Have you ever heard about the MEXT YLP Scholarship? YLP is one of seven scholarships offered by MEXT (Monbukagakusho) and it is aimed towards future Asians with working experience. Continue reading to find out more about the Young Leaders’ Program? 

To learn more about MEXT in 2022, see the link below:

MEXT Scholarship 2022 | Master the Basics with This One Article

What is the Young Leaders’ Program? 

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The Young Leaders’ Program (YLP) is one of seven government scholarships offered by MEXT – the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of the Japanese Government. Introduced in 2001, the YLP aims to achieve the following four objectives: 

  • Foster future national leaders in designated countries
  • Build up comprehensive human networks among the leaders of nations
  • Establish friendly relationships among the countries involved, including Japan
  • Improve the quality of policymaking in the participating countries

It should be noted that YLP is intended for students with a bachelor’s degree or higher and has had two to four-plus years of work experience in their relative field. 

-> For those interested in the undergraduate MEXT Scholarship, see below
Studying in Japan as a MEXT Undergraduate Scholar

-> For those interested in the postgraduate MEXT Scholarship, see below:
MEXT Scholarship for Research in Japan (Part 1: What is a Research Student?)
MEXT Scholarship for Research in Japan (Part 2: Stories from Research Students)

The scholarship has a total duration of 1 year and offers a monthly stipend of JPY 242,000.  

MEXT accepts about 80 students per year in the following 5 fields: 

  • School of Government
  • Business Administration
  • Law
  • Local Governance
  • Medical Administration
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Who can apply for MEXT YLP? 

Eligibility to apply for MEXT YLP depends on which of the five fields you wish to apply to. Nevertheless, most are targeted towards developing countries in the wider Asian region. 

School of Goverment: 

Available for 29 countries which include:  Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh, P. R. China, Mongolia, Australia, Hungary, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Rep. of Korea, Myanmar, Uzbekistan, Malaysia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, the Philippines, Slovakia, Brunei Darussalam, Singapore, Kyrgyz, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Romania, India, Bulgaria, Poland, Thailand, and Czech.

Business Administration 

Available for 15 countries which include:: Rep. of Korea, Cambodia, Australia, P. R. China, Brunei Darussalam, the Philippines, Vietnam, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Laos, P. R. China, and Mongolia.


Available for 16 countries which include: Rep. of Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa, Cambodia, P. R. China, Singapore, Bhutan, Indonesia, Myanmar, Mongolia, Philippines, Vietnam, Turkey, Thailand, and India.

Local Governance 

Available for 20 countries which include: Pakistan, the Philippines, Romania, India, Mongolia, Turkey, P. R. China, Poland, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Uzbekistan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Czech, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Laos, Hungary, and Vietnam

Medical Administration 

Available for 15 countries which include: Thailand, Kyrgyz, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Laos, Mongolia, Romania, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Poland, and Cambodia

Students must also be in principle, less than 40 years of age, and have had at least three years of working experience in their respective fields. They must be considered future leaders that will help forge greater relationships amongst the Asian nations in the near future. 

Finally, students must typically have competency in English as most classes within the program will be held in Japanese. Students must score greater than 6.0 in IELTS, 550 in TOEFL-PBT, or 80 on TOEFL_iBT. 

What is the application process like? 

For all five fields, recruitment begins at the Japanese embassies of each respective nation. Students must pass the first screening from the recommending authorities which may consist of a written application, testing, and interviews. The second screening is conducted by a potential host university. They look to see if there is a suitable department and academic supervisor in your chosen area. Lastly, the final screening is reviewed by the YLP committee within the MEXT organization.

CoursesHost universitiesNumber of
per year in the world
Eligible participants
(Professional experience*)
School of
National Graduate
Institute for Policy
Studies (GRIPS)
20Those who have at least 3 years of full-time work experience in public administration (preferably 5 years or more)
School of Local
National Graduate
Institute for Policy
Studies (GRIPS)
10Those who have at least 3 years of full-time work experience in public administration (preferably 5 years or more)
15Public officials who have at least 3 years of full-time work experience
LawKyushu University
15Those who have at least 4 years of work experience in the government department
Nagoya University
10Those who have at least 2 years of full time working experience (preferably 5 years or more) in healthcare fields in the public sector at the government department

Benefits of the YLP Scholarship 

The MEXT YLP Scholarship offers a comprehensive package covering monthly allowances, travel costs, Education fees, and Accommodation. 


242,000 yen per month. Due to the situation of the Japanese Government’s budget, the amount of payment may be subject to change each fiscal year.

Traveling Costs:

Transportation to Japan: In principle, MEXT stipulates the travel schedule and route, and provides an economy-class airline ticket from the international airport nearest to his/her home address to Narita or Haneda International Airport. 

Transportation from Japan: Based on the application by the grantee, MEXT will provide an airline ticket to grantees who shall graduate from the accepting university and return to the home country by the end of the final month of the period of scholarship designated by MEXT. 

Education Fees:

Fees for the entrance examination, matriculation, and tuition will also be paid by MEXT.


In principle, grantees may reside at Residence Halls, Private Boarding Houses, or Apartment Houses. Those who cannot accommodate in the facilities described above will be arranged at private boarding houses or apartments recommended by the GRIPS Student Office.


Hope you were able to learn a little bit more about the MEXT YLP! 

For more information, check out the official MEXT Website below: YLP page of MEXT’s official website.

What to know more about MEXT? Check out our one-stop article about MEXT below:
MEXT Scholarship 2022 | Master the Basics with This One Article

Best of luck with your applications!