JULY 5-26, 2016

The Junior Fellows Leadership Program
is a culturally immersive learning experience for high school students who possess strong leadership skills and demonstrate potential to become future leaders. During this 3-week program in Japan, Junior Fellows have opportunities to build and expand networks with current leaders from various fields as well as with program alumni. Students stay with a host family in the Tokyo metropolitan area while attending a school. Fellows research and experience Japanese history and culture through a study trip to various important historical sites throughout Japan.

“The Junior Fellows Program has helped me see my potential and unlock my determination to find my passion.”
—Participant from San Francisco, CA

Download Program Information (PDF)

Download Fill-in Application (PDF)
Download Fill-in Recommendation Form (PDF)
Download Application Checklist (PDF)

Note: We suggest that you open the application form with Google Chrome or Internet Explore to fill it out directly. Or you can download and print the form to fill it out.

Program Highlights

• Meet with current leaders in business, the arts, science, nonprofit organizations and other fields
• Visit leading companies in Japan
• Design and carry out an independent project on a topic of interest related to Japan or leadership
• Attend a local Japanese high school and participate in classes and after-school activities
• Live with a Japanese family
• Visit important cultural and historic sites
• Learn basic, communicative Japanese during introductory language lessons
• Connect and network with Japanese and American alumni from previous years


Home Stay & Activities at Japanese Schools

Each Fellow will be placed with a host family and a high school in the Tokyo and Kanagawa metropolitan area for approximately 10 days. There will be one to three Fellows at each host school. Each Junior Fellow will design and carry out an independent project and participate in classes with guidance from a host school faculty member. Independent project examples include conducting research on:

• Current Japanese social problems and solutions to the issue
• Recovery efforts after the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami by visiting the affected area to interview locals and document current recovery efforts.
• Comparative study of student engagement at school in Japan and the U.S.

Fellows will go to the local high school each morning with their host sibling to participate in classes or to work on the project independently. Fellows will also participate in after school club activities on campus. Upon returning to their home schools in the U.S., Fellows are expected to present their projects to their school community/class.

Company Visits & Meetings with Leaders

Fellows will meet with current leaders in business, the arts, science, nonprofit organizations and other fields by visiting leading companies and holding individual meetings. Previous Junior Fellows have had opportunities to speak with senior business executives, media personalities, entrepreneurs, UN senior policy advisors, leading photojournalists, architects and manga artists.

Japan Study Tour

Junior Fellows will travel with chaperones to visit important cultural sites and meet Japanese Junior Fellows alumni in an effort to expand their network. Possible site visits include Kyoto, Nara and Yokohama. Previous Junior Fellows have participated in traditional craft workshops, visited museums and experienced various local cuisine. Program leaders and local guides have extensive knowledge of Japanese history, culture and society, and help the Junior Fellows develop an in-depth understanding of Japan.

Qualifications and Selection Procedure

High school students from 9th grade to 11th grade in the U.S. are encouraged to apply. Ten Fellows will be selected based on their future potential, demonstrated leadership skills and possession of qualities necessary to have a successful and engaging experience with other leaders in the program. These qualities include, but are not limited to: adaptability and flexibility in a foreign country, emotional maturity, strong academic background and a demonstrated interest in Japan. Knowledge of Japanese language is helpful, but not required.


The total tuition cost is $3,500. This includes all international and domestic travel, meals, accommodations (dormitory-style and hotel) as well as all admissions during study trips and retreat. Fellows are responsible for incidental expenses, pocket money and meals not taken with host families or program staff.

Japan Society is committed to a needs-blind admission/participation policy.
Accepted Fellows in need of tuition assistance will be required to submit additional documentation. Please contact Japan Society for more information at

Guidelines for Application

All applications must include the following documents:
1. Program application form
2. Two (2) signed letters of recom­mendation, at least one from a teacher or faculty member at the student’s school
3. Copy of school transcript
4. Two (2) short, written responses to the following questions (recommended 400-word limit for each question):
Q 1. Why are you qualified to partici­pate in the Junior Fellows program?
Q 2. How will you use this leadership program in Japan to achieve your future career goals?
• Only applications with ALL required documents will be considered for a review. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
• Applications are accepted by regular stamp-addressed mail ONLY (no electronic submissions accepted). In order to avoid lost mail, we strongly recommend your application package to be sent via certified mail.

Mailing Address:

Japan Society
Education Program
333 East 47th Street
New York, NY 10017
Attn: Junior Fellows Program

Application Dates

• Friday, February 16, 2016 - Applications must be received by 5 pm
• Saturday, April 9, 2016 - Group interviews with finalists
• Mid-April, 2016: Final selection and announcement of 2016 Junior Fellows


1. Application documents will not be returned.
2. Application documents submitted by those who are not eligible for this Fellowship or that reach Japan Society after the deadline will not be subject to screening and applicant will be so notified.
3. Each applicant is responsible for ensuring that his/her application is complete.
4. Due to the large number of applications received, we are unable to provide feedback to applicants who are not admitted.

Further Questions

For more information, contact the Education Program at Japan Society at (212) 715-1275/1216 or

The Japan Society Junior Fellows Leadership Program is supported by  generous grants from an anonymous family foundation, Mr. Wilbur L. Ross, Jr., the United States-Japan Foundation, ITO EN (North America) INC., Jiro Murase Memorial Fund, and Ms. Tomoko Hamada-Dougan.


Education programs are made possible by generous grants from Chris A. Wachenheim and The Norinchukin Foundation, Inc.


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