According to statistics from JASSO, the number of Indonesian students studying in Japan has been on the rise in recent years. In 2018, 6,277 Indonesian students were recorded to be enrolled in Japanese language schools, vocational schools, colleges, and universities. As a result, Indonesia was ranked 7th in the top 10 countries in the world with the highest number of international students in Japan.

Scholarships for Indonesian Students 

INPEX Scholarship Foundation 

The scholarship grant provided by INPEX Foundation specifically caters for Indonesian students who are going to pursue a Master’s degree in Japan. The duration of the scholarship is two years and eight months. The annual cohort of the scholarship is three successful applicants.

The generous scholarship fully covers school expenses paid to the university, such as the entrance examination fee, entrance fee, and tuition fee. In addition to that, each scholarship recipient will also receive a monthly award of 160,000 JPY in order to pay for their living expenses, which includes accommodation, medical expenses, transportation fees, books and learning materials, etc. Roundtrip airfare (economy class, from Jakarta to Tokyo and reverse), as well as commuter pass expenses during the time of the scholar’s studies in Japan, are also separately borne by the foundation.

In order to apply for the scholarship, eligible applicants need to submit the following documents: 

  • Two photographs, 5cm x 3.5cm, of the upper part of the body without a hat. One photo should be attached to the application form and the other with the name written on the backside should not be attached.
  • School Record: Transcript of academic record issued by the university attended for Bachelor’s degree. 
  • Letter of Recommendation: Confidential letter addressed to the Foundation from the president or the advisory professor of the graduated university, and/or from the present employer (if the applicant is currently employed).
  • Certificate of Graduation: Graduation certificate issued by the university attended.
  • Personal History and Personal Data (Curriculum Vitae)
  • Health Certificate issued by a certified medical doctor
  • Admission Certificate from the university or other research institute in Japan, if already obtained.
  • Certificate of TOEFL/IELTS score report
  • Certificate of Japanese language proficiency, if applicable 

After the submission, the foundation will make a final decision of the scholarship recipients. The candidates who passed the selection are required to submit a Letter of Acceptance of Scholarship Award to the foundation by a fixed date.

Monbukagakusho Scholarship (MEXT)

While MEXT scholarship is not limited to only Indonesian students, there are a number of Indonesian students who have succeeded in receiving this scholarship in the past. MEXT scholarship is sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan (often referred to as MEXT). The MEXT Scholarship is an initiative launched by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of the Japanese government that comes with the Global 30 Project in order to support international students who study at higher education institutions in Japan. MEXT Scholarship is given for international students from all around the world based on the recommendation of the Japanese Embassy/Consulate General or respective universities that the students plan to apply for.

The benefits offered by MEXT Scholarship are as follows:

  • Exemption from paying tuition, entrance examination, and matriculation fees.
  • A monthly stipend of 117,000 JPY per month (for undergraduate students), 144,000 JPY per month (for graduate students), and 145,000 JPY per month (for doctoral students)
  • Cost of Living Adjustment: JPY 2,000 – 3,000 in selected areas
  • Round-trip flight ticket to Japan (one time; covered by MEXT or the university)

Scholarships from Respective Universities 

Aside from scholarships offered by the Japanese government or from other foundations, which are prestigious but also highly competitive, Indonesian students can also aim for scholarships from universities themselves. 

Multiple universities offer scholarships of exemption of tuition fees for international students who have a high academic performance but face financial difficulties to study in Japan. Many of these scholarships only allow or prioritize students from target developing countries or regions to apply, hence Indonesian students have a relatively good chance of receiving these sources of financial support. The following scholarships include Indonesia as one of their target countries. 

For instance, Hitotsubashi University Business School, a national university located in Tokyo, offers the Young Leaders Program (YLP) scholarships for international students to study business management and acquire an MBA degree. In order to apply, candidates are recommended to contact the Japanese Embassy of their country of citizenship for application materials. The application details for YLP scholarship candidates regarding the application deadline and related administrative matters are different from standard application requirements. 

Hitotsubashi University

Sophia University, a private university also in Tokyo, provides Sophia University New Students Scholarship or Graduate School New Students Scholarship, as well as a variety of Sophia University Benefactors’ Scholarships. These scholarships entail a tuition fee exemption in different ranges of ⅓, ½ and in full amount.

Sophia University

Similarly, Meiji University offers its International Students Incentive Scholarship Program that provides opportunities for young and competent students who face financial struggles that hinder their chances of studying in Japan. In return for the scholarship, students are expected to play an active part in strengthening the relationship between Japan and their home country.

Meiji University

For a full list of similar scholarships from various higher education institutions in Japan, please visit this link compiled by the Japan Times. 


For interested Indonesian students, an increasing number of scholarships offered by Japanese universities, the Japanese government, and private foundations help to make their dreams of studying in Japan a feasible reality. It is recommended to do your research and apply early in order to maximize your chances of getting in. Good luck!


“International Students in Japan 2018” – JASSO

“Range of Scholarships Available for International Students” – The Japan Times

“Financing your MBA” – Hitotsubashi University Business School, School of International Corporate Strategy

“Announcement of Scholarships” – INPEX Scholarship Foundation