NAGOYA - The Aichi prefectural government is offering scholarships to foreign students from 22 Asian countries, including the Philippines, to study at graduate schools in the prefecture on condition that they work for local companies after graduation.
The scholarship covers tuition plus monthly living expenses of 150,000 yen for six months to learn Japanese and prepare for admission and for a further two years to complete a graduate course.
One of the first ten recipients, Pham Hoang Viet, a 25-year-old Vietnamese student who started studying at the Nagoya Institute of Technology in April, said, "I can concentrate on my research without worrying about financial problems. I want to work for a company where I can prove myself."
The ten students, who arrived in October, also include those from China, India, Indonesia and Taiwan.
Also eligible are students from Bangladesh, Brunei, Bhutan, Cambodia, East Timor, Laos, Malaysia, the Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
Eligible research areas are not specifically limited so long as they "support manufacturing industries of Aichi Prefecture," according to an official. Humanities are also included.
A total of 724 companies headquartered in Aichi had operations abroad as of the end of 2012, with many of them appreciating the value of people versed in the languages and business practices of other countries, the official said.
Aichi previously offered 100,000 yen per month to students from 10 Asian countries.
For the new program, Aichi attached the employment condition, increased the financial benefit and more than doubled the number of eligible countries to 22.
"If (the students) can become a bridge to strengthen relationships between companies in the prefecture and different countries, it will contribute to the local economy," said Aichi Gov. Hideaki Omura.