The JET Programme is an abbreviation for the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme, a scheme which aims to improve foreign language education in schools and to promote international exchange in local communities throughout Japan by inviting young people to take up positions in local governments across the country. The JET Programme is administered by local authorities in cooperation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), and the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR). Since the Programme began, more than 66,000 young people from 67 countries worldwide have taken part, making it one of the world’s largest exchange programmes.
JET Programme participants are outstanding university graduates who have been screened and selected in their home countries by overseas missions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. All participants have demonstrated a strong motivation to work in Japan and are expected to be able to function as ambassadors who form bridges between Japan and their home countries.
There are three categories of JET Programme participants, as follows.
1) Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) (91%)
ALTs are usually assigned to schools or to Boards of Education. Their role is to be involved in foreign language instruction as assistants to Japanese teachers of foreign languages, to assist in the preparation of teaching materials, and to participate in extra-curricular activities, such as English language workshops.
2) Coordinator for International Relations (CIR) (9%)
CIRs are assigned to the international relations departments of local governments. Their role is to support the international activities undertaken by those local governments (e.g. international exchange events, translation, and interpreting). In order to be able to carry out these duties, CIRs must have a high level of Japanese language ability.
3) Sports Educational Advisor (SEA, <1%)
SEAs are assigned to local governments, where they work as sports instructors. As experts in specific sports, SEAs are involved in international exchange activities through the provision of instruction in sports training methods and the planning of sports related projects.
After completing the JET Programme, some participants remain in Japan, where they find employment with Japanese companies. Companies who have employed JET Programme alumni have commented on how the professional experience these alumni have gained from working in Japan has not only made them familiar with Japanese business etiquette, but also given them superior communication skills, honed through close association with Japanese culture, and outstanding flexibility. Many companies who have hired JET alumni have commented that doing so has invigorated the atmosphere in their workplaces.
There are many other merits to employing JET alumni; these young people are a promising resource for any company seeking to expand their global operations.
Common merits across all roles
・Have experience working in Japanese organisations and are familiar with Japan’s unique business culture
・Have experience speaking publicly and have strong presentation skills
・Demonstrate outstanding flexibility and quick learning skills, cultivated by having to undertake a diverse range of duties in unfamiliar environments
・Are strong self-starters, used to creating and completing work independently, thanks to familiarity with working in small teams
・Have highly developed sensitivity to cultural difference, and excel in intercultural communication, thanks to a wealth of interaction with other JET participants and Japanese colleagues
・Are able to propose unique ideas from an international perspective
・Represent a large group, with a young average age (24 years)
・Very familiar with Japanese thinking and culture, having worked in Japanese schools
・Have strong Japanese language skills (JLPT N2-N1)
・Excel in planning skills and facilitation, thanks to their experience in event planning
・Equipped with translation and interpretation skills
>> Click here to see participant numbers by region
Other: China, Korea, Ireland and 34 other countries
>> Click here to see JET Programme participants by country
- Information for Companies Part 1:JET Programme Framework / Performance / Participating Countries
- Information for Companies Part 2:Residence Status
- Information for Companies Part 3:Career Fairs and Internship Q&A
- Information for Companies Part 4:Satisfaction among Companies taking part last year
- Information for Companies Part 5:JET Alumni Working in Japan