capital for over a milennium from 800 A.D. to the 1800s. Located next to Osaka Prefecture and accesible from Tokyo via bullet train in a little under three hours, Kyoto Prefecture is one of Japan’s foremost tourist destinations. Kyoto City, in particular, is a major tourist city which receives more than 50 million visitors each year. On the other hand, Kyoto is also a major student town with its many universities and junior colleges, and a local government that is committed to supporting international students.

Kyoto City Museum of Art

Kyoto City has an impressive 38 universities and junior colleges attended by a total of over 140,000 students. Even before the modern university system was put in place, the city was home to many private educational institutions. Kyoto’s history as an academic city led Japan’s second oldest national university, as well as many other private universities, to be established in the city. In addition to schools, Kyoto also has many museums, concert halls, and other cultural and arts facilities. At the Kyoto International Manga Museum (the first comprehensive manga museum in Japan) visitors can see various valuable artefacts including Japan’s first manga magazine.

In terms of businesses, many companies are headquartered in Kyoto City including a world-renowned game company and an electric motor manufacturer with the largest market share in the world. Such companies often collaborate with universities to form industry-academia-government partnerships, resulting in strong support from the city government to help students study, conduct research, and seek employment. In addition, with around 13,000 international students living in Kyoto, the city is also dedicated to providing support for such students, especially in providing information through the internet. Many useful websites are available for international students such as the Kyoto International Students Information Site, which provides useful information for everyday life, and Hataraku, a job-matching site that supports international students in their job hunting.

Ginkakuji Temple

Many of Kyoto’s major universities are concentrated around Imadegawa-dori Street (located around 10 minutes north of Kyoto Station by train), making the area famous as a student town. Along the street you will find many used book stores, restaurants, and bakeries. In addition, Shimogyo Ward, located between Imadegawa-dori Street and Kyoto Station, has many ramen shops and Japanese cuisine restaurants that offer halal menus. The overall average rent in Kyoto City is around the upper 40,000 yen to lower 50,000 yen range for 1R or 1K apartments aimed at those who live alone. However, the city also has many cheaper options aimed at students (as of 2020).

6. NIPPON Information

This section introduces information on Japan for international students!

Lifestyle Information

Enrolling in National Health Insurance as an International Student

How the National Health Insurance system works

International students who plan to reside in Japan for longer than three months are required to enroll in the Japanese government’s National Health Insurance system (NHI) and pay insurance premiums (insurance taxes). By enrolling in the NHI and paying your insurance premiums (insurance taxes), your out-of-pocket expense will be limited to 30% of the bill owed to hospitals for treatments or hospitalizations due to illness or injury, or to pharmacies for prescription drugs. Some universities provide further aid toward paying this 30%, so we recommend you consult the student affairs’ office of your university. In addition, any out-of-pocket expenses that exceed a certain preset amount are reimbursed under the “High-cost Medical and Nursing Care Benefits” program. To receive this reimbursement, remember to fill out the “Application and Declaration for Major Expenses” form that your local government will send you if you are eligible for this program.

Health Insurance Card

To enroll in the NHI, bring your residence card, passport, My Number card (or My Number notification card), and stamp to the government office of the municipality where you are registered as a resident. As the department in charge of NHI can differ depending on the municipality from the “National Health Insurance Department” to the “Medical Insurance Department” or the “Insurance and Pension Department,” you should ask the person at the front desk if you are unsure of where to go. Once you arrive at the appropriate department, tell the clerk that you wish to enroll in the NHI. In most cases, they should begin processing you right away.

Once they begin processing, show the clerk your residence card and passport. The clerk will then hand you some forms to fill out. The forms will require you to fill out your Individual Number (My Number), so make sure you have your My Number card or My Number notification card with you. There are two forms to fill out: the National Health Insurance Application Form and the National Health Insurance Tax Declaration Form (the names of the forms will differ depending on the municipality). The National Health Insurance Application Form signs you up for the NHI and will ask for your address, name, phone number, birthdate, Individual Number, etc. The National Health Insurance Tax Declaration Form will ask for information such as your previous year income. This information is used to determine your insurance premium (insurance tax) so you must fill it out even if you did not earn any income in the previous year.

Hospital reception desk

Once processing is complete, you will be handed a Health Insurance Card (some municipalities send cards through the mail). Make sure not to misplace this card, as you will need to present it at the reception desk when you visit the hospital for injuries, etc. Once you are enrolled in the NHI, notices of payment for insurance premiums (insurance taxes) will arrive in the mail. These notices will show the amount of your insurance premium (insurance tax) and payment options, so make sure you follow these directions.

Get to Know Japan

In this section, we will introduce topics on culture, technology, lifestyle, and more in Japan.
This October edition focuses on Japan’s culture of “omotenashi.”

Omotenashi in Japan

The Japanese concept of omotenashi (hospitality) goes beyond providing attentive service and involves taking care of the other person as if their concerns are your own. Omotenashi can take various forms. Understanding the thoughts of the person providing you this omotenashi will help you gain a deeper understanding of the country and its people.


One everyday situation where you can get a feel for omotenashi is at a food service establishment such as a restaurant or diner. One particularly famous example of Japanese omotenashi is that restaurants will often offer you an “oshibori” (a wet hand towel) after you have been seated. Some restaurants even go so far as to cool them during the summer when it is hot and heat them during the winter when it is cold. Under the current coronavirus pandemic, single use “oshibori” have become more common, although restaurants that still use traditional reusable ones have also taken measures such as refraining from directly handing them to customers. In addition, an increasing number of restaurants offer menus that are written in English and other foreign languages along with pictures of the food to make it easier for foreign customers to order. Some restaurants even have menus that have the ingredients and preparations written in foreign languages in addition to the name of the dish. This is another example of Japanese omotenashi that comes from a desire to allow foreign customers to feel safe about what they are eating as they enjoy their meal.

Rose buds

Establishments that provide lodging, such as “ryokan” (traditional Japanese inns) and hotels, are also places where you can experience various forms of omotenashi. One example is the flowers that are often displayed in the lobby. Some establishments choose to display flowers that are still budding. This is because flower petals are more likely to fall and scatter onto the floor when they are in bloom. This consideration to avoid any unsightliness to guests is another example of omotenashi.

Japan’s omotenashi culture is supported in part by various educational efforts concerning omotenashi. Many Japanese companies train their employees in the proper way to act and speak when communicating with clients. In the service industry, some companies have taken steps to enhance the omotenashi skills of their workers by holding contests. For example, major airlines and restaurant chains have held contests based on customer service skills. In one such recent contest, participants, in light of the coronavirus pandemic, competed over their ability to show hospitality toward customers while wearing a mask.

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 2020

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.

Due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, usual in-person events have been canceled and replaced by a series of online sessions (Study in Japan Online Fairs).

Date/Time of online sessions:
- Sunday, November 29, 2020 / 2 P.M. to 5 P.M.
- Sunday, December 6, 2020 / 4 P.M. to 7 P.M.
- Saturday, December 12, 2020 / 2 P.M. to 5 P.M.
- Sunday, December 13, 2020 / 2 P.M. to 5 P.M.

Further details to be published soon.

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.

Official Facebook and Instagram 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 October 2020 issue. It will be available on October 12.

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):
Yokohama National University
University of Miyazaki
Kanazawa University
Kumamoto University
Tokyo Institute of Technology
Nagoya University
Gifu 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 the “Job Hunting Guide 2021” is now complete, with distribution underway. The Japanese version, along with the other language versions (English, Chinese, and Korean) can be downloaded in PDF form from the following website.

8. From the Editor

In this month’s “Introducing Cities and Daily Life As a Study Abroad Student” section, we featured Kyoto City, Kyoto. Kyoto is a special place that even many Japanese people dream about, and many agree that fall foliage season in Kyoto is especially beautiful. I myself remember preciously tucking a colored maple leaf between the pages of a book to bring home when I visited Kyoto for the first time in high school on a school trip. I would definitely recommend visiting one of Kyoto’s many famous fall foliage spots, but bear in mind that some of them, such as Katsura Imperial Villa, Shugakuin Imperial Villa, and Kyoto Imperial Place, require reservations. This may seem like a bit of a hassle, but the delicate beauty of these pristinely maintained and expansive gardens is a must see.

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 November 10, 2020. Don’t miss it!

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