Keizai Koho Center Fellowship

Keizai Koho Center Fellowship

A 9 day fellowship in Japan for social studies teachers - your backstage pass to Japanese culture and Canada.

Since 1980, the Keizai Koho Center (Japan Institute for Social and Economic Affairs) in cooperation with the National Association of Japan-America Societies (NAJAS) has sponsored a Fellowship tour to Japan for educators in the U.S. The Fellowship allows teachers to learn first hand about contemporary Japanese society and enhance their classroom teaching of global perspectives. Highlights of the fe

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KKC's online databook "Japan and the World 2023/2024 A Pocket Guide in Figures" has been updated on our website at
Our online data consists of 80 items in five chapters, including economic growth rates, trade balances, exchange rates, foreign direct investments and their destinations and number of foreign tourists of major countries.
We hope it will be a useful resource for your teaching!


The 2024 KKC Fellows have been selected. A big thank you to all the teachers who took the time to apply. To those who we couldn't invite this year, please consider applying again in the future.
We would appreciate your continuous support for Keizai Koho Center. And congratulations to the selected teachers. We will ensure you a wonderful program to enhance your understanding of Japan.


Applications for the 2024 KKC Japan Study Tour (Invitation Program for North American Social Studies Teachers) will be extended to March 8, 2024. We encourage more teachers to apply, there may be a higher chance to be selected this year! We are looking forward to your applications!
Please read the guidelines at before applying at . More information and reflections from past participants can be found at

2024 KKC Fellowship Application Applications must include all required information. Incomplete applications will not be considered. The application deadline is March 1, 2024. For instructions, please go back to .


The application for the 2024 KKC Study Tour to Japan is now open! Social studies teachers in grades 6-12 are eligible to apply. Please read the guidelines at before applying at by March 1. More information and reflections from past participants can be found at

2024 KKC Fellowship Application Applications must include all required information. Incomplete applications will not be considered. The application deadline is March 1, 2024. For instructions, please go back to .

Study Tour to Japan | Keizai Koho Center (Japan Institute for Social and Economic Affairs) 01/12/2023

We'll miss you at the National Council for the Social Studies conference in Nashville this year! If you'll be there, please visit our friends at National Consortium for Teaching About Asia - University of Pittsburgh in International Alley to pick up a copy of our 2024 KKC Fellowship Program brochure (and learn more about their great programs!). Visit our website at to learn more about the program and stay tuned for the application link!

Study Tour to Japan | Keizai Koho Center (Japan Institute for Social and Economic Affairs) KKC vigorously reaches out to its audience with printed and online publications presenting expert views on management and public policy as well as reliable information on Japan’s economy and society in international comparison. KKC is an organization of Keidanren (Japan Business Federation).


REGARDING the 2023 NCSS Annual Conference in Nashville, TN:

KKC will not be attending NCSS this year, but the National Consortium for Teaching About Asia (NCTA) of the University of Pittsburg has kindly offered to put the brochures of the 2024 KKC Fellowship Program on their table at their booth this year at the NCSS Annual Conference to be held on December 1-3, 2023 in Nashville, TN (Music City Center, 201 Rep. John Lewis Way South Nashville, TN 37203).

Since KKC will not be there, we would appreciate any volunteers who can help promote our program at NCSS!
If you are planning to attend NCSS this year and are willing to help us, please send a message to [email protected] with your Name, e-mail and phone number and we will contact you regarding how you can help. We appreciate the continuous support of our alumni very much!.

Keizai Koho Center

Photo: Kiyomizudera Temple last month

Photos from Keizai Koho Center Fellowship's post 04/08/2023

On the final day of the tour, the fellows received their certificates for completing the 2023 Japan Study Tour from Mr. Makoto Watanabe, Senior Managing Director and Secretary General of KKC. We were delighted to host the teachers in Japan for nine days and hope they took valuable lessons back to the States with them to share in their schools and communities. Please come visit Japan again!


On the last day of the program, KKC held a seminar titled “Trends of ESG Management & Challenges for Japanese businesses: Views of North American Social Studies Teachers.” Prof. Sayuri Shirai, professor at Keio University and Visiting Fellow and Advisor for Sustainable Policies at the Asian Development Bank Institute, started the seminar with a lecture. She emphasized that companies should concentrate on three objectives in their fight against climate change: disclosure (e.g., of emission data and transition plans), sustainable products, and sustainable supply chains. The lecture was followed by comments from the fellows on environmental awareness and education in the United States. The differences between states became apparent during their speeches, with some states requiring environmental education and other states prohibiting teachers from even mentioning man-made climate change. Lastly, Professor Shirai moderated a lively discussion with the audience, which consisted of representatives from KKC member companies. Topics included educational outreach programs of US and Japanese companies as well as the teacher’s reactions to the sustainability efforts of the companies they had visited during the 9-day program. They also discussed differences in environmental awareness between Japan and the US, where the teachers emphasized the comparative lack of public transportation and recycling initiatives in the US.

Photos from Keizai Koho Center Fellowship's post 03/08/2023

The fellows visited the Kita-Kamakura Joshi Gakuen private middle & high school for girls. They first chatted with students from the English club, who were excited to meet the teachers and practice their language skills. They then met with English teachers who came to Japan from the US and discussed the different teaching environments. Afterwards, the fellows taught a lesson on climate change, which they had been preparing for during the past days of the program. Lastly, they listened to a student presentation and had a conversation with the school’s principal Sano Akiko and school president Ichiro Fujisaki.

Photos from Keizai Koho Center Fellowship's post 02/08/2023

The fellows had dinner with Mr. Ichiro Fujisaki, former ambassador to the US and president of the America-Japan Society, in Kamakura. Mr. Fujisaki shared his knowledge about Japan's bilateral security relationships with the US, China, and North Korea with the teachers.


Professor Rumi Aoyama, professor at Waseda University, Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies, and Director of the Waseda Institute of Contemporary Chinese Studies, gave a lecture titled “Japan-US-China Relations.” She emphasized that the US-Japan bilateral relationship has been the cornerstone of US security policy in East Asia. She also spoke about the evolving US policy on China, which ranges from containment to engagement. Currently, the US is strengthening its bilateral and multilateral relationships to counter the rise of China, such as with South Korea, AUKUS, and the Quad. Professor Aoyama also gave a historical overview of China’s foreign policy and talked about the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s global strategy. Furthermore, the fellows learned about the major trade frameworks in Asia, such as IPEF and RCEP.


At the US Embassy in Tokyo, the fellows had a conversation about US-Japan relations with five foreign service officers. They also talked about the embassy’s educational outreach programs and about what life as a foreign service officer is like.

Photos from Keizai Koho Center Fellowship's post 01/08/2023

The fellows visited the Meiji Jingu Shinto shrine on a guided tour by a Shinto priest. They also heard a lecture on Shintoism. Shinto is Japan’s ancient original religion and it is deeply rooted in the way of Japanese life. It has no holy book but places value in harmony with nature and virtues. The year 2020 marks the centennial anniversary of the establishment of Meiji Jingu.

Photos from Keizai Koho Center Fellowship's post 31/07/2023

The fellows were able to experience Japanese family life during an overnight home stay. One host performed a traditional tea ceremony for her visitors. The fellows also got to explore the residential neighborhood and enjoyed a delicious family dinner with traditional Japanese food.

Many fellows cite the homestay as the most influential part of the program and stay in touch with their host families for many years.


The fellows had the opportunity to meet former prime minister Mr. Yasuo Fukuda. A main topic of discussion was the role of the US as a global superpower standing for the values of democracy and human rights.


The fellows visited the National Diet Building and learned about Japanese politics and legislation.


The fellows visited the Bank of Japan for a lecture about “The Role and Functions of the Bank of Japan.” They learned about BOJ’s objectives and operations, e.g., financial system stability, banknote issuance, and research. The lecture also addressed BOJ’s organizational structure, such as the governor election process. Furthermore, the fellows participated in a guided tour through the BOJ building and the currency museum.

Photos from Keizai Koho Center Fellowship's post 25/07/2023

On Thursday, June 22nd, the fellows visited Mori Building’s Urban Lab. at Roppongi to learn about Mori Building’s sustainable development. The representatives showed them an impressively detailed, hand-crafted model of Tokyo (see photo) and gave an overview of Tokyo’s urban planning history and transformations. A main point Mori Building emphasized during the visit was that they value improving residents’ quality of life and community over economic profit. For example, they aim to shift from zoning to multi-purpose buildings and areas. Furthermore, the redeveloped city of their current project, Azabudai Hills, will run on 100% renewable energy. The concept of Azabudai Hills is a “Modern Urban Village” where people can achieve harmony with nature surrounded by greenery in an urban setting and also pursue authentic human luxury.


Sachiko Matsuda (Deputy Director, Policy Coordination/Evaluation & Communications Office) of the Ministry of Environment gave a lecture titled “Policy Challenges Against Climate Change — From Global to Local.” The fellows learned that 90% of Japanese municipalities currently have energy balance deficits and pay high prices for energy imports. Ms. Matsuda then introduced a concept called “Circular and Ecological Economy,” which includes renewable energy projects with various benefits to the community, such as developing the local economy, securing energy sufficiency, and making maximum use of local resources.

Photos from Keizai Koho Center Fellowship's post 19/07/2023

The fellows visited MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings, Inc. Ms. Hiroko Urashima, Manager of the Sustainability Department, first showed them their facility called ECOM, a space for environment and nature-related communication, including a rooftop garden which is open to the community. The fellows then learned about MS&AD’s sustainability efforts such as initiatives to reduce GHG emissions and cooperation with local governments to reduce the risks of natural disasters. Lastly, Chairman and Director Mr. Yasuyoshi Karasawa talked about how Diversity Equity & Inclusion is promoted at MS&AD. Mr. Karasawa is also Vice Chairman of KKC.


The fellows visited Kao Corporation for a lecture on “Circular Economy and Plastic Recycling.” They learned about Kao’s sustainability efforts through refillable containers, which result in a plastic reduction of up to 70%. Ms. Junko Otani, Vice President of ESG Global Strategy, ESG Division, emphasized that educating consumers and collaborating with governments and local communities is key to impactful sustainability efforts. Lastly, the fellows visited the Kao museum to learn about the company’s history.

Photos from Keizai Koho Center Fellowship's post 14/07/2023

For two days, the fellows left Tokyo for Kamakura, the political center of medieval Japan. There, they visited a number of cultural and religious sites, such as the Hokokuji Temple, the Kotokuin Temple (famous for its Great Buddha statue), Hasedera, and Tsurugaoka Hachimangu.

Photos from Keizai Koho Center Fellowship's post 13/07/2023

After visiting the Sensoji temple in Asakusa, the fellows went to the Tokyo Metropolitan Ryogoku Senior High School & Affiliated Junior High School. They met with the school’s principal and a JET teacher who described what it is like to teach English in Japan. After trying the school lunch with the students, they participated in an event prepared by the 9th grade students, in which students introduced various traditional Japanese art forms such as Origami and gave an impressive performance showcasing the Japanese dances “Soran Bushi Dance”, Bon-Odori Dance, and “Otagei Dance.” Student clubs also showed the teachers the art of “sado” tea ceremony and “kado” flower arrangement. After the school visit, the fellows were able to enjoy a panoramic view of Tokyo on the Skytree.

Photos from Keizai Koho Center Fellowship's post 12/07/2023

The fellows met with their counterparts, Japanese social studies teachers, for a free discussion. A main topic was the teacher shortage both Japan and the US currently face due to factors such as long work hours and low salaries. They also discussed the difference between the school systems and teachers’ duties. Whereas teaching is more textbook-focused in Japanese schools, the American teachers shared examples of their efforts in “active learning,” such as having their students create short films.


Professor Jun Takahashi of Tokyo Gakugei University gave a lecture titled “Primary Education in Japan.” He explained the organization of the Japanese school system and emphasized that schools are places of holistic learning, as they cover intellectual, moral, and physical education. School is therefore the center of the local community and plays an important role in revitalizing it. The fellows also learned that all the teachers in Japan use the same textbook. Professor Takahashi and the fellows then discussed the current shift from “one-way teaching” to “active learning,” which emphasizes the importance of individualized study methods, communication skills, and collaborative learning.


The fellows visited BIPROGY Inc., an IT services company, to learn about the app “Mierun,” which alleviates the workload of the daily communication notebook in nursery schools. They learned that, according to a survey, about 50% of young people in Japan do not want children in the future. This is a result of the gendered division of labor as well as the high economic burden of paying for childcare and education. The fellows then shared their own experiences with software programs they use to communicate with students’ parents, distribute homework, and gather student data. Lastly, BIPROGY representatives and the fellows discussed ways of training students/employees in communication skills and confidence.

Photos from Keizai Koho Center Fellowship's post 07/07/2023

The fellows visited the SEJ (Seven-Eleven Japan) headquarters to learn about SEJ’s sustainability efforts. While touring the store beneath the headquarters, they learned about SEJ’s initiatives to reduce plastic waste through recycling and eco-friendly packaging. The SEJ representatives also gave a lecture on the company’s efforts to reduce CO2 emissions by using renewable energy for their stores.


On the first day of the program, the fellows listened to lectures on various topics related to Japan. First, Professor Shinji Yamashige of Hitotsubashi University taught about “Japanese Economy and Society.” After giving a concise but comprehensive overview of Japanese history, he talked about the challenges Japan currently faces. These include natural disasters, the aging and shrinking population, fiscal deficit, and national security. Lastly, Professor Yamashige addressed potential strategies for sustainability, such as enhancing human capital and gender equality.


On Monday, June 19th, KKC welcomed the fellows to the 2023 Japan Study Tour. This year’s main theme was Japan’s efforts on ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) and differences in ESG goals between Japan and the US. The program’s importance to building a network of mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and the US was stressed during the orientation meeting.

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