top of page

Kakehashi Project 2024

Fun in the River


The Kakehashi Project is designed to promote people-to-people exchange between Japan and the United States.  The program will provide participants with an enhanced understanding of Japanese economics, society, history, culture, politics, and diplomatic policies and encourage individuals to play an active role in the future of U.S.-Japan relations.

The Japanese word “kakehashi” means “bridge,” which symbolizes the hope that participants will form lasting relationships with Japan and its people, and serve as bridges between nations and cultures. Participants who travel to Japan are encouraged to share their experiences and discoveries with their networks at home, and contribute to greater appreciation of Japanese culture worldwide.

This program is organized jointly by the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) and the Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE).


Program dates: March 11 - March 19, 2024

Application deadline: December 1, 2023 by 11:59pm ET


We recommend that all participants bring masks or face coverings in case they are needed in Japan.


  • To promote mutual trust and understanding among the people of Japan and the U.S. and to build a basis for future friendship and cooperation

  • To encourage an appreciation of Japanese culture, history, society, technology and language

  • To share information and generate worldwide interest in Japan through participants’ grassroots networks


The students selected to participate in the program shall be comprised of individuals from Asian American families or have some Asian ancestry.  All of the student participants shall also demonstrate that they are motivated in playing an active role in promoting deeper cultural exchanges between Japan and the United States both now and in the future.

The itinerary of the program will be structured so that each participating student can acquire firsthand knowledge of Japan and how it is trying to fulfill its shared global responsibilities.  The itinerary may include, but is not limited to, the following elements:

  • Attend lectures on development of Japanese politics, economy, society, culture, history and diplomatic relations to promote a better understanding of Japan.

  • Participate in school exchange programs.

  • Visit educational sites and institutions, high-tech and traditional industries, world heritage sites, provincial government offices, and participate in cross-cultural events, workshops, and discussions with local people.

  • Participate in hands-on-learning experiences such as home-stays, home-visits, and cultural arts events.

  • Share information about Japan through reporting sessions and social media during/after the program.

Participant Requirements

  • U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident.

  • Currently enrolled undergraduate or graduate student.

  • Asian American or have some Asian ancestry

  • Physically capable of keeping up with a busy program schedule requiring extensive walking each day

  • Have NOT participated in a previous Kakehashi Project or other program funded by the Japanese government

  • Have NOT studied or stayed in Japan for more than a year in total

  • The following applicants will be given priority:

    • Those who have been involved in study, research, or activities related to Japan or Japanese language and culture for more than a year.

    • Those who have been involved in business related to Japan or Japanese products and services for more than a year.

  • Students who have completed a previous APAICS program are encouraged to apply

Terms & Conditions


  • Round trip economy class international air ticket to/from Japan

    • The most convenient international airport will be chosen for the participants’ group. Airport tax and facility fees are included. Travel between the participant’s home and the designated airport and any excess baggage fees incurred during the program shall be paid by the participant. It is not allowed to change the designated flight or class even if the participant pays the cost.

  • Overseas travel insurance

    • Chronic diseases, dental diseases, pregnancy or those already ill or injured prior to the program are NOT covered. In such cases and in some other cases when the insurance company disapproves the payment request, the participant shall be responsible for medical expenses in Japan. Any loss or damage to personal belongings is NOT covered.

  • Accommodation, transportation and meals during the program in Japan

  • Admission fees for scheduled activities in Japan

    • Participants shall pay their personal expenses, including passport, vaccination, travel between their home and the designated airport, accommodation and meals in their home country, and purchase of souvenirs / personal goods before or during the program.


If a participant chooses to drop out of the program for reasons other than a medical emergency or a family funeral, the participant shall be fully responsible for any costs associated with this cancellation. The cancellation fees will be charged to the participant if his/her application has already been accepted and the flight and/or other bookings are completed.

In the event of cancellation due to a medical emergency or a family funeral, cancellation fees may be waived upon presentation of a medical certificate or evidence of a funeral requested by JICE.


As part of the application, you will be asked to upload the following items:

  • Resume (1 page max)

  • Cover Letter (1 page max)

  • Unofficial Transcript

  • Letter of Recommendation

  • Passport Copy: The applicant must submit a color copy of the photo page of his/her passport. The copy should be clear, complete, and large enough to find everything on the page legible. Those who will apply for a new passport must submit its copy by no later than one month prior to the program date. Those who do not have U.S. citizenship must submit a copy of the U.S. permanent resident card as well as the passport issued by his/her country.

  • Headshot: Color photo taken in the last 3 months

  • Essay Questions (500 words max per question)

Note: Successful applicants will be asked to complete additional forms and applications through JICE at a later date and a letter of understanding that applicants must carefully read and sign. If the applicant is under 18, the signature of his/her parent or guardian is also required.



Please do not contact the office in regard to your application status. Only qualified candidates will be directly contacted by program supervisors. Due to the high volume of applications we receive, we regret that we are unable to respond to all applicants.

bottom of page