Mickey Mikitani, chairman and CEO of Rakuten, made the contribution of around $850,000, which will further expand US study options and support educational exchange and people-to-people relationships.
“Recipients will join thousands of scholars who have made important and lasting contributions”
Over the next three years, five-six Japanese students will be funded annually to pursue masters and PhD degrees in a range of social science and humanities fields via the flagship US international exchange program.
The Fulbright-Mikitani Memorial Grant will be awarded through an open and merit-based selection process.
Mikitani – a graduate of Harvard Business School’s MBA program – said he hopes the funding will “open doors for Japan’s leaders of tomorrow to gain an international education and global perspective”.
“Study abroad and the United States’ culture of innovation and academic excellence has had an enormous impact on my own life,” Mikitani said.
His father, Ryoichi Mikitani, was one of the first generation of Japanese Fulbright Scholars to the US, he added.
“[My father’s] experience studying economics at Harvard University and later teaching at Yale University left an indelible impression on my own life. It influenced my decision to study abroad and earn my MBA at Harvard Business School.”
“The Fulbright program offers an incredible opportunity for Japanese to travel, study, and learn in the US,” US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Joseph Young said.
“Recipients of the Fulbright-Mikitani Memorial Grant will join thousands of Japanese Fulbright scholars who have made important and lasting contributions in their respective fields, and in so doing, continue to deepen and strengthen the US-Japan relationship.”