International Educators to Japan (IEJ) Program

As part of support for facilitating the local business activities of overseas Japanese companies, IIST invites educators from local schools in Europe and the U.S. who teach the children of Japanese company employees stationed overseas. The program features visits to schools, home stays, regional tours, and other activities with the aim of deepening their understanding of Japan’s education system, culture, history and society so that they could play an active role in the classroom with the better knowledge and understanding of Japan. The program has a long history going all the way back to the 1970’s. At that time, Japanese companies were rapidly making inroads into overseas markets and local public schools saw a sharp increase in Japanese children who could not speak English . These local schools warmly accepted the Japanese children and took care of them. In response to this, The IEJ program was launched in 1975 on the initiative of the Japan Business Association in Los Angeles to invite to Japan educators from local schools teaching the children of Japanese company employees stationed overseas for the purpose of expressing appreciation to them and deepening their understanding of Japan (Please refer to the PDF as to the accumulating total of participants by country and region). In recent years, the program have included new activities such as demonstration lessons during school visits and exchange of views with Japanese teachers, adding another aspect to the original objectives. Expenses are mostly covered by overseas Japanese business associations and IIST has been in charge of overseeing the visits to Japan by the educators since fiscal 2008.