Japan Foundation - Asia Leadership Fellow Program

In 1996, the International House of Japan and the Japan Foundation jointly launched the Asia Leadership Fellow Program (ALFP). The ALFP seeks to create a close, personal and professional network of public intellectuals in Asia, deeply rooted in and committed to civil society beyond their own cultural, disciplinary and geopolitical backgrounds.
During the two-month program in Japan, the Fellows from diverse backgrounds reside in the center of Tokyo and actively engage in group discussions and dialogue with counterparts in Japan from different fields and sectors. 

Since the initiation of the program, over 90 Fellows from 16 Asian countries from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds have participated to date.

The ALFP believes that the fellows’ critical voices against the status quo and proposals for alternative solutions will lead to developing new norms and value-orientations for the future of the region.

More than 60 percent of the world’s population lives in the region called Asia, where different social institutions, economic systems, cultures, religions and ethnicities co-exist. This rich diversity includes a wide variety of problems. There is violence against human life and dignity in the form of socio-economic disparity, environmental deterioration, and racial, religious and cultural conflicts.

While globalization, along with social media, apparently offers the potential for broader unity across borders, there are also many stereotypes about and within Asia that often result in mistrust, intolerance, ignorance and indifference. States and markets alone are not capable of coping with the region’s challenges. 

The challenges are many but should be and can be articulated, understood and addressed from the perspective of civil society. Indeed, the ALFP believes that the key to breakthrough lies in the solidarity of concerned people who recognize and respect each other’s cultural backgrounds and value systems while playing a leading role in initiating effective action. It is imperative to enhance intellectual dialogue and exchange among public intellectuals who share the same concerns about the future of the globe, and feel the need to build an equitable civil society in the region while reaching out to other parts of the world.

New arenas exist for Asian public intellectuals to collaborate on and address long-standing and emerging concerns in the region from a holistic standpoint. The ALFP seeks to be a catalytic forum for public intellectuals, and to extend its reach to the larger public sphere through old and new media. 

The ALFP believes that the fellows’ critical voices against the status quo and proposals for alternative solutions will lead to developing new norms and value-orientations for the future of the region and beyond.


  • The ALFP is open to citizens of Northeast-, Southeast- and South-Asian countries, aged 35 to 59, inclusive.
  • Applicants must have a good command of English to engage in deep and substantial discussion.
  • Applicants need to have a solid background in their own professions and have access to a wide audience in their country or region through publications, teaching, media, performance, etc. to disseminate their thoughts and findings.

There is no prescribed set of professions for an ALFP fellow; the professions of past fellows include, but are not limited to, academia, journalism, business, national and local politics, education, administration, the arts, publications, and NGO and non-profit activities. 

To create a close, personal, and professional network of "public intellectuals" in Asia, the Japan Foundation and the International House of Japan (I-House) have jointly been conducting the Asian Leadership Fellow Program since 1996. Up till now, almost 100 fellows from 16 Asian countries have participated in this program.

Each year, public intellectuals from Asia who have deep roots in civil society and who play a leading role in initiating solidarity among concerned people reside at the I-House for about two months and intensively discuss regional and global concerns through dialogue, seminars, field research, and socializing. By offering the opportunity of living together, ALFP seeks to create a close, personal and professional network of public intellectuals in Asia.

We welcome your interest in applying for the Asia Leadership Fellow Program 2013. The theme for 2013 is "The Future of Asia, the World and Humanity after Development and Growth." 

Please note that the application deadline is Friday, December 21, 2012. Before you fill out the Application Form, please make sure that you read the entire packet and that you meet all the terms of eligibility.

Inquiries should be made to, and the application documents should be sent to, the ALFP Secretariat.
The ALFP Secretariat
c/o Program Department
International House of Japan
5-11-16, Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032, JAPAN
Tel: +81-3-3470-3211 / Fax: +81-3-3470-3170
e-mail: alfp_appli_2013@i-house.or.jp

Moreinfo: http://www.i-house.or.jp/en/ProgramActivities/alfp/index.htm



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