A new challenge of Japanese government; TOBITATE -My immediate plan and what's supporting my plan-


  1. what's the meaning of Tobitate 
  2. the back ground -why was the program launched-
  3. about the program
  4. features of the program
  5. my case; my study plan
  6. my case; the goal i have set for myself
  7. my background




1.What's the meaning of Tobitate?
(TOBITATE Young Ambassadors Program)

Literal meanings of Tobitate is "Take off!" in Japanese.

And it is a supporting program for students who want to study abroad, it is, however, not only financially. 





2.The Background;
Ministry official knocks down barriers to overseas study


  The internationalization of Japan is one of the pillars of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s growth strategy at a time when a shrinking domestic market is forcing more businesses to look overseas for profits.



  But the fact is more than 70 percent of Japanese companies with global operations face challenges in hiring and educating a suitable workforce, according to a government survey.


  Some critics point to the decline in the number of college students studying abroad as one of the reasons. Between 2004 and 2010 their numbers dwindled by 30 percent, partly, it is commonly thought, because students have become more risk-averse and the government is offering little practical support.





3.About the program


  The TOBITATE Young Ambassadors Program is a joint initiative of the public and private sectors that support Japanese students enrolled in higher education institutions and upper secondary schools in Japan who wish to study abroad with some focus on practical training. This scholarship program was proposed by Minister Shimomura of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and is intended to cultivate future leaders of the global/local community as well as to promote the culture of taking overseas experiences for granted. This initiative is at the core of the national campaign to double the number of Japanese students studying abroad by 2020.


  The operation of the Program is entrusted to the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO), one of the major independent administrative institutions under the jurisdiction of MEXT, and is supported by the private sector, not only financially but in such ways as selection of scholarship awardees, training before and after study abroad, and provision of internship opportunities.


  The overall budget for the Program from 2014 through 2020 is estimated to be 20 billion yen and most of the revenue comes from donations from private corporations, organizations, and individuals. This will primarily be used for the scholarships and fees to send out approximately 1,000 selected students abroad each year, as well as for building its community system and providing efficient training experiences.


via the document of

TOBITATE Young Ambassadors Program





4. Features of the Program



  •   Students draw up their own plan. (For exmple, please see my case below)

  •   Priority is given to study abroad plans with practical training such as internship,

    volunteer activities and field work.

  •   Categories of study abroad plans to be supported are set in consideration of Japan

    Revitalization Strategy(policy document of the national government approved by the

    Cabinet in June 2013) and the needs of industry.

  •   Representatives of the business community are involved in the selection of awardees.

  •   In addition to the scholarship during the period of study abroad, various opportunities of

    learning before, during, and after the study abroad period are provided.

  •   The scholarship awardees and contributing corporations form a community for exchange of information on study abroad experiences, continuing learning opportunities, and the

    network of globally competitive individuals and corporations.

  • via the document of

    TOBITATE Young Ambassadors Program




5. My case;
My study plan

  1. Studying at Korea University Business School in Seoul, Korea
    (for one semester,
    25th August 2014 - 20th Decemver 2014) 


    photo by egg™

  2. Studying at Goethe Institute in Bonn, Germany
    (for 6weeks,
    23th December 2014 - 5th February )    


photo by U Co



6. My case;
the goal I have set for myself


  The goal I have set for myself is finding a way to create environment in which trained experts can continue to have pride in their work despite society becoming more and more obsessed with high educational background.  By studing the more flexble education and working systems of Europe and by coming into touch with cultures less focussed upon university education and more apt to acknowledge a worker's achievement belonging to their skill, effort and ambition. I hope to better understand how a society would function that allowed yong people more options to decide their futures. 


  Furtheremore I'm interested in studying a pecullier trend noticed in highly developed countries like Japan: The tendency of most university students to refuse to deviate from the typical route of finding a "good university" followed by a generic job in a "good" company. Due to this tendency, going to university has become the norm. Thus, with the exception of highly successful cases, experts without high educational background are fated to be understimated. Academically speaking, I want to reserch industrial organization theory and working environment.



7. My background


   My parents started a business, and have been self-employed builders since before my birth. Some of my relatives are in the same situation. So I have always felt and continue to feel that independent businesses are very close to me. I directly came into touch with work many times, because my parents often took me to their working place. These days, many big companies are used to not having many specialists in their own company, but rely on outsourcing instead when expert-work is needed. On the other side, many small enterprises have experts in their own business. It is the same with the company of my parents and my relatives. That is why I had plenty of chances to see experts working when I was young. They, experts, are amazing to me, because they respectively found their own way to work and it became “their color and arm.”




   When I entered university, however, I realized that almost all students have a very simple vision of life. To them, going to a “good university” and working at a “good company” means everything. This made me feel like something was out of place in this society. Most students cannot even begin to imagine the diverse paths there are: To start a business, to become an apprentice, to establish a NGO etc. It is the result of Japan becoming an excessive “salary-man society.” The majority of university students are only eager to enter a company which is large and well-known. They believe this is a sure-fire way to earn success in life, so they do not care about what kind of work they will actually have to do. Many of those students honestly believe that “generalists > specialists”, I think.


via Statment of interests and goals on my FB