Read what recent JISPA graduates and alumni have to say about their experiences studying and living in Japan.

Since its inception in 1993, the JISPA program has helped over 930 officials in the Asia-Pacific region to pursue a graduate degree in economics at Japanese universities, enhancing their capacity to formulate macroeconomic policies. In the fall of 2023, about 35 new scholars will follow suit. This Alumni Voices showcases the testimonials of JISPA graduates from various countries with diverse backgrounds.

Recent Graduates


Reynaldo Beluso Delos Santos, Jr., National Economic and Development Authority, Philippines

Reynaldo Beluso Delos Santos Jr.
The University of Tokyo (Partnership Track: 2021-2023)
National Economic and Development Authority, Philippines, 

Zolzaya Enkhtur, Bank of Mongolia

Zolzaya Enkhtur
The University of Tokyo (Partnership Track: 2021-2023)
Bank of Mongolia

Anil Shrestha, Ministry of Finance, Nepal

Anil Shrestha
Hiroshima University (Open Track: 2020-2023)
Ministry of Finance, Nepal


Mr. Golam MawlaThe University of Tokyo (Partnership-Track 2020-22, MPP/IP), Joint Director, Forex Reserve & Treasury Management Department, Bangladesh Bank

"JISPA is not just a scholarship; it is like a family to me. It not only helped me complete my higher education at a top-notch university in the world but also helped me meet knowledgeable policymakers in the growing economies of the Asia-Pacific region and become part of a global family. In addition to our academic studies, several workshops arranged by the IMF Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (OAP) helped me develop my knowledge and skills to facilitate my future policymaker career. I believe, with their knowledge and skills, JISPA scholars will continuously contribute to developing their home countries and, as a family, the Asia-Pacific region. I highly recommend JISPA to the young policymakers of Asia to advance their career."

Batchimeg BatboldMs. Batchimeg BatboldHitotsubashi University (Partnership-Track 2020-22, MA), Superintendent, Market Research and Development Department, Financial Regulatory Commission of Mongolia

"Deepening knowledge and accomplishing goals are major sources of one’s life satisfaction. I am grateful to JISPA and Hitotsubashi University for making it possible. Pausing a career to improve academic skills or continuing to work to deepen one's experience is the most common dilemma for us. Fortunately, the scholarship gives us opportunities to pursue both through various policy discussions and networking at the international level along with academic studies at top universities. Also, living in Japan and having new friends from other cultures is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I would recommend this invaluable experience to everyone who wants to advance themselves academically, professionally, and personally."

Irene Angela CuyaMs. Irene Angela CuyaInternational University of Japan (Partnership-Track 2020-22, MA), Senior Economic Development Specialist, National Economic and Development Authority, Philippines

"JISPA has provided us with various opportunities to acquire tools and skills that are suitable for analyzing relevant macroeconomic issues of present times. The JISPA curriculum strikes a good balance between theory and application of macroeconomic policies. It combines solid theoretical foundations of macroeconomics taught by the JISPA partner universities, and practical applications learned from workshops and dialogue with policymakers from Japan. In addition, the scholarship program provides great support to its scholars, especially in this period of the pandemic. JISPA is highly recommended for scholars who wish to pursue graduate studies in Japan.

Shokhrud Uralovich SafarovMr. Shokhrud Uralovich SafarovNational Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (Partnership-Track 2020-22, MA), Head Specialist, Licensing and Permission Procedures Department, Central Bank of Uzbekistan

"Our life is full of opportunities, and what matters most is to make the most of them. Civil servants of every country should not miss the JISPA opportunity, as it helps expand their economic background and consolidate their policy-making skills. Because of the trust, mutual respect, and tolerance of people in Japan, I was able to adapt quickly and focus all my attention on learning. Although COVID-19 had been widely spread, the measures taken by the Japanese government made me feel very safe. The snowy resorts of Hokkaido, the white beaches of Okinawa, and the historic and futuristic cities along with the unique nature of Japan are sure to leave an endless impression on scholars. I highly recommend JISPA to gain valuable knowledge and help develop your country." 


Din ChansereyrathMs. Din ChansereyrathInternational University of Japan (Partnership-Track 2019-21, MA), Section Chief of Monetary Division, National Bank of Cambodia

"JISPA helps develop scholars with remarkable knowledge to become macroeconomic policymakers. The scholarship program has equipped us with essential skills and comprehensive understanding of macroeconomic theory, analytical techniques using econometric and statistical methods, and programming languages. Studying in Japan, I was able to develop independent learning and research habits, and get a beautiful memory of the four seasons: a green summer, a golden autumn, a snow-land winter and a colorful spring. Studying with international students from around the world has helped build up my confidence, and the experience has become a great asset for my future. I am now ready to serve my organization and country with greater productivity and efficiency."

Febtina Setia RetnaniMs. Febtina Setia RetnaniThe University of Tokyo (Partnership-Track 2019-21, MA), Analyst, Board of Commissioners Secretariat, Financial Services Authority, Indonesia

"Pursuing a master’s degree at a world class university has always been one of my greatest desires, and JISPA has helped me achieve my dream. As a JISPA scholar, we are not only equipped with academic skills, but also given the opportunity to participate in various international forums to hone our professional skills in the field of public policy. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted various aspects of our lives and has taught us how to adapt to a new life, Nana Korobi Ya Oki!  Despite the sudden shift to remote learning, the JISPA program was still well designed to shape us as scholars who are ready to embrace new challenges and lead our own countries towards a brighter future."

Shreeram ThakurMr. Shreeram ThakurHitotsubashi University (Partnership-Track 2019-21, MA), Officer, Comptroller General Office, Ministry of Finance, Nepal

"JISPA is one of the best scholarship programs for young policymakers in Asia and the Pacific. It provides a unique platform for us to interact with each other as young officials in various ministries and central banks from different emerging economies. The program provided hands-on experience of assessing various public policies. Filling the knowledge gap, it helps my future career as a government official. During the course, I was able to learn about different aspects of public policy, including cross-cutting issues like regional financial stability, climate change and aging societies, as well as strengthen my research skills to analyze the impact of public policy. I would recommend taking advantage of this program to study in the world's most beautiful country, Japan, and at one of its most reputed universities."

Djumanazarov UchkunMr. Djumanazarov Uchkun, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (Partnership-Track 2019-21, MA), Deputy Head of Monetary Policy Tools Analysis Division, Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan

"To strengthen your educational and professional background, studying abroad would be very productive. However, acquiring both theoretical and practical knowledge at the same time would be difficult to realize. The JISPA program can provide that opportunity for government officials. Further, the Japan-based program offers the opportunity to study in one of the leading countries in the world. The knowledge and experience I have obtained at GRIPS on macroeconomic policy will effectively support my engagement in the process of transitioning Uzbekistan into an inflation targeting regime. I highly recommend this program to government officials who wish to improve their academic skills and gain a truly valuable experience."

Luong Bao NgocMs. Luong Bao NgocNational Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (Partnership-Track 2020-21, MA), Officer, Money Market Division, Central Banking Department, State Bank of Vietnam

"Being a member of the JISPA family was one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. Pursuing my higher education under the JISPA program has helped me develop my professional knowledge and skills that facilitate my future career as a policymaker, broaden my perspective, and form deep friendships with talented scholars from around the world. With these remarkable achievements, I believe not only myself but all JISPA scholars would gain further success in their fields and continuously contribute to the development of their home countries and of the Asia-Pacific region as a whole. To my fellows, “I can do it, you can do it. JISPA family always welcomes you. Let’s join and together create our better future.” " 

Md Arif-Ur-RahmanMr. Arif-Ur-Rahman, Ritsumeikan University (Open-Track 2019-2021, PhD), Joint Director (Study Leave), Accounts and Budgeting Department, Bangladesh Bank

"I am highly grateful to the JISPA program for the valuable assistance to fulfill my dream of higher education. JISPA creates a space for acquiring and sharing knowledge among fellows – the leaders in the coming days from emerging and developing countries in Asia. Apart from the academic learning, the inter-cultural experience will help to strengthen our cross-national relations to face future challenges together. To keep up with the current changing world, the arrangements of JISPA for learning and sharing knowledge through web meetings are praiseworthy. Being a part of this esteemed program, I feel honored. I will wholeheartedly try to contribute my acquired knowledge and research skills in economic decision-making and support my country’s sustainable growth and development."


Mr. Thitiphan Pairojteerarach, Partnership Track (2018-20), Ministry of Finance, Thailand

"Through JISPA, I am able to resume my higher education in my mid-career as well as develop a strong connection with other scholars and policymakers around the world. While fulfilling my academic dream, I can also discover other rewarding life-aspects. Living in a vibrant place such as Tokyo and building friendships are to name a few. Being part of this program is truly a gratifying experience."

Ms. Le Ha Thu, Open Track (2017-20), State Bank of Vietnam

"The JISPA offers us the opportunity not only to study macroeconomic policy in top universities in Japan but also to meet and share skills and knowledge with young and remarkable macroeconomic policymakers from other emerging and developing countries in Asia and the Pacific. I believe the time studying in Japan will become great memories and strong initiatives for all of us to contribute more to our countries and organizations in the region."


Ms. Kieu Oanh Nguyen, Partnership-Track (2018-19), State Bank of Vietnam

"I would like to express my sincere thanks to the JISPA for the valuable support during our study in Japan. The program has afforded me opportunities to share my experience as well as learn extremely informative knowledge from other JISPA scholars and senior economists. I strongly believe that the knowledge and experience that I have gained regarding public policies will be of great help for my career development in the future. I am honored to be part of the program."


Mr. Myo Min Kyi Win, Open-Track (2016-19), Ministry of Planning and Finance, Myanmar

"Thanks to the JISPA I was given the chance to study economics at the doctoral level in Japan. My dream to upgrade and update my knowledge, skills and abilities has come true. I hope to contribute my knowledge to macroeconomic planning of my country in my line of duty. I am ready to share my experiences with my colleagues and encourage them to take study opportunities with JISPA. This will help widen their scope of knowledge and improve their skills to enable their active participation in economic development of our country and the region."

Senior Alumni

Testimonials collected in 2023

Md Rashedur Rahman Sardar, Ministry of Finance, Bangladesh, JISPA 2009-2011

Md Rashedur Rahman Sardar
International University of Japan (Partnership Track: 2009-2011)
Ministry of Finance, Bangladesh

Pagna Sok, National Bank of Cambodia, JISPA 2011-2013

Pagna Sok
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (Partnership Track: 2011-2013)
National Bank of Cambodia

Wahyu Hidayat, Bank Indonesia, JISPA 2008-2010

Wahyu Hidayat
International University of Japan (Partnership Track: 2008-2010)
Bank Indonesia

Latdavanh Songvilay, Lao Academy of Social and Economic Sciences, JISPA 2008-2009

Latdavanh Songvilay
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (Partnership Track: 2008-2009)
Lao Academy of Social and Economic Sciences


Sanjar Valiev
The University of Tokyo (Partnership Track: 2012-2014)
Central Bank of Uzbekistan

Testimonials collected in 2021

Mr. Bayu KariastantoMr. Bayu KariastantoNational Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (Partnership-Track 2009-10, MA), Deputy Director, Financial System Stability Department, Financial Services Authority, Indonesia

"The JISPA program gave me a big advantage in my career. By applying for JISPA, I wanted to upgrade my skills and knowledge to be able to contribute to my organization, and to learn how Japan, an Asian country like Indonesia, became a global economic powerhouse. Soon after my graduation, I got my first promotion! As an accountant who was trained to be very detailed and micro oriented, I studied macroeconomics at GRIPS. I think this has enabled me to look at both micro and macro aspects when I am involved in policy formulation. Living in Japan also taught me about social orderliness and sincerity, which I think is one of the necessary conditions for developing countries to become advanced countries."

Mr. Bakytbek TynalievMr. Bakytbek TynalievNational Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (Partnership-Track 2006-07, MA), Head of the Center for Economic Research, Economic Department, National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic

"I applied for JISPA because I wanted to gain new knowledge, become more professional, and get a master’s degree. The scholarship made all my dreams come true!  My JISPA experience helped me to teach at the university as an assistant to a professor, to use at work the skills and knowledge I gained, and to work as an expert in international organizations.  Looking back, the JISPA experience was one of the highlights of my life. Besides studying, I was also able to live in the best country in the world, and enjoy travelling and creating new friendships with people from across the globe."

Ms. Khin Khin LwinMs. Khin Khin LwinNational Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (Partnership-Track 1997-98, MA), Director of Fiscal Strategy and Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Budget Department, Ministry of Planning and Finance, Myanmar

"The JISPA program offered me an opportunity to study for a higher degree and learn about different cultures through interactions with our international classmates and people in Japan. Learning in a master’s program in Japan is a super experience, which has greatly supported my career. There were many smart professors available for consultation during our study. I have a lot of unforgettable experiences not only in the program but also in beautiful, neat and clean Japan. I loved my university, the Graduate School of Policy Science (GRIPS’ predecessor). I have only good memories of the various social and cultural events that we enjoyed, including ski trips and the cherry blossom viewing."

Ms. Nguyen Quynh PhuongMs. Nguyen Quynh Phuong, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (Partnership-Track 2007-08, MA), Principal Official of IMF Division, Department of International Cooperation, State Bank of Vietnam

"My dream was to travel to Japan and to become an economist. JISPA offered me a big chance to enjoy living and studying in Japan. During the interview test for JISPA, one professor asked me whether I was an economist. I replied, ‘Not yet, but I will be if I finish the master’s course.’ I was not wrong. I still can't believe how I could survive a semester with 13 classes, but I enjoyed seeing Sakura and Momiji while studying hard. This was a valuable experience. Since returning home, I have always worked as a real economist while keeping my passions in painting, music and poetry. The JISPA experience is a sweet gift for my life."

Mr. Yon ArsalMr. Yon Arsal, Kobe University (Open-Track 2005-08, PhD), Assistant to Minister for Tax Compliance, Ministry of Finance, Indonesia

"I am gratified to become part of JISPA, as it allowed me to improve and polish my capability through an advanced degree. At the same time, the opportunity enabled me to extend my professional network through JISPA and academic institutions. Through JISPA, I received my PhD in Economics, which is highly instrumental and relevant in my current role in the ministry. My position requires comprehensive skills for evidence-based policy design and impact evaluation. I believe JISPA is a prestigious award for aspiring policymakers and researchers to improve their academic and professional competencies. On top of it all, Japan, with its impeccable work ethic, provides valuable soft skills for anyone’s future professional journey."

Ms. Vathana DalaloyMs. Vathana Dalaloy, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (Partnership-Track 1995-96, MA), Deputy Governor, Bank of the Lao PDR

"It is a great privilege to be a part of JISPA. I believe the program is the best to prepare civil servants in transition and developing economies. JISPA equipped me with sufficient fundamentals on statistics, economics and policies, which further enhanced my analytical skills and policy determination in capital and money market development of Lao PDR. JISPA also offered me a wonderful opportunity to meet diverse and qualified professors. A mix of international students strengthened our understanding of cultural, social and economic differences. The beauty of Sakura and Kimono as well as the taste of Sushi always make me miss Japan. I am glad that more and more younger staff at our central bank are interested in the program."