Apply for MIRAI Exchange Program: Western Balkans Meet Japan

WESTERN BALKANS/JAPAN – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA) and the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) are implementing the youth exchange “Western Balkans meet Japan: A Bridge into the Future”, planned to take place during 2022, and invite 12 undergraduate or graduate students aged from 20 years and older, coming from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, to apply for a great opportunity of personal and professional growth.

Western Balkans meet Japan: A Bridge into the Future is a youth exchange program, organized under the MIRAI Program since 2018, aiming to deepen participants’ understanding of Japan and its policy, to promote mutual understandings and reconciliation through intellectual and cultural exchange, and build a basis for future friendship and cooperation between Japan and the Western Balkans.

Eligible applicants:

  • Being a currently enrolled student in an undergraduate or graduate program and aged from 20 years and older on arrival in Japan.
  •  Living in one of the Western Balkans 6 Contracting Parties and holding a passport issued by one of the WB6 (Applicants who have Japanese nationality are NOT eligible).
  • Having a good command of English.
  • Respecting the spirit of reconciliation and cooperation in the Western Balkans.
  • Having a valid passport.
  • Neither having participated in an exchange or similar program(s) by the Government of Japan nor having lived in Japan. 

In addition to the above eligibility criteria, it is desirable that applicants have interest in Japan or have been involved in studying or activities related to Japan.

Read the full overview of the program by clicking the following button:


Please check if you are eligible to apply here:


Please click on the button below to access the Application Form and apply to be part of the program.


Deadline for applications is 12 November 2021, 23h59 CET Time. 

Only selected participants will be notified.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Participants from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Montenegro also need to apply for a visa to participate in the program. The organizers will inform the selected participants of the application process once decided.

Costs: Round trip international air tickets to Japan by economy class, overseas travel accident insurance, accommodation and transportation in Japan, meals during the program, and admission fees for scheduled activities in Japan are covered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (participants shall pay their personal expenses, including passport, visa acquisition, vaccination, excess baggage charge, travel expenses between their home and the designated airport, and purchase of souvenirs/personal goods before or during the program).

Please note that due to the situation of the pandemic or unforeseen events, the program may be suspended, or the implementation period/format may be changed.

Contact points:

Nikola Ristić

Communication and Visibility Manager

Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO)

[email protected]


Nishimura Misaki

Central and South Eastern Europe Division,

European Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

[email protected]



*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence

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