Development and Support: Promises of Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Asia

Japan, in partnership with the International Monetary Fund, has established a scholarship program aimed to develop professionals that contribute to their home countries. Also known as JISPA, the scholarship program is committed to providing substantial support for finance officials to pursue development-related studies in some of Japan’s leading universities.

Table of Contents

  1. JISPA: An Introduction
  2. Application Requirements for JISPA
  3. Procedure for application and other reminders
  4. Summary

JISPA: An Introduction

The Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Asia (JISPA) was opened to the public in 1993, financed by the government of Japan through the International Monetary Fund. This scholarship program is being offered at various institutions in Japan, targeting officers of the financial aspect to take interest in developmental studies in some of the country's prestigious universities, aiming to provide stability and support.

※ International Monetary Fund, "JISPA is a Scholarship for Young Officials"

Study Economics at Graduate Schools in Japan

JISPA takes initiative in building junior officials of the different government offices to concentrate on mastering graduate-level economics in the various institutions of Japan. This program seeks to strengthen the competence of the region.

JISPA’s partnership track permits scholars to enroll in postgraduate programs focusing on macroeconomics with their affiliated universities:


Years of Program

National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)

1 year & 2 year programs

Hitotsubashi University

2 year program

International University of Japan (IUJ)

2 year program

The University of Tokyo (UTokyo)

2 year program

All programs are oriented in the English language.

To further the options, an open-track program is a support available for recipients who want to choose a different program relative to the field, at a different university, but they have to be accepted in the university first.

Specialized Programs for Scholars

IMF provides training for the JISPA scholarship grantee for new entrants, current scholars, and alumni. Part of the program is to support their academic development all throughout.

Orientation Program (for new entrants)

New program members are required to attend ten weeks of the introductory conference as a highlight of the partnership track. This embodies extensive learning of English, Mathematics, Economics, and cultural insights held at the International University of Japan. This can also be a chance for new scholars to be acquainted with each other.

Summer Workshop (for current scholars)

Incoming students for second-year studies are encouraged to attend three-day workshops during the summer holiday. The goal is to promote strong ties across members of other regions. Furthermore, scholars are immersed deeply in the program.

Continuing Education Program (for alumni)

In partnership with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), JISPA organizes a Continuing Education program for its graduate students who happen to be intermediate officers to their own countries, ensuring a greater capacity to serve in the policy makings.

※ International Monetary Fund, "Regional Office for Asia and The Pacific Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Asia"

Application Requirements for JISPA

Interested in this program? Check if you are eligible to apply in the following:

Eligibility requirements

In order to secure a spot in the Japan-IMF Scholarship Program, the candidates must be:

1. A citizen of any of the following countries:

Bangladesh, Thailand, Bhutan, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Krygyz Republic, Lao P.D.R., Pacific Island Countries, Maldives, Timor Leste, Philippines, Turkmenistan, Nepal, Mongolia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

2. Taking an advanced degree program in macroeconomics, monetary economics, finance, public finance, international economics, international trade, poverty issues, political economy, or econometrics at a leading institution other than Japan.

3. Working in a financial institute

4. Fluent in the English Language

There may be further requirements based on the university itself.

※ Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Asia 2019-20, "I. Introduction," p.1

Academic requirements

  • Must have a conceptual understanding of macroeconomics, microeconomics, and econometrics

  • Must carry both analytical and critical skills when it comes to policies based on established principles

  • Must have the ability to manipulate numbers and solve basic and critical problems as possible

  • Above all, candidates must have a global discernment and outlook in tackling various matters in international relations

Again check specifics for each university, as they vary based on the program for the Partnership Track.

Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Asia 2019-20

English proficiency requirements

International University of Japan:

The JISPA scholar must have the capacity to present reports, research, and other policy write-ups exceptionally in the English language.

Hitotsubashi University:

Candidates should have high proficiency in the English language, other than a two-year experience in the field of economic policy.

The University of Tokyo:

Applicants are expected to have a Bachelor’s degree with excellent English skills in order to pursue his/her studies.

National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)

Applicants must carry themselves professionally in front of a discussion and have a good knowledge about the structures of an academic paper.

To simplify, interested applicants and/or recipients must possess top-of-the-line ability to communicate both verbal and written, especially when it comes to academic involvement in research, thesis, and discussions.

Procedure for application and other reminders

Application steps and selection

Application procedures for the candidates of the partnership and open track must secure the following:

1. Completion of application form on the IMF Regional Office and/or the official Regional Office for Asia and The Pacific Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Asia website.

2. Transcript of records and photocopy of diplomas or any official evidence of academic attainment from undergraduate and graduate institutions, taking note of the university’s official seal.

3. Reference letters from the applicants’ department chairman or advisor.

4. Proof of English proficiency such as TOEFL/IELTS certifications. They must be fairly recent so check with the application directly to see from how far back they accept test results.

Requirements for the applicants of the open track:

- Certification of enrollment from the preferred University, or a photocopy student’s application

- Thesis paper written in English

Essential documents must be forwarded through email to the IMF Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. For questions and necessary information, please visit the scholarship website.

Benefits of the scholarship

Of course the biggest benefit is the coverage of essentially all education related expenses for the successful applicant as well as many living costs, from health insurance to providing a housing allowance. Other perks include one roundtrip airfare to Japan and back to your country, and other miscellaneous fees you may incur in the process of applying and attending.

Activities of JISPA scholars

Field Trip

Field trips for scholars are being organized annually by the affiliated universities of JISPA. Through this method, participants are being introduced extensively to the country’s economy and culture. The itinerary will cover industrial facilities, local government offices, the central bank, and the several historic sites.

Alumni Activities

To support the life-long learning of the JISPA graduate class, OAP has organized a preparation program for JISPA alumni scholars who are as of now in intermediate, senior level positions. It points out in fortifying the JISPA graduated class, offering assistance in their ability to construct a policy with the most appropriate approach and logical perspectives.


The Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Asia aims in enhancing and building the regulation capacity of its scholars in their economic policymaking. This is a great technique to advance the development of economies of both Asia and the Pacific. JISPA is a promising organization towards supporting the students and interested applicants with the different array of platforms and training programs being constructed and exhibited, together with their partnership universities, which in fact, are the top institutions in the industry. This is a great way to start a career to primarily benefit their country, for both graduate and undergraduates.

For other Masters Program scholarship opportunities, please check out our article!

Familiarizing Oneself with Masters Degree Scholarship Opportunities in Japan

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