They're coming. The 2,000 young foreign workers making up the 31st wave of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET) have received their acceptance letters and are preparing for their arrival in July and August.

Since its modest start in 1987, JET has grown into one of the world's largest international exchange programs. Nearly 65,000 people from 65 countries have worked in Japan for up to five years under the project.

Participants perform one of three roles. Assistant language teachers (ALTs) work in schools, team-teaching with a licensed teacher. Coordinators for international relations (CIRs) have Japanese language proficiency and work in local government offices to assist with grass-root international activities. A handful of sports exchange advisers (SEAs) coach and help plan sport-related projects.