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MBBS in Japan 2024-25: Top Universities, Career Prospects & More

Updated on 27 February, 2024

Neha Uppal

Neha Uppal

Sr. Content editor

Discover the unparalleled quality of medical programs offered by renowned Japanese universities, renowned for their cutting-edge research, advanced technology, and holistic approach to healthcare. MBBS in Japan is a six-year program known for its high-quality education and rigorous training. MBBS fees  in Japan range from approximately 35,13,800 to 4,800,000 Japanese yen. With around 80 universities offering medical programs, students have various options. Graduates from Japanese medical universities are internationally recognized, and after passing the national licensing examination, they can practice medicine in Japan.


Why Study MBBS in Japan?

MBBS in Japan for Indian students offers several compelling advantages, supported by quantitative data from reliable sources:

  • Advanced Healthcare System: Japan is renowned for its advanced healthcare system, ranking among the top countries regarding healthcare quality and outcomes. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Japan has one of the highest life expectancies globally, with an average of 84.3 years. According to the OECD Health Statistics 2020, Japan has one of the highest doctors per capita among OECD countries, with 2.6 doctors per 1,000 population.
  • Cutting-edge Research Opportunities: Japanese medical universities offer excellent research opportunities in various medical disciplines. Japan consistently ranks among the top countries for scientific research output. According to the Nature Index 2023, Japan ranks fifth in the world regarding high-quality research publications.
  • High Standards of Education: Some of the best medical colleges in Japan uphold rigorous academic standards and provide comprehensive medical education. The universities have state-of-the-art facilities, enabling students to receive top-quality training.
  • Global Recognition: A degree in medicine from a Japanese university holds international recognition and is highly regarded. Japanese medical research and healthcare advancements contribute significantly to global medical knowledge. Japan's expenditure on healthcare accounted for approximately 10.74% of its GDP in 2019, indicating its commitment to providing quality healthcare services.
  • Career Opportunities: Japan has a growing demand for healthcare professionals due to an aging population. The country offers excellent career prospects for medical graduates. Furthermore, Japan has a reputation for maintaining high salaries for medical professionals. According to Glassdoor, the average monthly salary of a medical doctor in Japan is around JP¥6,93,935.

MBBS in Japan: Top Specializations

MBBS graduates in Japan can pursue various specializations and sub-specializations. Here are some of the top specializations available for medical professionals in Japan:

  • Internal Medicine: Internal medicine focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases affecting internal organs. This specialization covers many areas, such as cardiology, gastroenterology, pulmonology, nephrology, and endocrinology.
  • Surgery: Surgical specializations are highly sought after in Japan. They include general surgery, cardiovascular surgery, orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, plastic surgery, and pediatric surgery, among others.
  • Pediatrics: Pediatrics specializes in treating infants, children, and adolescents. Pediatric specialists in Japan provide medical care, preventive services, and developmental assessments for young patients.
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology: This specialization focuses on women's reproductive health, including pregnancy, childbirth, and disorders related to the female reproductive system.
  • Anesthesiology: Anesthesiologists are responsible for administering anesthesia and monitoring patients during surgical procedures. They play a crucial role in ensuring patient comfort and safety during surgery.
  • Radiology: Radiologists interpret medical images such as X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and ultrasounds to diagnose and treat various medical conditions. They often collaborate with other specialists to provide accurate diagnoses.
  • Dermatology: Dermatology focuses on the specialized medical field dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of various conditions affecting the skin, hair, and nails. They provide medical and surgical interventions for skin cancer, acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
  • Psychiatry: Psychiatrists are medical professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses and disorders. Their role includes addressing mental health issues and providing psychotherapy, medication management, and counseling.
  • Ophthalmology: Ophthalmologists deal with the diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders, including vision problems, cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal diseases. They perform surgeries and prescribe corrective lenses or medications.
  • Emergency Medicine: Emergency medicine specialists are trained to handle medical emergencies, providing immediate care and stabilization to critically ill or injured patients.

MBBS in Japan: Top Universities 

Japan is home to several prestigious universities offering MBBS programs known for their quality education and research. Here are some of the top universities in Japan for MBBS:

Name of the UniversityQS Ranking by Subject 2024 (Medicine)
University of Tokyo28
Kyoto University46
Osaka University80
Tohoku University113
Hokkaido University196
Kyushu University=164
Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU)611-620
Nagoya University=176
Keio University214
University of Tsukuba=355

(Credits: Official Sources)

MBBS in Japan: Eligibility Criteria

To study MBBS in Japan, there are certain eligibility criteria that applicants must meet. 

The following are the basic eligibility requirements:

  • Educational Qualifications: Applicants must have completed their secondary education or equivalent, such as high school or pre-university education. They should have obtained a graduation certificate or diploma from a recognized educational institution.
  • Japanese Language Proficiency: Since the medium of instruction in most medical programs in Japan is Japanese, international students must demonstrate proficiency in the Japanese language. This is typically assessed through standardized language proficiency tests like the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). The specific JLPT level required may vary depending on the university or program.
  • Entrance Examinations: Most universities and medical schools in Japan require applicants to pass their entrance examinations. These exams evaluate the candidates' knowledge of biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. The content and format of the exams may vary between institutions.

MBBS in Japan: Intakes

There are generally two main intake periods for international students:

April Intake: The primary intake for MBBS programs in Japan is in April, which aligns with the start of the academic year in Japan. Many universities admit international students during this intake, allowing them to begin their studies in the spring semester.

October Intake: Some universities may offer a secondary intake in October, also known as the fall semester intake. This intake provides an additional opportunity for students who may have missed the April intake or prefer to start their studies later in the year.

MBBS in Japan: Scholarships

Monbukagakusho Honors Scholarship: This scholarship is available for privately-financed international students studying in Japan who demonstrate excellent academic and character records and face financial difficulties. The scholarship provides a monthly stipend of 48,000 yen for graduate/undergraduate level students and 30,000 yen for Japanese language institute students. The scholarship period is either 12 months or six months, depending on the enrollment period. Eligibility criteria include full-time enrollment in a qualifying educational institution and meeting GPA and language requirements. Applications should be made through the respective educational institution.

Innovative Asia Scholarship to Japan: The 'Innovative Asia scholarship program offers master's or doctor's courses at Japanese universities and internships at Japanese companies, research institutes, or governmental organizations. It aims to enhance collaboration between Japan and Asian countries, promote innovation, and strengthen bilateral relationships. Participants are selected from partner schools in 12 countries, including India. Completion of the program grants a certificate, and preference for the scholarship is given to those applicants who wish to stay in Japan upon completion of their program.

Aichi Scholarship Program: Offered by the Aichi Prefectural Government to international students outside of Japan. The program provides scholarships for graduate school studies in fields that support Aichi's industries. Applicants must be under 35 years old, hold a bachelor's degree, have a good command of Japanese or the prospect of obtaining sufficient language ability, and intend to seek employment in Aichi after completing their studies. The scholarship covers living expenses, travel expenses to Japan, and school expenses. Five students will be selected for the scholarship, which lasts two and a half years.

MBBS in Japan: Jobs

The scope for international students after completing their MBBS in Japan is diverse, offering various job opportunities in the healthcare sector. Some options are:

  1. Residency Training: International students can apply for residency training programs in Japan to gain specialized clinical experience and further enhance their medical skills. This training provides a pathway toward becoming a licensed medical practitioner in Japan.
  2. Medical Research and Academia: International students can pursue research positions or academic careers in universities, research institutions, or medical schools. They can contribute to medical advancements, collaborate with renowned researchers, and publish research papers.
  3. Medical Practitioner: International students with the qualifications and language proficiency can work as medical practitioners in hospitals, clinics, or healthcare centers. They can provide general medical care, diagnose and treat patients, and collaborate with other healthcare professionals.
  4. Specialist Positions: With further specialization and acquiring relevant certifications, international students can pursue specialist positions in various medical fields. These positions require advanced training and expertise, offering opportunities for career advancement and higher salaries.
  5. Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Industry: International students can explore job opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry, medical device companies, or healthcare consulting firms. They can work in clinical research, drug development, regulatory affairs, or medical sales and marketing.
  6. International Medical Organizations: International students can engage with international medical organizations or NGOs in Japan. These organizations focus on healthcare projects, medical relief work, and public health initiatives, providing opportunities to make a positive impact on a global scale.

The diverse job opportunities and the growing demand for healthcare professionals in Japan provide a promising scope for international students after completing their MBBS.

MCI Approved Medical Colleges in Japan

The Medical Council of India (MCI) does not provide an official list of approved medical colleges in countries outside of India, including Japan. The MCI has clarified that it does not endorse or maintain a specific list of foreign medical institutions for MBBS or equivalent courses.

If you are an Indian student considering studying MBBS in Japan, it is important to conduct thorough research and directly verify the accreditation and recognition of the medical university or institution with the relevant Japanese authorities. This includes confirming the accreditation status, curriculum, clinical training opportunities, and other relevant information directly from the university or institution.

It is crucial to note that the eligibility criteria for practicing medicine in India are determined by the Medical Council of India (MCI), and Indian medical graduates may need to fulfill specific requirements, such as passing the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE), to obtain a license to practice in India.

Advantages of studying MBBS in Japan

MBBS in Japan offers international students a gateway to exceptional education, advanced healthcare, and a safe learning environment. Some main advantages are:

  • High-Quality Education: Japan is renowned for its excellent education system, and its medical schools maintain high standards. Japanese medical universities are known for their rigorous academic programs and advanced clinical training. According to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, several Japanese universities, such as the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University, are among the top institutions globally.
  • Technological Advancements: Japan is at the forefront of technological advancements in healthcare. Medical universities in Japan offer access to cutting-edge facilities, state-of-the-art medical equipment, and advanced research opportunities. The country's commitment to innovation ensures that students studying MBBS in Japan gain exposure to the latest medical technologies and practices.
  • Strong Economy: Japan boasts a strong GDP, making it one of the world's leading economies. As of 2021, Japan's GDP stood at approximately $5.15 trillion, ranking it as the third-largest economy globally. This economic strength translates into a favorable environment for professionals, including those studying MBBS.
  • Job Opportunities: Japan has a strong job market for highly skilled medical professionals. The demand for doctors in Japan is expected to rise due to an aging population and increasing healthcare needs. The Japanese government has created special benefits to attract skilled foreign professionals and make it easier for them to come to the country.
  • Safety and Quality of Life: Japan is known for its safety and high quality of life. It consistently ranks as one of the safest countries globally, offering a secure and comfortable environment for international students. Additionally, Japan provides well-maintained infrastructure, efficient public transportation, and access to advanced healthcare services, ensuring a conducive living environment for students.
  • Cultural Immersion: Studying in Japan provides a unique cultural experience. Students can immerse themselves in Japanese traditions, language, and lifestyle, enhancing their cross-cultural understanding. Japan's rich cultural heritage, including UNESCO World Heritage sites and traditional cuisine, offers students a vibrant and captivating environment to explore.
  • Diverse International Community: Japan attracts students from all over the world, fostering a diverse and multicultural environment. Interacting with peers from different backgrounds broadens students' perspectives and enriches their learning experience. The Japanese government has actively attracted international students by providing scholarships and English-taught programs, aiming to support their financial needs and enhance accessibility.
  • Scholarship Opportunities: Various scholarships are available to support international students to cover costs for MBBS in Japan. These scholarships help alleviate financial burdens and make education more accessible. The Japanese government, universities, and private organizations offer scholarships based on academic merit, need, and specific criteria.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can we do MBBS in Japan without NEET?

No, in order to pursue MBBS in Japan, Indian students are required to appear for and clear the NEET exam conducted by the Government of India. NEET is a mandatory prerequisite for Indian students seeking admission to medical courses abroad, including in Japan.

After Studying For An MBBS In Japan, Can I Work In India As A Doctor?

Yes, you can work as a doctor in India after studying MBBS in Japan. However, you will need to meet the requirements set by the Medical Council of India (MCI), which include passing the FMGE exam and fulfilling other necessary procedures to obtain a medical license in India.

Do universities in Japan provide accommodation?

Yes, universities in Japan often provide accommodation options for their students. However, the availability and types of accommodation may vary depending on the university. It is advisable to check with the specific university you are interested in for more information on their accommodation facilities and policies.

What is the salary of an MBBS Doctor in Japan?

The average monthly salary of a doctor in Japan, as reported by Glassdoor, is JP¥6,93,935.

Neha Uppal

Sr. Content editor

Neha Uppal is a passionate content creator and editor. She carries 7.5+ years of experience working with leading edutech companies where she worked as a Faculty, Community Manager, and Content Marketeer. At upGrad, she is helping out people keep informed about the scopes and opportunities of studying abroad via informational articles/blogs.

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