As globalization accelerates, Japanese companies are endeavoring evermore to strengthen their presence overseas. However, with the relatively low and decreasing number of Japanese university students studying abroad, roughly 70 percent of Japanese companies with operations outside of Japan say they are finding it difficult to secure and develop globally minded talent. In response, as part of the Japan Revitalization Strategy decided by the cabinet in 2013, the Japanese government is aiming to double the number of Japanese students studying abroad by the year 2020. Although the number of such students is increasing, there is still a long way to go.
To help achieve its objective, the government launched in October 2013 Tobitate! (Leap for Tomorrow) Study Abroad Initiative, a public-private effort for the future of Japan. This initiative—which hopes to make Japan a nation in which all ambitious youths can go global—offers various opportunities for students to embrace the chance to study abroad. A standout among these opportunities is the Tobitate! (Leap for Tomorrow) Young Ambassador Program. This program provides scholarships and other aid with the help of private-sector contributions aiming to collect 20 billion yen. The goal is to help 10,000 young “ambassadors” leap for tomorrow by 2020.
Tobitate! (Leap for Tomorrow) Study Abroad Initiative is led by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) that aims to help all young Japanese eager and capable take the first step toward studying abroad. At its core is a belief that all of society working together can achieve greater results. As such, support and donations from individuals and private companies active in various fields play a key role in forming a globalized human-resources development community for fostering young people who have a global outlook who can succeed in tomorrow’s world.
The initiative aims to double the number of university students studying abroad from 60,000 to 120,000 and the number of high school students studying abroad from 30,000 to 60,000 by 2020, the year of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, as per the target stipulated in “the Japan Revitalization Strategy—Japan is Back” plan adopted by Japan’s Cabinet on June 14, 2013. One of the main activities of Tobitate! (Leap for Tomorrow) Study Abroad is The Tobitate! (Leap for Tomorrow) Young Ambassador Program —A Public-Private Partnership Encouraging Students Study Abroad, which began in 2014.
The Tobitate! (Leap for Tomorrow) Young Ambassador Program is a Japanese public-private partnership aimed at helping Japanese students study abroad. It was launched in 2014.
The program plans to send approximately 10,000 high school and university students overseas throughout its seven years through to 2020. The desired result is for the students and supporting companies to form a globalized human resources development community and for the students to develop into globally minded professionals needed by society, especially industry, and who can succeed in a global world.
Furthermore, the program expects that such students will return to Japan and help increase the momentum in Japan overall for studying abroad by relaying to others the merits of their overseas experiences.
* The Tobitate! (Leap for Tomorrow) Young Ambassador Program is made possible by contributions from supporting companies.
Introduction Movie for “TOBITATE!” Leap for tomorrow! Study abroad campaign