Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, July 23, 2012

Center for Japanese Studies awarded $450K from Japan Foundation; to host language placement test

The Center for Japanese Studies has been awarded a $450,000 Institutional Support Grant from the Japan Foundation to create new fellowships for graduate students enrolled in its interdisciplinary master's program.

The grant will support two multi-year Japan Foundation Graduate Fellowships for students pursuing advanced training in Japanese studies. In turn, fellowship recipients will be directly involved in the creation and implementation of new education-abroad opportunities in Japan for both undergraduate and graduate students.

"I am delighted the Japan Foundation will assist in this new and unique opportunity for scholarship in Japanese studies," said Kuninori Matsuda, consul general of Japan in Detroit. "This new program is an excellent complement to 65 years of dedicated academic support and achievement at the Center for Japanese Studies."

Japan Foundation Graduate Fellows will receive full tuition, stipends and health benefits for two years. Over the course of their program, fellows will work closely with faculty as graduate research assistants to plan and implement new courses bringing together graduate and undergraduate students for an immersive learning course in Japan.

These learning opportunities abroad will take place during early summer each year. Second-year fellows will use their first-year experiences to develop their own research agendas, guide first-year fellows, and serve as mentors to undergraduate students pursuing a concentration in Japanese studies or in a discipline that includes a substantial Japanese studies component.

The first fellowship competition will be conducted during the 2012-13 academic year with the first Japan Foundation Graduate Fellows beginning in the fall of 2013.

For more information contact,

University named new site for language placement test

U-M is one of three new test sites selected by the Japan Foundation Los Angeles to host the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) for 2012, making U-M one of 14 sites in the country to offer this prestigious test.

The exam will be administered by the Center for Japanese Studies with help from the Japanese Language Program based in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures.

CJS Director-on-Leave Jonathan Zwicker says, "We are delighted to have the opportunity to host such an important examination and to bring to campus test takers with a deep interest in Japanese language and culture."

The JLPT has been offered worldwide since 1984 as a way of measuring Japanese language proficiency.

In 2011, more than 600,000 examinees took the exam, making it the largest Japanese language placement test in the world. The exam in December 2012 is expected to attract as many as 600 test takers to Ann Arbor.

For more information about the exam, go to