5 Company Scholarships in Japan to Help Your Studies: How to Apply for Them

January 07, 2020 6 min read

More and more foreign students are coming to Japan every year – and with the high costs of living and studying in Japan, students need ways to support their education. This is where knowledge of what company scholarships there are in Japan becomes vital, to help ease students’ worries and focus better on their studies.

Author: Jen Santelices | Published date: September 11th, 2019

Japan is currently at the most globalized that it has ever been – so much so that 2018 saw the highest record number of foreigners living in Japan. One needs not to look much further than the foreign students who come to Japan, a group that saw a 12% increase in numbers this past year.

Students from all over the world come to Japan for a wide variety of reasons, with the most common ones being the desire to work for a Japanese company, interest in Japanese culture, and the quality of life in Japan.

However, the costs of higher education in Japan have also grown over the years, having almost doubled that of twenty years ago, and this might put foreign students in a bind when it comes to paying for their education.

Fortunately, there are plenty of company scholarships offered by different companies and associations in Japan, which can help foreign students make their study abroad experience just a little bit easier.

The Top Company Scholarships in Japan

Tokyu Foundation for Foreign Students

Source: https://foundation.tokyu.co.jp/

Known for their brand of private railway lines, buses and department stores found all over Tokyo, the Tokyu Corporation established their own foundation that offers scholarship assistance to foreign graduate students living in Japan.

The company scholarship will accept around 15 students this year for the upcoming April 2020 intake, and the application is done entirely in Japanese. The applicant must send the required documents listed on the website to the foundation’s office in Tokyo. Email applications and submission of the documents in person are strictly prohibited.


September 30, 2019


  • Foreign students who possess a student visa (list of eligible nationalities in Japanese here)
  • Must be scheduled to enroll in a graduate school program at a Japanese university by April 2020.
  • For master’s program: must be born after April 1, 1990 (below 30 years old)
  • For doctorate program: must be born after April 1, 1985 (below 35 years old)
  • Must not be a recipient of a different scholarship greater than ¥360,000/month from April 2020 onwards.
  • Must be able to attend the foundation’s cultural exchange event held every two (2) months.
  • Must have the Japanese proficiency necessary to explain their research plan and undergo an interview conducted in Japanese.




2 years

Website (Japanese): https://foundation.tokyu.co.jp/international_exchange/application.php

Asian Development Bank Japan Scholarship Program (ADB-JSP)

Source: https://www.adb.org/work-with-us/careers/japan-scholarship-program/institutions

In 1988, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) partnered with the Japanese government to create the Asian Development Bank-Japan Scholarship Program (ADB-JSP). This prestigious company scholarship helps aspiring graduate students by offering full tuition fee coverage for 29 partner institutions, 15 of which are located in Japan and the rest across Asia, Australia and the US. Students are then expected to return home to make positive contributions to their community after their graduation.

It is important to note that applicants must have been offered admission to a participating university beforehand, and that the submission of documents must be done through the university. The university will then recommend candidates to the ADB, and once the ADB has made its decision, the successful recipients will be announced by the university.


6 months prior to the start of the applicant’s chosen graduate program at a participating institution.

(For an April 1, 2020 intake, the deadline will be on October 1, 2019, however, deadlines and intakes vary per institution. For a full list of the participating institutions, please check here)


  • Available to citizens of ADB borrowing member countries who are currently residing in their home countries (See here for a list of eligible countries)
  • Must have at least two (2) years of full-time professional working experience.
  • Must have gained admission to a participating institution in Japan under an approved graduate program.
  • Must be under 35 years of age.


  • Full tuition fee coverage
  • ¥144,000 monthly stipend and housing allowance
  • Medical insurance
  • Travel expenses between applicant’s home country and Japan


1 year (with the possibility of extending the coverage to the full 2 years for master’s programs and 3 years for doctorate programs)

Website (English): https://www.adb.org/site/careers/japan-scholarship-program/main

Rotary Yoneyama Memorial Foundation Scholarship

Source: http://www.rotary-yoneyama.or.jp/english/scholarships

Established as a program to aid foreign students in Japan through scholarship grants, the foundation was initially started by the Rotary Club of Tokyo but now receives contributions from members of the numerous rotary clubs across Japan.

Membership to the Rotary Club is not necessary for application, and foreign applicants living in and outside of Japan are welcome to apply. For applicants living in Japan, the application must be submitted through their respective schools. However, for applicants living abroad, the required documents can be submitted via email.


  • October 15, 2019 (for applicants residing in Japan)
  • December 15, 2019 (for applicants outside of Japan)


  • Students from any field of study are welcome to apply.
  • Must be under 45 years old.
  • Must not be a recipient of a scholarship from a different organization at the time of application and must not be a previous recipient of the Rotary Yoneyama Scholarship.
  • (For applicants residing in Japan) Must be a foreign undergraduate or graduate student under the “student” or “refugee” visa status.
  • Must be currently enrolled at a designated participating school in Japan (for the list of designated schools, see here)
  • Must currently be within their last two (2) years of studies.
  • Must have the Japanese proficiency necessary to complete the application process entirely in Japanese.
  • (For applicants residing outside of Japan) Must be a non-Japanese citizen currently residing outside of Japan.
  • Must have received a letter of admission or under the process of taking entrance exams for a Japanese university.
  • Must not have previously stayed in Japan under study purposes (except for previous Rotary programs or pre-enrollment orientation)
  • Must be capable of Japanese at the JLPT N4 level.


  • ¥100,000/month (for undergraduate students)
  • ¥140,000/month (for master’s and doctorate students)


2 years (For a student in their final year of studies, the scholarship duration will be 1 year)

Website (English): http://www.rotary-yoneyama.or.jp/english/scholarships/detail_101.html

College Women’s Association of Japan Graduate Scholarship

Source: https://cwaj.org/scholarship/

With their origins based on providing travel grants to female Japanese students who wished to study abroad back in 1951, the College Women’s Association of Japan (CWAJ) now also offers scholarship grants to include female foreign students who wish to pursue graduate studies in Japan. 

There are no age nor field of study limitations for the scholarship. In addition, the application can be done directly through the CWAJ, by filling in the application form on their website, writing an essay detailing the proposed study, and attaching two (2) reference letters. All forms need to be sent by mail; online applications are not accepted.


October 21, 2019


  • Available to female non-Japanese citizens.
  • Must be scheduled to enroll in a graduate school program at a Japanese university by April 2020.
  • Must be a resident of Japan at the time of application.
  • Must not be a recipient of a different scholarship greater than ¥1.5 million and must not be a former recipient of the CWAJ Scholarship.




1 year

Website (English): https://cwaj.org/scholarship/graduate-scholarship-for-non-japanese-women-to-study-in-japan-njg/

Nitori International Scholarship Foundation

Source: https://www.nitori-shougakuzaidan.com/

The foundation was established in 2005 by Akio Nitori, the same person behind Japan’s largest furniture and interior goods retailer, Nitori. They provide scholarship assistance for both the undergraduate and graduate levels regardless of nationality, and the number of recipients has been steadily increasing over the years from 40 in 2005, to 144 in 2018. 

The application can be done online through the foundation’s website and involves an online test and an interview before the announcement of results. This is then followed by an entrance ceremony for the scholarship before classes start in April.


October 31, 2019


  • Available to undergraduate or graduate students residing within or outside of Japan who possess/will possess a student visa valid from April 2020. 
  • All nationalities are welcome to apply.
  • Students from any field of study are welcome to apply.
  • Must have the Japanese proficiency necessary to complete the application process entirely in Japanese.




1 year

Website: https://www.nitori-shougakuzaidan.com/

Word of advice

When applying to scholarships, the key is determination and “not giving up”, according to Maria, a scholarship student from Spain.

She said she worked closely with her teacher to help her study as preparation. She also looked up the most common questions asked in scholarship interviews, such as “Why do you want to study in Japan?”, “Why do you want to study your chosen topic?” and “What do you plan to do after your studies?” During the interview, she also did her best to appear very self-confident when answering the questions.

She eventually received a scholarship that got her into Japan, although not without some hurdles. “I failed twice, but I did not want to give up,” she said. “I love challenges and I needed a change of atmosphere and going out of my bubble. [At first] I wanted to come as a tourist. But I realised that if I wanted to make a difference in my life, I would have to live here.” 

Maria is studying to be a translator and is currently on her second year in Japan. When she’s not studying, she loves exploring beaches alongside the friends that she’s made while living here. 

There are plenty of company scholarships available in Japan for a foreign student from any background, it simply boils down to figuring out which scholarship matches best with your needs. Life in Japan might not come free of worries – financial or otherwise – but there are always opportunities that can lead you to more open doors in Japan.

JPort Student Support Team
We create Borderless Japan

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