Japan, U.S. Set to Establish Financial Aid Program for Students; Mineta Ambassadors Program to be Backed

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Then U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta speaks in Tokyo in 2005.

The Japanese and U.S. governments have agreed to establish a program to support a mutual exchange program for students from the two countries.

The Mineta Ambassadors Program is expected to establish a fund of $8.5 million (about ¥1.3 billion) to promote cultural exchanges between participants. The program is set to be announced in a joint statement after the Japan-U.S. summit on Wednesday.

The program is named after former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, who was the first Japanese-American to serve in the U.S. Cabinet.

Mineta, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1975 to 1995, is known for his efforts to restore honor to Japanese-Americans who were sent to internment camps during the World War II. He died in 2022.

The fund will be supported through donations from private companies in the United States and managed by the U.S.-Japan Council, a nonprofit organization that seeks to strengthen Japan-U.S. relations through private-sector exchanges and other activities.

The financial aid will be awarded to high school, university and graduate students, with study durations and other details set to be determined in the future.