After a successful debut at George Mason University in Virginia in 2010, CEPEX is proud to be sponsoring the 3rd Annual Japan Studies Award in 2012. The pool of candidates for the 2012 award promises to grow, making the benefits of winning even more prestigious. The goals of this contest are to support young future professionals interested in Japan and to strengthen the overall U.S.-Japan relationship.

The 2012 Japan Studies Award is open to undergraduate students in good standing currently enrolled in the degree programs at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. There is no restriction on the major or field of study that the student is pursuing. Nor is it required that the participating student be enrolled in a Japanese language course.

For consideration for the award, unlike the previous two years, participants will no longer be required to submit a paper or project on Japan. Beginning in 2012, candidates will submit a completed application packet by March 16, 2012, which will include a variety of short answer questions and two essay questions. Select candidates will be asked to participate in a brief interview at CEPEX headquarters in Washington, D.C. The final winner will be chosen based on the quality of the submitted application packet and a successful interview.

The winner of the 2012 Japan Studies Award will be granted a two-week internship at the Washington D.C. branch office of Sojitz Corporation of America, a company with strong ties to Japan, beginning late May. During the internship, the student will have the opportunity to sit in on hearings on Capitol Hill and attend events at local think-tanks. The winner will also be able to experience working with Japanese speakers and will contribute to office operations at Sojitz Corporation though meaningful research on international policy topics.

After completing the internship in Washington, the 2012 Japan Studies Award winner will be invited on a brief trip to Japan. The student will be able to further their interest in Japanese language, culture and international business through a short internship at Sojitz Corporation’s headquarters in Tokyo. For more information about CEPEX and last year’s award, please visit The full application packet and a timeline for the 2012 Award will be available in November 2011 on the CEPEX website.

Best of luck,

Christy Busch and Nikki Lindsay, CEPEX Co-Directors of the Washington, D.C. office

The Center for Professional Exchange (CEPEX) is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to fostering the U.S.-Japan relationship and cultivating the next generation ofJapan experts.