There are six types of Japanese government-sponsored scholarships available under the Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) Scholarship program: those for research students, teacher training students, undergraduate students, Japanese studies students, college of technology students, specialized training college students.
Those wishing to apply for a scholarship should meet one of the criteria listed below:
Recommended by a Japanese embassy or consulate general (Embassy Recommendation).
Recommended by the Japanese university which will accept you (University Recommendation).
Research students: You must be under 35 years of age and a college graduate (includes prospective graduates). Or you must have completed 16 years of schooling.
Teacher training students: You must be under 35 years of age and a graduate of a college or teacher training college. You must have at least five years of active experience as a teacher in a primary, secondary or teacher training college in your country. (Please note that college and university teachers currently in active service are not considered for this scholarship).
Undergraduate students: You must be at least 17 and under 25 years of age and have completed 12 years of school education or have completed courses in a school comparable to a high school (includes prospective graduates).
Japanese studies students: Applicants must be from 18 to 30 years old. Applicants must be enrolled as undergraduate students in faculties or schools which major in Japanese language or Japanese culture in a university outside Japan at the time when they come to Japan and must be enrolled in the home institution at the time when they return to their home countries.
College of technology students: You must be at least 17 and under 25 years of age and have completed school education comparable to a high school (a minimum of 11 years beginning in primary school) education (includes prospective graduates).
Specialized training college students: You must be at least 17 and under 25 years of age and have completed 12 years of schooling or have completed school education comparable to a Japanese high school (includes prospective graduates).
In this type of scholarship, scholarship recipients are recruited and initially screened by a Japanese embassy (or consulate general, depending on the country).
As the application process differs according to the country in which the Japanese embassy is located, please inquire at the Japanese embassy or consulate general in your country for details. https://www.mofa.go.jp/about/emb_cons/mofaserv.html
Research student, Undergraduate student, College of technology student, and Special training college student
Recruitment for those arriving in Japan in next April is made between April and May. The initial screening (documentary examination, written test and interview) is made at the embassy between June and July. The embassy then recommends the selected candidates to the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by late August.
Teacher training and Japanese studies student
Recruitment for those arriving in Japan in next September-October is made between December of the previous year and the following February. Screening is conducted between February and March. Selected candidates are recommended to the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the beginning of April. Past exam questions of these courses have not been disclosed. Please refer to the Japanese and English examination questions in the Past Examination Questions https://www.studyinjapan.go.jp/en/planning/scholarship/application/examination/
Research students and Japanese studies students who will be studying in Japan as an exchange student based on inter-university student exchange agreements can be screened through the national, public or private Japanese university involved as a candidate for a Japanese Government Scholarship. The university directly recommends the selected candidates to the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).
Research students recommended by a university for study in Japan as government-sponsored scholarship recipients basically arrive in Japan in September-October.