TOKYO – April 5 2020.
As the largest organization representing current MEXT scholars and alumni in Japan, over the past two months, MSA has received many enquiries by scholars who have unable to return to Japan in time for their scholarship signings.
While MEXT has announced emergency measures which have been effective as of the 1st of April, many of our members are in difficult financial situations for having to forgo the March scholarship payment. MSA is also concerned for the members who are not eligible for the April payment due to not qualifying for the special conditions stated.
MSA has therefore, launched a survey aimed at assessing how many people have been affected and the amount of fixed expenditure they need to cover within Japan despite being overseas. These include rent, phone bill charges and the national insurance.
We have found that at least 50 MEXT scholars have had to forgo their March scholarship – which we expect to be the tip of the iceberg given the short period that we conducted our survey. Monthly fixed expenses reported range from ￥17500 to ￥95700 – while the range is large we wish to highlight that rent is highly variable between our members and can be affected largely if the student is staying in a school dormitory or is renting their own apartment.
We have collated this data into a report and attached a plea to MEXT to give special consideration to scholars who, despite original travel plans to return to Japan within the scholarship deadline were unable to do so. The reports, in both Japanese and English can be found below.
日本語 – 2020年3月以降帰日困難となっている文部科学省（MEXT）国費留学生に関する陳情書
Credits for Translation to Kateryna Kasianenko, Student at the University of Tokyo