The Association for Overseas Technical Scholarship

AOTS – The Association for Overseas Technical Scholarship – is a non-profit organization privately run with Japanese government subsidies from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) .

The main purpose of AOTS is to promote technical assistance to developing countries and to enhance mutual understanding and friendly relations between those countries and Japan. Since its establishment in 1959, AOTS has accepted over 65,000 persons from over 150 countries and regions for training in Japan. In addition, it has organized various training programs in developing countries involving over 20,000 participants. The activities of AOTS are financed by subsidies from the Japanese government, contributions from private companies in Japan and group training through various management courses offered by AOTS.

AOTS Training Programs Regular Training Program

When private Japanese companies invite trainees for training in Japan, AOTS awards financial subsidies and relevant assistance to the companies when the training programs are arranged according to AOTS standards.

General requirements for candidates of AOTS Regular Training Programs are as follows:

General Orientation Course (Group Training Held by AOTS)

Where individual training at the host company forms the major part of training, a General Orientation Course, as a rule, is given in groups at AOTS prior to the specialized technical training. General Orientation Courses last from one to thirteen weeks and include intensive Japanese language lessons and introductions to Japanese culture and industry.

The costs of the training are generally met by Japanese government subsidy, which covers up to 75% of standard training costs, and contributions by the Japanese host company or trainees’ employer to make up the difference of actual training expenses.

Management Training Course (Group Training Held by AOTS)

A variety of Management Training Courses are offered by AOTS, including those for engineers, supervisors, mid-level managers, and top-level managers and executives. Usually given in English, the courses familiarize participants with modern theory and practice of business strategy, production management, quality management, and other managerial areas. After taking an AOTS Management Training Course, participants may continue with Specialized Technical Training at their Japanese host companies.

Application procedures and the cost of the training are the same as those for the General Orientation Course. However, if a candidate for a Management Training Course has no contacts with a Japanese company, he or she may apply directly to AOTS. In this case, the balance between actual costs and Japanese government subsidy will be charged to the participant as a training fee.

Specialized Technical Training (Individual Technical Training within Industry)

The General Orientation or Management Training Course is followed by the Specialized Technical Training part of the program. AOTS reviews the training plan proposed by Japanese host companies and when it is approved, awards any necessary assistance to the host company for giving the training. Application for Specialized Technical Training must be made to a Japanese host company. Basically AOTS will not introduce host companies to individual candidates. An individual candidate who wishes to undergo training in Japan must first identify a host company that is willing to provide a scholarship and technical training to the candidate, subject to receiving assistance from AOTS.