The reason for choosing Japan to conduct research
With my interest in physics and electronics, I thought that either the UK, Japan or Germany would be best for my research endeavors. Despite the historical closeness between my country and the UK, I ended up putting Japan before the UK because I thought I would have the chance to experience both academic and cultural challenges! Needless to point out that Japan ranks amongst those countries that invest much to see growth in areas of research.
So far a year has gone by as a JSPS fellow. I have had several interesting opportunities that include establishment of collaboration between our group at Kyushu University with researchers at Sophia, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tohoku and Yamaguchi universities locally, and also Flinders University of Southern Australia, Australian National University and Chugnum National University (South Korea). I have also been able to publish six full articles in international journals, two article contributions to a technical book, attended and made oral and poster presentations at two local and one international conference.
Advice to new fellows
A have two pieces of advice. Try as much as possible to learn the Japanese language as you need it for your daily life as well as learning the Japanese culture. And, accept differences between your country's cultural habits and the Japanese ones as normal - it will only help stress you should you concentrate on judging some of their habits as wrong.