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Graduates and undergraduates studying the Japanese language overseas are being invited to take part in an essay contest organized by the nonprofit Japan Return Program, with the winners earning themselves a trip to Japan.

Applicants must be in teams of two and submit an essay in Japanese on the theme “Japan Through My Eyes — Japan’s Role in the World.”

Participants must fulfill several criteria, including: 1) applicants must be teams of two people who are studying in the same country; 2) applicants’ parents must not be Japanese; and 3) applicants cannot have lived in Japan for more than 2 years.

The winning teams will be invited to Japan for nine days between July 24 and Aug. 1. The organizer will pay for flights and accommodation during their stay in Japan, although the winners must pay 30,000 yen each upon arrival as a participating fee. That fee will be 50,000 yen each for participants from the Group of Eight countries, except Russia.

The deadline for the submission of the essay, with a completed application form and accompanying documents, is March 2. For an application form and more information, visit the organizer’s Web site at www.bna.co.jp/jrp

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