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Japan Alumni eNews (Vol.87)

Japan Alumni eNews Vol. 87 July 8th, 2016

Japan Alumni eNews Vol. 87

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

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

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

July of Japan

The theme of the July issue is photo introduces July of Japan.

The Star Festival
The Star Festival
Beach is opened
tourou nagashi
Tourou nagashi

2. Alumni News

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

1) News on International Students

NEWS 1 : A new sightseeing route is certified for foreign visitors to Japan

The Japan Tourism Agency added the four routes of Hokkaido, Kanto, San-in, and Okinawa as “extensive sightseeing routes” to attract foreign visitors to Japan. With seven routes authorized last year, the government strives to reach “40 million annual visits to Japan” within four years. Current authorized routes are (1) Kita-Hokkaido (route which connects Wakkanai and Asahikawa from Sapporo), (2) Tokyo Corridor (natural large corridor route and Edo corridor route in 11 cities and prefectures of Kanto), (3) Green Road ~San-in~ (area includes Izumo Shrine and the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine), and (4) the Ryukyu Islands (Okinawa island and isolated islands including Miyakojima and Ishigakijima).

NEWS 2 :World’s fastest processing of “Japanese Green Card for Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals” established

With the government tying the virtuous economic cycle to the continuous growth route, the Cabinet’s adoption of the “Japanese Revitalization Strategy 2016” aims to realize “the greatest nominal GDP of 600 trillion yen since the war.” Founding the “Japanese Green Card for Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals” which has the world’s fastest track processing, application process will be sharply shortened for permanent residence of highly skilled foreign professionals from the present five-year period, aiming at raising the employment rate of foreign students in Japan from 30 percent, at present, to 50 percent.

2) Introduction of Current International Students


Nationality : Korean
University in Japan : Sophia University
Major : Department of International Legal Studies, Faculty of Law
Academic year : Senior
Period of Stay in Japan : April 2013 to Present
Japanese proficiency level : Japanese Language Proficiency Test N1

The reason I have decided to study in Sophia University is that it specializes in international law and economy. Moreover, Japan is safer than other countries, and the environment is good for studying.
My first impression of Japan is that most Japanese people don’t say what they really think, but after living here for a while, I realized not all of them are like that. Also, there is a high level of public awareness, and this surprised me. I was very impressed that they don’t throw garbage anywhere, and that when people find a lost wallet, they certainly go to a police box to drop it.
At the university seminar, I mainly studied mediation and negotiation in international law. On civil law, I focused on the Civil Code and Financial Instruments and Exchange Act. Since I desire to build a career with my major as much as possible, I seldom study any other fields than private law and international law. Also, I am participating in the Intercollegiate Negotiation Competition (INC) held every year. The INC is an intercollegiate mediation and negotiation tournament performed two days a year – mock mediation will be performed on the 1st day and mock negotiation on the 2nd day. Mediation and negotiation deal with problems regarding international business, and each competitor spends over two months reading dozens of pages of the problem, including an English contract. The competition will award a prize based on what the competitor has accomplished.
I would like to build a career in the financial industry in the future. I will graduate next March, but I was able to get an early unofficial job offer from a company. People ask me what kind of member of society I would like to become, I told them I would like to be a full-fledged individual.
New students may think “I had hard time getting into a university so I should enjoy the first year” but the first year of school will define your student life in Japan, whether you can study well and get a job. In order to get a job in Japan, you must not forget that you’re not competing against other international students, but against Japanese students. Do your best, keep your chin up, and enjoy student life in Japan.

3) List of Japan Alumni Associations

Introduction of “Support for International Students Returning Home”

Ishikawa Alumni Association

It was established in Ishikawa Prefecture in 1998 in its aim to continue exchanges between prefectural inhabitants and foreign nationals who have resided in Ishikawa either as students or trainees. As of March 31, 2016, there are 3,507 registered members from about 80 countries.
According to its website, the group engages in the following activities:
1. Delivery of the multilingual journal “Ishikawa Express” (Japanese, English, Chinese, Portuguese, and Russian versions)
2. “International Exchange” message board for alumni members to inform recent happenings
3. “Ishikawa Promotion” message board to share tourism and event information of Ishikawa prefecture with students or trainees living in Ishikawa Prefecture

(Japanese version only)

3. Academic News

Introducing scholarships, grants, unique activities at particular universities, and more!

1) Introduction of faculties/graduate schools

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

Nagasaki University

General Outline of the University
Name : Nagasaki University
Bunkyo Campus: 1-14, Bunkyo-machi, Nagasaki City, Nagasaki
Katafuchi Campus: 4-2-1, Katafuchi, Nagasaki City, Nagasaki
Sakamoto Campus: 1-1-12-4, Sakamoto, Nagasaki City, Nagasaki
Number of international students:7,544 undergraduates, 1,551 graduates
Number of international students: 87 undergraduates, 201 graduates

Nagasaki University

1. About Nagasaki University

Nagasaki University is located in Nagasaki City, the most historic international city in Japan. There are nine departments, six graduate schools, two research laboratories, university hospitals, and many research facilities. We have three campuses namely Bunkyo, Katafuchi, and Sakamoto. Each campus centers on specialized research institutes.
Dr. Osamu Shimomura who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2008 graduated from Nagasaki University. “Nagasaki University contributes to the harmonious development of society by carrying on the traditional culture rooted in Nagasaki, developing rich minds, and creating science for maintaining peace on earth.” With this philosophy, we will tackle the world’s highest level of research, and we will continue developing “facilities that disseminate knowledge,” which are essential to the world.

2. Outline and features of distinctive departments and graduate courses

School of Global Humanities and Social Sciences
Modern society needs to live and work with various cultures. We need to cultivate global human resources who can play an active international role in the fields of politics, economics, culture, and sociology. We provide four exciting and unique courses, namely Global Society Program, Social Dynamics Program, Culture and Communication Program, and Dutch Studies Program.

School of Tropical Medicine and Global Health
In a globalized modern society, we need to cultivate human resources who can solve health problems for people around the world. We provide three courses such as Tropical Medicine Course, International Health Development Course, and Health Innovation Course.

3. Livelihood support for international students

In Nagasaki University, we have an international community house which has a maximum capacity of 160 people for international students. In April 2015, we built the International Dormitory HORTENSIA (providing shared rooms for three Japanese students and one international student) where students from the School of Global Humanities and Social Sciences live together. Also, we have scholarship and reduction of school fees for self-supporting international students; about 60 percent of them are receiving some financial support. Moreover, we help international students who rent apartments. For example, institution bond for joint guarantor and subsidiary for agent charge and monthly fee.

4. Other support for international students

We have the “Nagasaki University Foreign Student Association (NUFSA),” a mutual aid organization to help international students expand networks with students who also come from overseas. The association joins international exchange events with Japanese students and exchanges with locals in the Nagasaki city and prefecture. At the school festival, which is held once a year, there is an “International Culture Day” where international students sing, dance, prepare food of their home country, and enjoy cultural exchanges.

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

The Foundation for the Advancement of Life & Insurance Around the World

Project title : FALIA ESSAY COMPETITION 2016
Overview :
The Foundation for the Advancement of Life & Insurance Around the world is holding an essay competition for international students in areas where life insurance systems are developing. Through the competition, the foundation hopes many countries will gain more interest in finance and insurance systems, and take some steps forward with our ideal realization.
Applicant Eligibility :
Must be an undergraduate or a graduate international student living in Japan whose status of residence is “College Student.” As a general rule, contestant must be a national of a country that sends participants to FALIA seminars. (Countries which have sent participants to FALIA include China, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and so on. For more details, please refer to the FALIA website or inquire directly.) Must still be a student during the award ceremony and must be able to attend it. (The award ceremony is scheduled in the beginning of 2017. We will announce the fixed schedule later on our website.)
Theme :
Any topic that is relevant to life insurance.
We expect that many students who study insurance schemes or even those who are unfamiliar with insurance will challenge themselves to enter this competition with their rich imaginations and free ideas. We accept a wide variety of viewpoints and methodological approaches when it comes to the essays.
Language: Japanese or English
Application period : September 30, 2016
1st Prize JPY500,000 (for one piece)
2nd Prize JPY300,000 (for one piece)
3rd Prize JPY100,000 (for several pieces)
Effort Award JPY50,000 (for several pieces)
Contact :
Essay Competition Section, The Foundation for the Advancement of Life & Insurance Around the World
Zip: 244-0805
401 BELISTA Tower Higashi-Totsuka
91-1 Kawakami-cho, Totsuka-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa
TEL: 045-827-2671

(Japanese version only)

LSH Asia Shougakukai

Project Title : Scholarship project of 2016
Overview :
International students from Asia, who are taking the role as a bridge for Asia, face financial difficulties and have a hard time while studying in Japan. LSH Asia Shougakukai, named in honor of the late Lee Soo Hyun, was established to help international students from Asia who share the same passion as him and serve as bridges to Asia through scholarship.
Applicant Eligibility :
Only applications through schools will be entertained. Personal application will not be accepted.
1. Must be an undergraduate or a graduate international student living in Japan whose status of residence is “College Student.” (excluding those who attend Japanese Language special courses that are affiliated to universities nor those who belong to a Japanese Language department of a vocational school)
2. Japanese Language course of your school must have at least 20 students by April 30, 2015.
Applicant Eligibility 2 :
1. Students who have student visas and were recommended by their university.
2. Students who have been studying in school for more than 3 months as of July 1, 2016 and will continue to study for more than 6 months from July 1, 2016
3. Students whose class attendance rate is over 90 percent as of July 1, 2016 and maintains an exemplary attitude on studying
4. Purpose of studying Japanese Language should be to serve as a bridge between Japan and own country
5. Students who have not been or will be granted scholarships at present or in the future
Application period : End of July 2016
Amount of grant : 100,000 JPY for 5 months from August 2016

(Japanese version only)

3) Information about international symposium

48th Asia-Pacific Academic Consortium for Public Health Conference (APACPH2016)
The theme of this international symposium is ‟Creating a Healthy Future with Competent Professionals.” We will discuss the findings of researchers and practitioners about public health in the Pacific Region and think how we can develop human resources to pass on to society in the future. Also, there will be various symposiums and general presentations about things related to public health.

Date: Friday, September 16-Monday, September 19, 2016
Place: Itabashi Campus of Teikyo University

4) Academic Societies

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

<Law, Politics>

<Economics, Commercial Science, Management>




<Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences>

5) Japanese Language Test

  • Japanese Language Proficiency Test
  • 2nd Test Date: Sunday, December 4th, 2016
    Application period: Thursday, September 1st, 2016-Friday, September 30th, 2016
  • BJT Business Japanese Proficiency Test
  • 33rd
    Test Date: Sunday, November 20th, 2016
    Application period: Friday, July 1st, 2016 – Friday, October 14th, 2016
    From 2016, application at bookstores is not available. You have to apply through internet or convenience store.
  • J.TEST (Test of Practical Japanese)
  • (Japanese version only)
    Test Date: Sunday, September 11th, 2016
    Deadline: Wednesday, August 17th, 2016
    Test Date: Sunday, November 13th, 2016
    Deadline: Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

4.Business News

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

1) Job Hunting Event Information

The Program for Advancement of Foreign Human Resources is being launched from 2015, as a collaborative effort of related government ministries and agencies, and other relevant organizations. The Program seeks to increase employment of international students in Japan, and hence increase the number of highly skilled international professionals in the future, following the recent trend in policy that includes the 2014 revision of “Japan Revitalization Strategy – Japan is Back” (approved by the Cabinet on June 24th, 2014). The ultimate aim is to vitalize the Japanese economy further and enhance Japan’s presence in the global economy.
Through seminars, events and other activities, the Program will strengthen the system of connecting international students and other foreign nationals looking for employment in Japan, with companies in Japan looking to recruit international employees.

  • Fukuoka Gakusei Shokugyo Center
  • (Japanese version only)
  • Offer job information, guidance for job-hunting, Research industry and self-analyze, Preparing seminar for job-hunting, and a private consultation etc.

For International students

Useful web site for International students

  • These web sites has search engine for a company recruiting international students.
  • Asagaku Navi 2017
  • (Gakujo Co., Ltd.)(Japanese version only)
  • Diamond Shukatsu Navi 2017
  • (DIAMOND HUMAN RESOURCE, INC.)(Japanese version only)
  • MYNAVI 2017
  • (Mynavi Corporation)(Japanese version only)
  • Rikunavi 2017
  • (Recruit Career Co., Ltd.)(Japanese version only)
  • Syusyoku-Japan
  • (The Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry/ Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry/ Japan Network for International Education/ PRO*SEEDS(Japanese version only)

2) Job-hunting report


Nationality : Burmese
University in Japan : Nara Sangyo University
Major : Business Administration, School of Business Administration
Period of stay in Japan : April 2008 to October 2014
Name of company : Human Resocia Co., Ltd.
Japanese proficiency level : Japanese Language Proficiency Test N1

The reason I came to study in Japan is because Japan is an economically and technologically developed country. Also, Japan is peaceful. Its products have high quality, long shelf life, and a good reputation. I wonder how Japan's economic growth was achieved like this since Japan is a country that does not have abundant resources. I wanted to know this through my own eyes. So, I decided to study in Japan with the intention of working here eventually.
I wanted to work in Japan because it is my dream. Myanmar is far from Japan; we do not use Chinese characters but I studied Japanese hard as I wanted to use my Japanese language ability at work. To make my dream come true and to grow as a person, I did job-hunting in Japan and got an official job offer from Human Resocia Co., Ltd.
I chose this company because I would like to communicate with other people; this job can help people, and at the same time, can make me grow as a person. Also, the company actively employs foreigners and I felt there is a need to work there to build a stronger foundation for the department and further the company mission.
Our company engages in the field of human resources, such as introduction of new staff targeting global human resources, temporary staffing, replacement recruiting, contract work, and bilingual operating recruiting sites. In the company, I'm in the sales department, introducing talented people and especially those working on machine and auto parts industries. The sales and administration is the strength of the company, so I work and study hard there to develop my career, and I would like to build a relationship that is good both for the company and the job seeker.
On self-promotion during job-hunting, I discussed my successes like excellent performance in school, various kinds of off-campus activities, the knowledge I learned during my part-time job, and personal growth (mental, relationships, way of thinking, daily life) in Japan. Doing your best and your personal experiences are your main assets in job hunting.
At a job interview, it is important to respond with a smile and a cheerful voice, look at your interviewer’s eyes, and present yourself properly. By doing this, the interviewer will understand your interest in the company.
I think the chance to get work in Japan is increasing for international students who will be job hunting from now on. I think it is important for job-hunters to learn Japanese well, plan their time, gather information, and prepare for things as much as they can.

3) Job Hunting Information Corner

Job opening has not closed yet.

The screening test for job-hunters has started in June, and the number of students who have taken job interviews has increased. Some students who had received unofficial job offers decided to end job-hunting.
July is a trial month for students who are job-hunting. Some of the students will be impatient and anxious to see other students who have finished job-hunting with unofficial job-offers and stop their activities temporarily. Once you stop job-hunting and say “Summer vacation is coming so I’ll take some rest and restart job-hunting after that,” it could be hard to start over again since you might have become lazy and dull. Some students would run away from job-hunting altogether.
Companies will continue recruiting until they get enough new hires but in 2017, there will be many job openings. So this year, students have an advantage, and expect companies to be continuing their recruitment activities after July than usual. Since there is an increasing motivation to hire new graduates by companies, if you keep doing job-hunting without taking rest, the possibility of getting an unofficial job offer will increase. It is said that “people fail in job-hunting,” so don’t feel blue and stop job-hunting when you get rejected by some companies. Don’t compare yourself to other people. Keep job-hunting at your own pace with a positive attitude until you get one.
This season, an important thing is to look back on your job-hunting activities in the past. Think about the reason why you couldn't get an unofficial job offer and keep job-hunting in July.

5. Visit Japan

Kagoshima Prefecture

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

  • Yakushima

This island is located 60 km south-southwest from Satamisaki, the southernmost part of Kyushu. Yakushima, almost circular in shape, has a circumference of around 130 km and is the 7th biggest island in Japan. It was registered as a World Heritage Site in 1993. The famous huge Jomon Sugi is here, which is estimated to be over 7,200 years old, and is one of the foremost nature spots in Japan. Shiratani Unsuikyo is a deep forest with a beautiful mountain stream covered by hundreds of kinds of moss. It is said that it is the inspiration for the deep primitive forest in the movie Princess Mononoke.

  • Sakurajima

“Sakurajima” is located 4 km offshore from downtown Kagoshima City. Originally, this was an island but in 1914, there was an eruption, and lava spread until it became connected to the Osumi Peninsula. This mountain is surrounded by ocean and cuts a brilliant figure, and is one of the symbols of Kagoshima Prefecture. Even now, the mountain is an active volcano which has small eruptions nearly 1,000 times a year, though there are about 5,000 people living near the volcano.

Oshima Tsumugi
  • Oshima Tsumugi

“Oshima Tsumugi” is regarded as a masterpiece of silk fabric. It is a local product of Amami Oshima, which is located in the southern area of Kagoshima Prefecture with 1,300 years of history. To make it, there are more than 30 processes by delicate hand work, and it takes over one year from making patterns to weave it. Its unique dyeing technique called “Teichigi-Mud Dyeing” integrated an old dyeing technique that started in the middle of 7th century. It is very popular for woman’s kimonos since its unique and delicate “kasuri” pattern is light and warm to the touch, and does not lose its shape when one wears it.

  • Satsuma-age

It is a fried fishcake made of fish surimi in Kagoshima and also called “Tsuke-age.” The history of satsuma-age is very long. One theory states that in the 1800s, there was a food called “Chiki-agi” from Fujian, China and came to Ryukyu (Okinawa) as fried food and then moved to Satsuma, then its name was changed to “Tsuke-age.” You may think it has a high amount of calories but it actually has plenty of good proteins and has low amounts of calories and fat. Also, it is rich in vitamin B12 and is not salty so it is actually a very healthy food.

Ohara Matsuri
Photo credit: Kagoshima Prefectural Visitors Burea
  • Ohara Matsuri

“Ohara Matsuri” started in 1949 to celebrate the 60th year anniversary of Kagoshima Prefecture’s municipal government. It has developed with Kagoshima City and has become an autumn seasonal tradition of Kagoshima Prefecture. Basically, it is held in the 2nd and 3rd of November. About 20,000 dancers participate, mainly dancing to local music such as “Ohara-bushi,” “Kagoshima Hanya-bushi,” and “Shibuya-ondo” while parading. Also, there are other kinds of dances such “Ohara21” and “Music parade and marching.

6. NIPPON Information

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

1) NIPPON Time Machine


Tanabata, also known as the Star Festival, is held on the evening of July 7 in the old lunar calendar. It is said that this festival was derived from a Chinese star festival based on an old Chinese folk tale on Cowherd Star (Altair) and Weaver Star (Vega) from then fused with an ancient Japanese myth. Orihime, who is the daughter of a god, was good at weaving. The god thought it would be nice if his daughter and a hard-working cowherd get married, so he introduced them to each other. They got married and had a happy life, but they were into each other too much, neglecting their work. The god became angry and decided to separate them on opposite sides of the Milky Way and were only allowed to meet each other once a year. Every July 7, people decorate bamboo with paper strips of various colors which have wishes written on them and other ornaments. This custom spread in the 1600s in Japan and still remains until now. Similar festivals are held in China, Korea and Vietnam.

2) Lifestyle Information


The official name of the Obon festival is Uran-bone. It is the festival which welcomes and holds memorial services for the spirits of one’s ancestors. Originally, it is held on July 15 in the old calendar but is now commonly held in August 15. A small fire is lit at the gate of a house in the evening of the first day of Obon. It is said that the spirits of ancestors ride on the smoke of fires to come back. A small fire is also lit at the last day of Obon for ancestors to go back. Moreover, vehicles of cucumbers and eggplants with chopsticks or toothpicks are made for the spirits to come and go between heaven and earth. Along with cucumber horses is the wish for their ancestors to “come early as soon as possible“ and with eggplant cows, “to go back late as much as possible” and “bring back offerings.”

7. JASSO News

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

1) Schedule, etc. for 2016 Japan Education Fairs

JASSO holds Japan Education Fairs overseas to provide information to high school students, university students and other individuals who are interested in studying in Japan. We also attend and cooperate to the events and seminars sponsored by other organizations.

2) Information about the “Student Guide to Japan”

For all those considering studying in Japan, we recommend you to read the “Student Guide to Japan” first.
In addition to information on the Japanese education system, scholarships, and daily life in Japan, the guidebook also includes stories on experience of international students in Japan.
You can read the guidebook on the JASSO website, so we encourage not only those who are considering studying in Japan, but also students already studying in Japan to take a look.

You can read in 14 languages such as Japanese, English, Chinese (Simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese), Korean, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese, Myanmar language and Bengali, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, French, German, Mongolian, and Portuguese.

3) Official Facebook pages of JASSO and Overseas Representative Offices

We also provide the latest information on studying in Japan on our official Facebook pages. Check them out!

4) Examination for Japanese University Admission for International Students (EJU)

5) JASSO Scholarship programs

6) Web Magazine “Ryugakukoryu”

The July 2016 issue will be published on July 11th. Please make sure to read it!

7) Follow-up Research Guidance (Dispatching research advisors)

This program provides Japanese academic advisors with an opportunity to visit and to help further research of former international students who are teaching and/or researching at universities or research institutes in their home countries.

8. From the Editor

How did you find the July edition of Japan Alumni eNews?
In July, after finishing the exams or other stuff in the university, summer vacation is coming. As we mentioned in the lifestyle magazine, there are many festivals after the Obon all over Japan. How about making plans for your trip by reading Visit Japan through this e-mail newsletter? You can enjoy things such as food and culture which you don’t normally savor on a daily basis. Let’s enjoy Japan by visiting various areas during the summer vacation.

Japan Alumni eNews Editorial Desk is looking for someone who can share their job searching experiences. We also welcome pictures from your life abroad as an exchange student and your comments for our email magazine. Our next issue of “Japan Alumni eNews” will be distributed on August 10th. Don’t miss it!

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


Follow-up Services Unit, International Scholarship Division, Student Exchange Department Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO)
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