The Japanese Government’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) offers scholarships for academic study in Japan to foreign students interested in deepening their understanding of the Japanese language, Japanese affairs and Japanese culture. The purpose of these scholarships is to promote mutual understanding and deepening friendly ties between Japan and other countries through the application of advanced knowledge regarding Japan’s language and culture.

Regulations for the 2013 MEXT Scholarship Program are as follows:


(1) Nationality:

Applicants must have the nationality of a country that has diplomatic relations with Japan. An applicant who has Japanese nationality at the time of application is not eligible. Selection is conducted at facilities such as the Japanese Embassy /Consulate General (hereinafter “Japanese legation”) located in the country of the applicant’s nationality. (This shall not necessarily be applied in cases where one embassy covers multiple nations.

(2) Age:

Applicants must be born between April 2, 1983 and April 1, 1995.

(3) Academic Background:

Applicants must be undergraduates at foreign (non-Japanese) universities majoring in fields related to the Japanese language or Japanese culture at the time of arriving in and leaving Japan.

(4) Japanese Language Ability:

Applicants must have Japanese language ability sufficient for receiving education at a Japanese university in Japanese.

(5) Health:

Applicants must be free from any mental or physical disabilities that would be an impediment to the pursuit of university study.

(6) Arrival in Japan:

Applicants must definitely be able to arrive in Japan within two weeks counted from the starting day of the study course set by the university in Japan (usually October) and the period set by the accepting university . (If the applicant arrives in Japan before the period for personal reasons, by travel expenses to Japan will not be paid. And, if the applicant cannot arrive in Japan during the designated period, the applicant must resign.)

(7)  Visa acquisition:

Applicants must acquire “College Student” (ryugaku) visas before entering Japan. They then enter Japan with the “College Student” (ryugaku) residence status. Moreover, in exceptional cases when successful applicants have been residing in Japan before their acceptance under a status other than “College Student” and are to change their visa status within Japan, they must acquire a “College Student” visa by the end of the month prior to the month in which they are scheduled to start receiving the scholarship. Furthermore, please note that those who change their visa status to something other than “College Student” after arriving in Japan will also lose their qualifications to be Japanese Government Scholarship recipients from the date when they change their visa status.

(8)  Any applicant who meets any or all of the following conditions is not eligible. If identified after the start of the scholarship period, the applicant will be required to withdraw from the scholarship.

1. Those who qualify as military personnel or military civilian employees.

2. Those who can not arrive in Japan during the period designated by the university.

3. Recipients of scholarships from other institutions (including government institutions in their own countries) will not be selected as a recipient of Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarships.

4. As of October 1, 2013, applicants who have been awarded a Japanese Government Scholarship in the past will not be selected as a recipient until at least three years have passed since the first of the month following the month of their final receipt of the previous scholarship,.

5. Those who are already enrolled at Japanese universities with “College Student” visa status, or those already enrolled or are scheduled to be enrolled in universities in Japan as non-scholarship students, calculated from the date of application in their home country to before the potential disbursement of the scholarship money.

(9) Study courses implemented:

The study/training is implemented only for university/study courses listed in the pamphlet “Course Guide for Japanese Studies Students,” to be mailed separately.

(Note #1) Applicants must not simultaneously apply to be a Japanese studies student through a university recommendation for which recruiting is carried out during the same period of time. A university recommendation is a method whereby universities recommend students residing overseas in cooperation with universities in other countries with which they have concluded exchange agreements.

(Note #2) Applicants must not simultaneously apply under a system that supports short-term study by exchange students like that implemented by the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) Student Exchange Support Program (Scholarship for Short-term Study in Japan).

Those majoring in fields of study other than Japanese language and Japanese culture (such as Engineering, Economics, Agricultural Science, Architecture, Art, etc.) and who wish to pursue complementary studies in Japanese language and culture should apply for another scholarship, such as the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) Student Exchange Support Program (Scholarship for Short-term Study in Japan).

(Note 3) Those who have not studied at a university for more than one year, as of April 2013, will not be eligible in principle.


The term is the period necessary to complete the accepting university’s study course, which should be within approximately one year from October 2013  (the starting month for the study course).  (Extension of the term is not allowed.)


(1)  Allowance:

The amount of the scholarship disbursement per month has yet to be determined. However, the figures for the 2012 academic year have been included here for reference. (The monetary amount each year may be subject to change because of budgetary reasons.)

Actual amount of scholarship benefits in 2012: 117,000 yen per month

(2,000 or 3,000 yen per month will be added in case that the recipient research in a designated area.)

However, the scholarship is cancelled in principle if the recipient is absent from the university for an extended period.

The scholarship will be cancelled in principle in the following situations. And, if the recipient has been receiving the scholarship despite his/her falling under any of the following situations, the recipient will be ordered to return the amount of scholarship that he/she received during the period wherein he/she was involved with any of the following situations.

1. The recipient is judged to have made a false statement on his/her application;

2. The recipient violates any article of his/her pledge to the Monbukagaku-daijin (Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology);

3. The recipient has been subjected to disciplinary action by the university or expelled from the university;

4.  It has been determined that it will be impossible for the recipient to complete the training course within the standard time period because of poor academic grades or suspension from the university;

5. The recipient’s status, as defined in the Appended Table I-4 of the Immigration Act, has been changed into one other than “College Student;”

6. The recipient has received a scholarship from another institution (excluding those specified as being for research expenditures).

(2) Transportation

a. Transportation to Japan:
The recipient will be supplied, according to his/her itinerary and route as designated by MEXT, with an economy-class airplane ticket from the international airport nearest to his/her home address* to the New Tokyo International Airport or any other international airport that the appointed university usually uses. Expenses such as inland transportation from his/her home address to the international airport, airport tax, airport usage fees, special taxes on travel, or inland transportation within Japan will NOT be supplied. (*The address in the country of the recipient’s nationality stated in the application form is in principle regarded as the recipient’s “home address.”), Moreover, on airplane ticket will not be provided from a country other than that of the recipient’s nationality.

b. Transportation from Japan:
The recipient who returns to his/her home country within the fixed period after the expiration of his/her scholarship will be supplied, upon application, with an economy-class airplane ticket for travel from the New Tokyo International Airport or any other international airport that the appointed university usually uses to the international airport nearest to his/her home address*.

(Note) Any aviation and accident insurance to and from Japan shall be borne by the recipient. In addition, the airport must be one in the country of the student’s nationality.

(3) Tuition and Other Fees:

Fees for the entrance examination, matriculation, and tuition at universities will be borne by the Japanese Government.


Applicants must submit the following documents to the Japanese legation by the required date. The submitted documents will not be returned.




(1) [1]Application Form (prescribed forms)

      [2]Application Form (Annex) (prescribed form)




(2) Photographs or digital image (size 4.5×3.5 cm, upper half of body, full-faced, hatless) taken within
the past 6 months (pasted on the application forms and Annex)  



(3) [3]Certified academic transcript from the university the applicant is currently attending (please mark subjects related to Japanese language and Japanese culture).



(4) [4]Certificate of university enrollment  



(5) [5]Recommendation from the head of or academic advisor at the university currently attending



(6) [6]Medical certificate (prescribed form)  



(7) [7]If the applicant has qualifications concerning Japanese-language ability, documented proof of such qualifications



(Note 1) Please choose universities in which you wish to be enrolled from among those indicated in the pamphlet,

“Course Guide for Japanese Studies Students,” to be mailed separately, and write them down on the application forms (Annex).

(Note 2) These documents must be written in Japanese or English, or translations in either of these languages should be attached.

(Note 3) No application will be considered unless the aforementioned application and all other documents are fully and correctly completed.

(Note4)Number the documents([1] through [7]) in the right upper corner.


(1) The Japanese legation will carry out the preliminary screening from among applicants by means of an interview, a written examination (in Japanese), and a review of the submitted documents.

(2) Results of a the preliminary screening examination will be notified on a date separately designated by the Japanese legation.

(3) Applicants who pass the preliminary screening examination will be recommended by the Japanese legation to MEXT.

(4) MEXT will implement a final screening examination for applicants recommended by the Japanese legation and select the scholarship recipients.


(1) MEXT, in consultation with the university concerned, will decide on the university where each recipient shall be enrolled by taking into consideration his/her Japanese language ability and specialized courses he/she wishes to take. Objections regarding university placement will not be allowed.

(2) The study at universities will be conducted in Japanese.

(3) University placement and specialized study of Japanese language and Japanese culture will be conducted as follows.

Specialized Japanese language and Japanese culture study will be divided into the following two courses, depending on the objective of the study: (a) A course conducted mainly to improve students’ Japanese language proficiency with supplementary study about Japan and Japanese culture, and (b) A course conducted mainly about Japan and Japanese culture with supplementary study to improve Japanese language proficiency.

The specific course contents vary with each university, but every student will take special lectures on Japan, Japanese culture, and Japanese language and specialized practical study, as well as classes in the departments related to his/her individual major.

(4)  A recipient who has completed a specified course at the university concerned will be given a certificate.

However, the purpose of this scholarship program is not to obtain a diploma. Therefore, a recipient cannot be enrolled in an undergraduate course at a university or a Master’s or a doctorate course at a graduate school as a Japanese-government-sponsored international student during this program or right after its completion.


(1) The recipient is advised to learn the Japanese language and to acquire some information about Japanese weather, climate, customs, university education, and conditions in Japan, as well as about the difference between the Japanese legal system and that of his/her home country before departing for Japan.

(2) The grantee should bring approximately US $2,000 or the equivalent thereof to cover immediate needs after arrival in Japan

(3) Accommodations:

a.  Residence halls for international students established by national university corporations.

National university corporations have residence halls for international students. The recipients enrolled at national universities where such facilities are available may reside, if they so desire, in these residence halls under certain set conditions. However, because of the limited number of rooms, some of these facilities may not be able to accommodate all the students who wish to live there.

b. Private accommodations.

Those who are not able to find accommodation in the aforementioned facilities may live in regular dormitories of the university or in private boarding houses/apartments introduced by the university.

It is very difficult for recipients with accompanying family members to find appropriate housing in Japan. The recipient is requested to come to Japan alone first to secure housing before having his/her spouse and/or family members come over to Japan.

(4)  It is your responsibility to verify whether or not the completion of the course in Japan will be recognised as credits back home. If
you need further information regarding the content of the course, please contact the university that offers the course directly.

(5) In addition to the information determined in this guideline, matters which are necessary to implement the Japanese Government Scholarship are determined by the Japanese Government.

(6) More detailed information on this scholarship program is available at the Japanese legation in your country.



小川、城戸 (※応募については各国の日本国大使館等に御連絡ください。)

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