BAh, Japan! Filipinos are no strangers to Japanese art, culture, food, products, and technology. It’s so close to home, flights from Manila to Tokyo take only around four hours and flights are generally cheaper compared to other major destinations in the world. It is not surprising that a lot of Filipinos who study abroad choose to live and study in Japan. According to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, Japan is the top country in Asia where Filipinos go to study abroad. In the overall ranking,  Japan is at fifth place, next to what are all English-speaking countries: Australia in first place, followed by USA, New Zealand, and Canada. 

If you’ve been dreaming of studying in Japan, the good news is that there are several scholarships out there that Filipino students can apply for. Here’s a list of partial and fully-funded scholarships from both the government and private institutions for Filipinos who want to study in Japan. You may find a scholarship here that you’ve never heard of before!

Government scholarships (Undergraduate and Graduate Students)

MEXT Scholarship

The MEXT Scholarship is perhaps one of the most famous scholarships for studying abroad in Japan. Offered by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Technology, MEXT is a fully-funded scholarship by the Japanese government and is also called the Monbukagakusho Scholarship. The scholarship has many categories and is open to over 160 nationalities. The only challenge with this scholarship is that slots are limited and thus can get highly competitive. Learn more about the MEXT Scholarship at MEXT Scholarships 2020 | Master the Basics with This One Article.

Private Scholarships (Undergraduate and Graduate Students)

Sato Yo International Scholarship Foundation

The Sato Yo International Scholarship Foundation offers scholarships to students from the following countries: Philippines, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, East Timor and Vietnam.

The Sato Yo International Scholarship Foundation is one of the most generous private scholarships to study in Japan. The scholarship gives out a stipend of JPY150,000 to scholars in the undergraduate level and JPY 180,000 to those in graduate level. The scholarship also provides additional support to cover the cost of tuition fees. Moreover, they also provide further funding to graduate students to attend conferences. The first year is paid up to JPY100,000/year, the second year is paid up to JPY200,000/year and the third year is up to JPY/200,000/year. This adds up to a cumulative total payment of 500,000 yen.

Scholarships for short-term exchange students are also available for students who will study in any of the following universities:  University of Tsukuba, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Hiroshima University, J.F. Oberlin University, Shibaura Institute of Technology, and Rikkyo University. The stipend for short-term exchange students is JPY100,000/month.

Takayama International Education Foundation

The scholarship for the Takayama International Education Foundation is also good news for students who only plan to study in Japan Language Institutions to learn the language. This scholarship is open to Japanese Language Students, and Undergraduate and Graduate School students. Language students receive JPY 60,000/month, undergraduate students receive JPY120,000/month, while graduate students receive JPY150/month. The Foundation also has a special scholarship category for their graduate graduate scholars of high academic ability where the foundation will also shoulder tuition fees. 

The scholarship is open to students from Asia. The main purpose of the foundation is to provide support to high-achieving Asian students who want to study in Japan but are limited by their financial situation.

The foundation provides scholarships to students who will study or are studying in designated institutions. 

For Japanese Language Students (16 schools): Akamonkai Japanese Language School, Asian Student Cultural Association, KCP Global Citizen Japanese School, JET Japanese Language School, Shukutoku Japanese Language School, Shinjuku Japanese Language School, Sendagaya Japanese Language School, Takushoku University, Tokyo Galaxy Japanese Language School, Tokyo Institute of Technology Japanese Language School, Tokyo International University Japanese Language School, Tokyo Japanese Language Center, Naganuma School Tokyo Japanese Language School, Japan Student Services Organization Tokyo Japanese Language Education Center, Musashi Urawa Japanese Language Institute, and Yamano Japanese Language School. 

For Undergraduate Students (18 schools): Samurai University, Gunma University, Kokushikan University, Saitama University, Senshu University, Daito Bunka University, Chiba University, University of Electro-Communications, Tokai University, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo Denki University, Tokyo University of Science, Toyo University, Nihon University, Hosei University, Meiji Gakuin University, Meiji University, and Waseda University.

For Graduate Students (10 schools): Keio University, Shibaura Institute of Technology, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Seikei University, Chuo University, University of Tsukuba, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Nagoya Gakuin University, Yokohama National University.

Inner Trip Foundation Scholarship

Inner Trip Foundation is a local foundation based in Minato Ward in Tokyo. The scholarship is specifically open to international students from Southeast Asia and Latin America only. Students who are studying in Tokyo can apply for this partial scholarship that provides JPY50,000/month to their scholars. This scholarship is also open to “plural grants,” which means scholars are allowed to receive scholarships from other institutions as well. The main thrust of the Inner Trip Foundation is enhancing intercultural communication and understanding between foreigners and Japanese people.

SGH Foundation

The SGH Foundation provides a scholarship to study in Japan for students coming from Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Laos. The scholarship is for privately-financed students or students who are already financing their tuition. The SGH Foundation Scholarship issues an allowance of JPY120,000/month for two years. The SGH Foundation is a merger of the former Sagawa Cancer Research Foundation, and the former Sagawa International Economic Cooperation Foundation. The main thrust of the foundation is in supporting economic growth in the region, as well as developments in education, culture, and medical care and welfare, with a particular focus on cancer research.


There are a lot of scholarships out there for Asian and ASEAN students. Maximize your potential and apply for these scholarships that specifically cater to students who come from developing countries like the Philippines!

This list was compiled based on the information from JASSO, which you can access here.