The greatest appeal of studying in Japan is its academic environment where one can study state-of-the-art technology and acquire the knowledge that enabled Japan’s phenomenal postwar economic growth. Whether it is electronics, Japanese literature, medicine or international business administration, Japanese universities and other institutes of higher education can offer course studies or research programs of virtually any field. The ratio of students who go on to universities (undergraduate level) and junior colleges (regular courses) is also very high in Japan at 56.8% (Source: Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) “Statistical Abstract 2011 edition”). This figure is indicative of the high standard of education in Japan. Many institutions of higher education, such as universities and junior colleges, are well equipped with fine research, computer, and library facilities and enable students to carry out their research in an excellent environment.
The awarding of the Nobel Prize to four Japanese scientists in 2008 is still fresh in our minds. Mr. Osamu Shimomura received the prize in chemistry for “the discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein, GFP.” The Nobel Prize in physics was shared by three Japanese scientists—Mr. Yoichiro Nanbu was awarded for “the discovery of the mechanism of spontaneous broken symmetry in subatomic physics”; and Mr. Makoto Kobayashi and Mr. Toshihide Masukawa, for the development of the Kobayashi-Masukawa Theory and the discovery of the origin of the broken CP-symmetry, which opened up new ground in subatomic physics. Mr. Kobayashi and Mr. Masukawa were honored for the results of work done in Japan, an indication of the high level of research conducted in Japan. Then, in 2010, Akira Suzuki and Ei-ichi Negishi won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their groundbreaking work with organic compound coupling techniques.
Between the years 2005 and 2009, 8.0% of published academic papers were produced by Japanese researchers. (Source: Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) “Statistical Abstract 2011 edition”).
Many leading figures playing an active role in the world today have had experience studying in Japan. Former Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines Domingo L. Siazon, Jr. and Former Minister for External Commerce, Industrialization, Fisheries and Competitiveness, Ecuador Richard Moss Ferreira both spent time studying in Japan. The network of course mates that you can build in Japan will undoubtedly become an invaluable asset for your future career.