Top 10 Scholarships in Japan for International Students

Looking for information on the scholarships in Japan for international students? Then you’ve come to the right place. We have discussed these scholarships in detail and what makes them a good fit for international students.

What comes to mind when you think about Japan! Technology? Sushi? Anime? Yes, you are right! To find out more about Japanese animation, check out our article on the best animation schools in Japan.

Japan is a country occupied by the Japanese people. It is one of the most popular Asian countries around the world.

The Japanese people speak the Japanese language majorly, but for students, there are English Universities in Japan that they can enroll in to learn and get a degree.

Japan is a hub of technological innovation and top research centers and has a good economy too which is top in Asia and in the world too after the US and China. How will this help you as an international student in Japan?

Firstly, the technological innovation and good economy mean that there are many companies here and even more would like to come and establish one in the country. Therefore, they’d be plenty of jobs for you if you decide to stay a little longer.

And secondly, the fact that the Japanese engage in serious research has also made their universities take research as a top priority. Therefore, attending a Japanese institution means you will be engaged in some serious research. This is experiential learning at its finest, you will see how it is done, learn how to get it done, and get yours to work too.

You will be working with industrial and field experts and professionals in whatever discipline you are pursuing.

International students who wish to learn the Japanese language before going to Japan to study can take free online Japanese courses to learn the language for effective communication. There are also Colleges in Japan for International Students who wish to get a degree in any one of them.

Most International Students depend on Scholarships to study in foreign countries. That is why most countries including the Asian countries offer Scholarship opportunities to financially disadvantaged students.

Japan alone has up to 72 different scholarship opportunities for students interesting in studying in their country.

There are many Scholarship forums offered by the Japanese government to International Students. Each year, the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport, Science, and Technology (Monbukagakusho) offers scholarships to international students, providing hundreds with the opportunity to live and study in Japan.

Without further ado, let’s go ahead and discuss all of them and what they offer, and how to obtain a full scholarship in Japan.

How to obtain a full scholarship in Japan

The first step to obtaining a full scholarship in Japan is to apply. Applicants must apply through a Japanese Embassy or a Consulate in the country where they hold citizenship.

Application requirement includes age, region, School enrolled in Japan, and major or specialty Field.

Screening for most financial aid is conducted using only the documents submitted, but some organizations require an interview or a written examination testing your general education, knowledge in your field, and/or language abilities.

Having known this, let’s discuss the types of scholarships in Japan for International Students.

Top 10 scholarships in Japan for international students

Scholarships in Japan for International Students

The top best Scholarship in Japan for International Students will be discussed below;

1. MEXT Scholarships

MEXT is a fully-funded scholarship in Japan offered by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology. It is the first in the top Scholarships in Japan for international students.

This annual financial aid is geared towards helping international students struggling to meet the financial requirements of whichever program they’re studying.

It’s available to both undergraduate and postgraduate students interested in furthering their education at any Japanese university.

The scholarship opportunity offers full tuition fees, accommodation, and allowances.

Eligible Degrees to be acquired with the scholarship are; Bachelor’s, Masters’s, and Ph.D.

MEXT Scholarship Link

2. Japan Educational Exchanges and Services (JEES) Scholarship

JEES the second top Scholarship in Japan for International students offers a wide range of scholarships in Japan for international students, either based on their field of study or country of origin.

The scholarships are available to students at all levels of studies, from junior colleges to doctorate degrees.

The programs are provided in collaboration with private entities willing to support students in various fields.

There are five different categories of JEES scholarships that you can apply for depending on your eligibility.

The most popular ones include nationality-specific, school-specific, and promotion of Japanese language learning.

Other scholarships are Asian-specific and area of study-specific programs. You can check out each one of them on the official website page and select the ideal one for you.

The scholarship offers free tuition fee

Eligible Degrees to be acquired are; Bachelor’s Masters’s and Ph.D.

JEES Scholarship Link

3. Waseda University Japanese Government Scholarship

The government of Japan has selected various institutions within the country to support and enhance the International Priority Graduate Program (PGP).

Being the third top Scholarship in Japan for International students, Waseda University is one of those institutions, and it offers a chance to every international student applying for a graduate program to access the scholarship program, which is part of the MEXT financial aid programs

The Graduate School of Information, Production and Systems (IPS) is responsible for the assessment of students.

Anyone who applies for a program at IPS Waseda will be assessed, and if they pass the test, their details are forwarded to the Japanese Government.

The selected students – usually about six – will then receive the award by the government’s plans and policies.

Make sure to visit the official scholarship page for more information on this scholarship in Japan for international students.

The scholarship offers free tuition fees and accommodation.

Eligible Degrees to be acquired are; Bachelor’s Masters’s and Ph.D.

Waseda Scholarship Link

4. Japan Foundation of UNU

This is a non-application award, which means you are automatically considered a candidate when submitting your initial application for the course. It’s the next top Scholarship in Japan for International students.

If you are selected as a beneficiary, you’ll receive monthly allowances worth $145,000 on top of the waived tuition fee. These allowances, however, will only be valid for 36 months of your learning period.

To be eligible for this scholarship in Japan, you must first be from a developing country.

The primary objective of the JFUNU awards is to target students from such nations and those who are struggling to meet the financial demands of their selected programs.

You are, however, not eligible if you are pursuing a second Ph.D. in the same institution.

JFUNU Scholarship Link

5. KUAS Undergraduate Scholarship

The Kyoto University of Advanced Science is also offering institution-based scholarship programs to its undergraduate students. It’s the next on the list of top Scholarships in japan for international students.

There are two main types of scholarship programs at the institution; KUAS-E and Super KUAS-E scholarships.

Beneficiaries of the former receive admission and tuition fee reductions (100%, 50%, or 30%) depending on their academic performances.

Those who qualify for the Super KUAS-E scholarship will be exempted from paying admission fees and tuition fees. In addition, the students also receive $110,000 yearly for upkeep.

KUAS Scholarship Link

6. ADB – Japan Scholarship Programs for developing countries in Asia and the Pacific.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB)  and the Japanese government, through the  ADB Japan Scholarship Program (ADB – JSP), provide Scholarship opportunities for International Students from ADB’s developing member countries to pursue a graduate or post-graduate study program in a recognized university in Asia, Australia or New Zealand. It’s the next on the list of top Scholarships in Japan for International students.

Eligible applicants should enroll in a study program related to economics, agriculture, management, health, science, Education, or other development-related courses. Yearly accrue ADB- JSP announces approximately 300 scholarship awards to qualified candidates.

Successful candidates are entitled to the following;

  • Full tuition fee subsidy
  • Accommodation allowance
  • Books and instructional materials allowance
  • Medical insurance
  • Travel expenses
  • And a Monthly Stipend

The Scholarship is good for an Academic year and may be extended to another year, provided that the school has performed satisfactorily in the previous year.

ADB – Japan Scholarship Link

7. Japan Africa Dream Scholarship Program for African students

The Japan Africa Scholarship (JADS) Program – capacity building in the energy sector through skills development for sustainable development– is a joint initiative by the AfDB and Japan that aims at providing two-year scholarship awards to highly achieving African graduate students to enable them to undergo post-graduate studies (i.e. a two-year Master’s degree program) in priority development areas on the continent and abroad (including in Japan).

This JADS program is funded by the Government of Japan

The scholarship program provides tuition, a monthly living stipend, round-trip airfare, health insurance, and travel allowance.

It’s the next on the list of top Scholarships in Japan for International students.

JADS Scholarship Link

8. Joint Japan World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP) for students in developing countries

The Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP) is open to women and men from developing countries with relevant professional experience and a history of supporting their countries’ development efforts who are applying to a master’s degree program in a development-related topic.

It’s the next on the list of top Scholarships in Japan for International students.

JJ/WBGSP offers scholarships for over 200 Preferred Programs spanning a wide array of development topics and for 14 Partner Programs at universities in the U.S., Africa, and Japan in key areas of development, including economic policy management, tax policy, and infrastructure management.

The JJ/WBGSP scholarship provides annual awards to cover the cost of completing a master’s degree or its equivalent; air travel + $500 travel allowance for each trip; tuition and the cost of basic medical and accident insurance usually obtained through the university; a monthly subsistence allowance to cover living expenses, including books.

(JJ/WBGSP) Scholarship Link

9.   Keio University Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP) for Masters Students in Developing Countries

Since 1996, the Graduate School of Business and Commerce of Keio University has been training promising tax personnel in the field of tax policy and administration with its Master’s Degree Program in Taxation Policy and Management.

This program brings together the cooperation of Keio University, the National Tax Agency of Japan (NTA), and the World Bank in an alliance between public and private institutions.

It’s the next on the list of top Scholarships in Japan for International students.

Keio University, a leading private university in Japan, established the program as one of the partnership programs of the Joint Japan /World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP).

The JJ/WBGSP scholarship provides the recipient with the following benefits:

  • Economy class air travel between your home country and the host university at the start of your study program and immediately following the end of the scholarship period. In addition to the two-way air travel, scholars will receive a US $500 travel allowance for each trip;
  • Tuition for your graduate program and the cost of basic medical insurance are usually obtained through the university.
  • A monthly allowance of JPY 152,000 to cover living expenses, including books.

(JJ/WBGSP) Scholarship Link

10.   Kochi University of Technology (KUT) Special Scholarship Program SSP for Doctoral International Students

The Special Scholarship Program (SSP) was established in 2003 to support the advanced research of the university by enlisting the help of highly capable students especially students from foreign countries.

Every year in April and October, the university enrolls selected doctoral students for specific research projects.

The students pursue the doctoral course in English (excl. Japanese students) while at the same time assisting their host professor as a research assistant (RA).

Through this program, KUT wishes to expand and deepen international ties with academic and educational institutions all over the world.

The scholarship opportunity offers the following;

  • Exemption from 30,000 yen entrance examination fee, 300,000 yen enrollment fee, and 535,800 yen/year tuition fee
  • To support living expenses, 150,000 yen/month is paid for research project work.
  • 150,000 yen is provided for travel and initial living costs. (given only to international applicants who are living outside Japan, and who have, or have the intention to acquire, “Student” status of Japanese residence at the time of entry into Japan)

KUT Scholarship Link

These Scholarship opportunities are open for students all over the world, no matter the field of study. This wraps up the list of top Scholarships in Japan for International students. Let’s answer some relevant questions relating to scholarships in Japan for International students.

Scholarships in Japan for International Students – FAQs

Is it hard to get a Scholarship in Japan?

No, it’s quite easier than you think. Although intimidating, applying for scholarships in Japan is achievable. As long as you adhere to the academic, age, and financial requirements, getting a scholarship can be as simple as breathing.

Are there fully funded scholarships in Japan for International Students?

Yes!! There are quite a lot of fully-funded Scholarships in Japan for International students. They are listed below;

  • Japanese Government MEXT Scholarships [Embassy Track] for Teacher Training Students
  • Rotary Yoneyama Foundation Scholarships for International Students
  • Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho: MEXT Scholarships for African Students (Undergraduate, Masters, Doctoral, College of Technology Specialized Training Programme)
  • Government of Japan (MEXT) Scholarships for Research Students
  • Japan Africa Dream Scholarship Programme for African Students
  • Japan Study Support Scholarships for International Students
  • Rotary Peace Fellowship for Masters and Professional Programs
  • Joint Japan World Bank Group Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP) for Students in Developing Countries
  • Keio University Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP) for Masters Students in Developing Countries
  • Yokohama National University Masters in Infrastructure Management (IMP) Scholarships for Developing Countries
  • University of Tokyo Scholarships for International Students
  • Japan-WCO International Scholarships for Young Customs Officials
  • ABE Initiative Masters Scholarship + Internship Program for African Students
  • Japan Foundation United Nations University (JFUNU) Scholarships for Ph.D. Students from Developing Countries
  • United Nations/Japan Long-term Fellowship Programme for Developing Countries
  • The University of Tsukuba Program in Economic Policy (PEP) Scholarships for Developing Countries
  • Kochi University of Technology (KUT) Special Scholarship Program SSP for Doctoral International Students
  • KUT Japan Doctoral Scholarship Program for International Engineering Students
  • JAW International Fellowship Program for Women Leaders
  • Matsumae International Foundation (MIF) Research Fellowship for Natural Science, Engineering and Medicine


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Jessica is a student researcher and content writer with SAN. She's enthusiastic about writing, research, and teaching people.

Aside from writing, she loves Baking, Cooking, Reading, or Watching movies.

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