Japan Young Leaders Program

Hi Everyone!

The Japanese government* offers scholarships to the future leaders of selected developing nations. This is a great opportunity to pursue higher education, immerse in the Japanese culture and accelerate your career!

*Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) leg of the government


Scholarships for graduate schools in Business, Law, Public Administration, and Local Governance


Individuals less than 35 years old as of commencement of the program from the following countries:


(1) Nationality. Should be nationals of:

Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, P. R. China, Rep. of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam (15 countries)

(2) Age: Applicants must be, in principle, under 35 years old as of commencement of the program

(3) Academic Background: College graduates, ideally with honors

(4) English Ability: a minimum TOEFL-iBT score of 100

(5) Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) score: not strictly required but for MBA applicants, a minimum of 600.

(6) Professional Experience: At least 3 years of full-time work experience.

(7) Health: Applicants must be in good health at the time of application and matriculation.


(1). Allowance. As of 2016, JPY242,000. Rough, overstated (hopefully) estimate of minimum expected expenses:

  • JPY50,000 – Rent at Tokyo International Exchange Center (for YLP students)
  • JPY30,000 – Utilities, etc.
  • JPY20,000 – Transportation (~JPY500 per train ride, 2x a day, 20 days a week)
  • JPY60,000 – Food (~JPY2,000 per day, 30 days a week)

So this allowance should be more than enough.

(2) Traveling costs. Airfare will be covered by MEXT.

(3) School fees. Also covered by MEXT.

How? (based on my experience with the MBA application)


Submit application to the recommending authorities (in your country’s site)

~November to January

You wait. Who do you ask? No one. Just wait. Don’t call anyone. Just live your life in the meantime.


If shortlisted, interview with the school representative.

~March to April

You wait once more.


Results if accepted or not.

~June to July

Start of emails coming in regarding school preps


Visa requirement processing


Flight to Japan


All the pertinent details are in the embassy’s site – just go ahead and visit yours.

Below is the link for the Japan Embassy’s site in the Philippines:

Japan PH Embassy – YLP

9 thoughts on “Japan Young Leaders Program

  1. Thank you for this breakdown. I’ve been searching all over the net for a month-by-month breakdown of the application process. Appreciate that I now have somewhat of a baseline. Cheers!


  2. My interview was for the LL.M program so it was with a different person (yours was for the MBA program I think). How long was your interview? Mine was just a little over 15 minutes and she did not ask me if I had any questions (and simply said that the allotted time was almost up).

    I don’t know if I did well in the interview though. I’m afraid that the interviewer might be thinking that I’m rude as I sort of interrupted her at times during the interview (well I didn’t know when she was finished talking so I immediately spoke when I sensed that there was going to be a moment of awkward silence).



    1. Oh, mine was around 30 minutes and I made a point to ask questions. I would recommend that you send a thank you email after a day, then ask a question or highlight an important point.

      Hmmm, interrupting is a bit off in the Japanese society. But you’re a foreigner and I think it’s fairly common for Filipinos to do so I don’ think it’ll be an issue.


  3. Hi! Just a question. How would the embassy let you know of the results? Through email? I had my interview yesterday and it was a pretty short interview (less than 20 minutes I think).

    Thanks and I’ve been following your blog 🙂


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