Visit and Study JAPAN Grant Program(VSJ)2021

Visit and Study Japan Grant Program (VSJ) 2021

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.


Visit and Study JAPAN Grant Program 2021 (VSJ2021) is one of the four programs funded as a part of the commemoration of the centennial of the America-Japan Society, Inc. (AJS). This grant program invites students in master and doctoral courses in the United States to visit Japan for the purpose of encouraging their research and study of Japan and/or the bilateral relationship between two countries and further contributing to the higher intellectual level of their research. The AJS consequently expects the students who pass the selection process (the Recipients) to become indispensable catalysts to promote the understanding of Japan in US in various fields.


2.1 VSJ2021=AJS+KAKEHASHI Project
In order to implement the 2021 program to fulfill the said objectives, the AJS has decided to collaborate with “KAKEHASHI Project” of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). VSJ 2021 is an autonomous program to integrate the process comprehensively from application through to final reporting, including a series of events by KAKEHASHI Project, in order to achieve the objectives described in the preceding clause.

2.2 Collaboration between AJS and KAKEHASHI Project of MOFA
VSJ2021 program represents the collaboration of the research grant program by the AJS and the Inbound program from US to Japan by KAKEHASHI by MOFA.
[KAKEHASHI Project] “KAKEHASHI Project” is the project initiated by MOFA and actually implemented by Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE), which supports the implementation of VSJ2021 in terms of the visit to Japan, in particular supporting the expenses for airfare, partial accommodation, and commuting in Japan.
As the principal aim of KAKEHASHI Project is to promote a people to people exchange between Japan and the US, all Recipients are required to share their experiences and discoveries with their networks both in Japan and the US, and thus to contribute to greater appreciation of Japanese culture worldwide.
▶ About KAKEHASHI Project : See “APPENDIX-1. Application Guidelines for KAKEHASHI Project”. The Recipient must take a thorough review of the application document in advance and must fulfill the requirements described therein. With regard to the “contents” of “Program Overview”, it is not necessary for the Recipient to fulfill the requirements on (ii) School Exchange Program and (iv) Hands-on learning program. However, the Recipient must fulfill the requirements on (i) Attend lectures, (iii) Visit educational sites and (v) Share information.


3.1 Applicants
(1) All applicants must meet the following requirements:
a. having the U.S. nationality or the U.S. permanent resident status; (those who have Japanese nationality are not allowed to apply.)
b. being enrolled as a student in a master’s or doctoral program at a U.S. university in 2021.
c. those who have participated in any programs funded by the Japanese government in the past are not allowed to apply.
d. those who have studied or stayed in Japan for more than a year are not allowed to apply.
*Japanese language proficiency is NOT required.


3.2 Projects
(1) Projects should be implemented in Japan between September 1st, 2021 and March 31, 2022.
(2) The duration of the stay in Japan should be no longer than 2 months.
(3) The fields of study should be History, Economics, Politics, Security, Literature, Arts, Architecture, Culture, Social Science and so on of Japan or equivalents relating to the comparison with or integration of two countries. In addition to the foregoing, considering the unprecedented pandemic prevalent since last year, a special theme, “Covid-19, Japan and the US”, can be added. *Japanese language study should not be the first objective of this program.
(4) The following activities are NOT permitted:
a. To come early to Japan before the program or keep remaining in Japan after the program;
b. To be accompanied by someone else;
c. To travel to a third country on the way to Japan or back from Japan.


4.1 Grant Coverage
(1) The AJS provides ¥300,000 per Recipient as research grants. The said amount shall be handed directly to Recipients when they first go to the AJS office.
(2) KAKEHASHI Project covers the expenses, including airfares to/from Japan, lodging and meals for nine nights and ten days and supplementary travel expenses. The detailed conditions are described as “Terms and Conditions (1) The following expenses are covered by the program” in page 4 of “APPENDIX-1. Application Guidelines for KAKEHASHI Project”. The Recipients are required to submit receipts of travel expenses on their last day to visit the AJS office.
*The Recipients must arrange their own overseas travel insurance in the U.S. before their departure. In addition, the Recipients shall pay their personal expenses, including passport, vaccination, travel between their home and the designated airport, accommodation and meals in their home country, and purchase of souvenirs / personal goods before or during the program.


4.2 Number of the Recipients
Two (2) students



5.1 Requirements for Application
(1) Applicants must read “Application Guidelines” and submit following forms and documents. Applicants should send them to the AJS office by E-Mail ( by 5:00 pm, June 30th, 2021 (Japan time).
a. The following documents fully completed and signed i) Application forms for VSJ (as attached document: “3. APPENDIX-2. Application Form for VSJ”) ii) KAKEHASHI Project (as attached documents: “4. APPENDIX-3. (Annex 3) Entry Form for KAKEHASHI” and iii) “5. APPENDIX-4. (Annex 4) Letter of Understanding (LOU) for KAKEHASHI”)
b. Recommendation letter from the 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) The AJS will complete its review of the descriptions of the forms and documents by 31st July 2021 (Japan Time) and within one week will notify the results to the Recipients who pass the selection process.. The selected Recipient must reply back to the AJS with his/her acceptance or not within a week from the date of the notification.
(3) In the event that the applicant passes the selection process and becomes qualified as the Recipient, he/she needs to submit the following documents as soon as the notification from the AJS reaches the mail address of the Recipient.
a. Copy of Passport (Photo page)
b. Travel itinerary sheet which includes date and time of arrival in Japan, contact information for the Recipient during their time in Japan.


5.2 Requirements during Stay in Japan
➢ AJS Office Visit
Immediately after arrival in Japan, Recipients must visit the AJS office located in Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo. The AJS will provide and an orientation session regarding staying in Japan and the grant-awarding ceremony. The Recipients will receive grants in cash, and they will update their final itineraries and will confirm their research subjects. The orientation session is expected to take approximately two hours. (Access to the AJS Office:
➢ Research & Activity Report
Recipients are required to submit a summary of their activities and research conducted in Japan. In case of using photos, which may identify any specific companies or individuals (“Groups”), the Recipients shall be required to obtain permission for use by the Groups in advance. Alternatively, the Recipients may deliver the request for permission to the Groups for permission by way of AJS (
➢ Submission of Travel Expenses Report
The Recipients are required to submit the receipt of travel expenses in particular before the reporting session. The AJS will explain the procedures when the Recipients make their first visit to the AJS office.
➢ Reporting Session
The Recipients shall give a presentation to explain their studies and activities in Japan in a debriefing session to be held at the AJS office before leaving Japan. At this time the recipients shall settle all the travel expenses. The recipients shall explain how they will finish their studies after leaving Japan.
➢ Share Experiences through Social Media
In accordance with the requirement of KAKEHASHI Project, Recipients are required to share their experiences and discoveries in Japan and promote Japan as an attractive destination for travel, study, or work by posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, or other social media during and after the program, especially within three months of the program.


5.3 Requirements after the Program
➢ Recipients must submit a copy of the completed thesis to the AJS soon after the Recipients submit their papers in the US.
➢ Recipients will be asked to complete a questionnaire at the end of the program and again three months after the program. All participants are requested to report their post-program activities and to stay connected with Japan and Japanese people through the online community sites of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA).


6.1 Guidelines
The Recipients must abide by this “Application Guidelines” for VSJ program and fulfill both obligations of VSJ and KAKEHASHI Project.

6.2 AJS Programs
The Recipients are encouraged to participate in as many programs of the local AJS office programs as possible.

6.3 Japanese Laws and Regulations
The Recipients must observe the laws and regulations of Japan. Offenders are subject to penalties under Japanese law. Any dispute arising out of the application for, or participation in, or anything relating to, the program between the participant and the Japanese government or AJS should be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of Japan, without regard to the principles of conflict of laws, and should be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the applicable courts in Japan.



In case the visit to Japan as a part of this program cannot be realized within the time frame described herein by the judgement of MOFA, the visit may be extended up until the situation becomes alleviated, the limit of which is tentatively estimated at maximum one year, while the research should be simultaneously carried out in the US. Nevertheless, the ultimate case of cancellation or its equivalence, the findings of the research should be presented through online, when the grant of ¥300,000 or equivalent shall be remitted to the designated bank account of the Recipient.



Deadline of the application: 05:00 p.m. of June 30th, 2021 (Japan Time)
– Completion of screening: July 31st, 2021 (ditto)
– Notification to the selected Recipients: August 7th, 2021 (ditto)
– Deadline of the acceptance to the notification along with the KAKEHASHI-related documents described in 5.1.(3): August 14th, 2021 (ditto)
– Project implementation: September 1st, 2021 to March 31st, 2022. Actual visit to Japan will be formally authorized two months after the submission of the aforementioned KAKEHASHI related-documents.



Download the Documents:

2. APPENDIX-1. Application Guidelines for KAKEHASHI Project

3. APPENDIX-2. Application Form for VSJ2021

4. APPENDIX-3. (Annex3) Entry Form for KAKEHASHI

5. APPENDIX-4. (Annex4) Letter of Understanding for KAKEHASHI



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

The America-Japan Society, Inc. (AJS)