UPDATED: Visit and Study Japan Grant Program (VSJ) 2020

*Due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus outbreak, application deadline and the period of this program has been extended. Please refer to the information below. (Updated on March 12th)



Visit and Study Japan Grant Program (VSJ) 2020


The America-Japan Society (AJS) is a long-standing private organization based in Tokyo. Our mission is to promote good relations between the U.S. and Japan.

In April 2017, AJS celebrated our centennial anniversary. In order to commemorate this milestone, the Society has started a grant program, “Visit and Study Japan Grant Program (VSJ)”. It is designed to provide air fare and financial support to the U.S. graduate students who study Japan or Japan-U.S. relations. This program will help foster their intellectual curiosity and deepen understanding of Japan through hands-on study and experience.


1. Objectives

To promote Japanese studies and understanding of Japan in the U.S., the America-Japan Society (AJS) provides Maximum 5 students in Master and Doctorial Courses with grants for implementing intellectual projects in Japan. This program is also bolstered by the Japanese government fund, called ‘KAKEHASHI Project’, with the intention to encourage the participants to share their experiences and discoveries with their networks in Japan. Thus, Visit and Study JAPAN (VSJ) program is aiming to foster mutual trust and understanding between U.S. and Japan for future friendship and collaboration, and to encourage an appreciation of Japanese culture, history, society, technology and language.


2. Eligible Applicants

(1) Students who belong to a Master or Doctorial Program in 2020 are eligible to Applicants must meet the following requirements:

a. having the U.S. nationality or the U.S. permanent resident status;

b. being registered at university/college in the U.S. as a student.

(2) VSJ program does NOT provide grants for:

a. those who have Japanese nationality;

b. those who have participated in any programs funded by the Japanese government;

c. those who have studied or stayed in Japan for over a year.

*Japanese language proficiency is NOT required.


3. Eligible Projects

(1) Projects implemented in Japan between September 1st, 2020 and February 28,

(2) The duration of the stay in Japan should be no longer than 2 months.

(3) Field of study should be History, Economics, Politics, Security, Literature, Arts, Architecture, Culture, Social Science, Japanese policies related issues, and other subjects substantially relating to Japan and worldwide timely subjects.

*Japanese language study should not be the first objective of this program.

(4) The following is NOT permitted:

a. To come early to Japan before the program or remain in Japan;

b. To be accompanied by someone else;

c. To travel to a third country on the way to Japan or back from Japan.


4. Grant Coverage

(1) ANA roundtrip Economy Class ticket between the U.S. and Tokyo

(2) JPY200,000 in cash to cover daily expense. Recipients are required to submit receipts of travel expenses on the last day they visit the AJS office.

(3) The AJS does NOT take a responsibility for arranging travel Recipients must arrange your own overseas travel insurance in the U.S. before your departure.



5. Other Conditions

(1) The recipients must fulfill the following requirements:

a. Recipients must abide by “the rules and regulations”.

b. Immediately after arrival in Japan, recipients must visit the AJS office in Tokyo to receive grants in cash, and update itinerary and the research subject.

c. Before returning to the U.S., recipients must hold a debrief reporting session at AJS office.

(2) The recipients must submit the following before, during or after the program:

a. A copy of passport, an entry form, a letter of understanding, and itinerary before coming to Japan;

b. A final report and a survey which include their progress of study, lists of visited places and people, and some photos by the last day of stay in Japan;

c. A copy of the completed thesis to the AJS when accomplished.

(3) The Recipients are encouraged to participate in the local AJS office programs near their locations in Japan.

(4) As a part of this program, participants are encouraged to share their experience in Japan through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or other social media during and after the program.


6. Application Procedure and Deadline

(1) Application must include following forms and documents:

a. Fully completed and signed Application form (use designated form);

b. Recommendation letter from supervising professor;

c. Copy of ID Card issued by the university/college;

d. Copy of grades transcript (the most recent semester or last annual report).

(2) Applicants should send them to the AJS office by E-Mail ( by Friday May 1st, 2020 (Japan time).


7. Screening and result notification

The AJS Selection Committee will start its meetings from May 2020. By the end of May 2020, the AJS will directly notify the applicants about the result of their applications.



Download the Documents:

UPDATED Ver. Application Instruction & Form (PDF)

Application Form (Word Document)




VSJ 2019 Reports:

Mr. Evan T. Koike, University of British Columbia

Ma. Leah Justin Hinich, Harvard University

Mr. James Gerien-Chen, Columbia University

Mr. Carl Gabrielson, University of California, Santa Barbara

Ms. Mary Collier Wilks, University of Virginia


If you have any questions regarding VSJ, please feel free to contact us (


The America-Japan Society, Inc. (AJS)