Japanese Studies & Intellectual Exchanges

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« Japanese Studies & Intellectual Exchanges


The Japan Foundation supports Japanese Studies (JS) overseas and promotes intellectual exchange between Japan and other countries. There are two core programs which are Japanese Studies program and Intellectual Exchange program.

For Japanese Studies program, Japan Foundation supports Malaysian Japanese Studies experts and young scholars from higher learning institute, research institutions and think-tanks to broaden their networking and career endeavour through programs, grants and fellowship that JF provides.
Supports include grants for expenses for publishing, research trips to Japan, and collaborative research.

Among programs provided by JF are as follows:

  1. Support program for Translation and Publication on Japan (Q-TPS)*
  2. Program for specialist in Cultural and Academic Fields (KC-G)
  3. Grant Program for Intellectual Exchange Conference (RIE-RC)
  4. Grant Program for Japanese Studies Project (RJS-KP)
  5. Japan Foundation Japanese Studies Fellowship Program (RJS-FW)
  6. Small Grant Program (Category A)**
There are also seasonal intellectual exchange program and support program provided by JF headquarters such as Summer Institute program and the Japan Foundation Travel Support to attend the AAS (Association of Asian Studies) Conference. For biennial program, JF provides travel support to attend Japanese Studies Association (JSA) ASEAN conference held in selected among ASEAN countries that to be announced later.


In a number of countries, the Japan Foundation has supported research institutions that play a central role in Japanese studies. The various projects in this category are designed to develop human resources and strengthen the base for Japanese studies in respective countries.

The Japan Foundation has been providing intensive support for 16 institutes in 7 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and for Malaysian case, Malaysian Association of Japanese Studies (MAJAS) has been a central role in promoting Japanese Studies in Malaysia with its home base in University of Malaya. JF and MAJAS have been collaborating to support and promoting Japanese Studies in Malaysia.

For Intellectual Exchange program, JF organise Hope and Dreams (HANDs!) project which is held annually. HANDs!, is a Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) program which is compiling all young DRR activists and environmentalists to a two month camp in SEA countries including Japan to learn and come up with mini presentations/projects. Their project is expected to be presented and implemented with young student throughout SEA and Japan during the end of their camp. These HANDs! alumni will be provided with seed money for their follow-up project called Action Plan. Action Plan will be planned and conducted by all the alumni at their respective countries.   

Talk with Muslims (TAMU)
is an exchange program which is provides Southeast Asian Muslim youth and young community of Japanese people to meet and discusses directly from their Muslim counter path about Islam in order for Japanese youth to get more understanding about Islam. As Japanese’ understanding of Islam heavily rely on Western sources, people tend to see and understand Islam through the lens of Western media which is often coloured by misperception. These resulted in creating a general atmosphere in Japanese society that “Islam is violent” or “Islam is the cause of terrorism.” It should be also mentioned that many Japanese do not know about Islam simply because they find little or no connection with Islam far removed from their daily lives due to the fact that Japan has historically limited contact with the Islamic world. Young Muslims who are in early 20s and 30s who are actively engaged in social activities/services based on Islamic values in such fields as education, social welfare, cooperative, micro finance, environmental conservation, disaster recovery and prevention, human rights, advocacy for socially marginalized people, conflict prevention and resolution, etc., are invited to join this program but only successful candidates will be notified. See our previous TAMU program here.   

EYES for Embracing Diversity (EYES) is a networking project for practitioners, researchers and educators in Southeast Asian region and Japan who have been striving to create a diverse and inclusive society. The EYES aims to deepen discussion and also promote the importance of social, religious, cultural diversity with communities and the world.
The EYES Project is a collaborative project that draws together strategists involved with diversity in Asia, primarily Southeast Asia, to Indonesia and Japan. There, they learn about the diversity in their respective countries, understand and analyse local problems, and propose solutions to those problems. Would you like to learn alongside Asian colleagues from a global perspective and put your experience to use in Asia? Click here for the report.