The Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund (JFMF) Teacher Program was established to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Fulbright Program—a U.S. government-initiated project created in 1946 to foster mutual understanding through exchanges of university students, faculty and researchers. More than 6,000 Japanese people have benefited from the U.S. Fulbright scholarship program. Many Japanese recipients of Fulbright scholarships went on to become leaders in government, business, and academia and were instrumental in the post-war redevelopment of Japan. To show the Japanese people's appreciation for the Fulbright Program, the Government of Japan established the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund to invite thousands of American teachers and administrators to Japan. The 2008 Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program competition marked the twelfth and last year of this program.
The Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program, sponsored by the Government of Japan from 1997-2008, provided American primary and secondary school teachers and administrators with fully-funded short-term study tours of Japan. The program was designed to increase understanding between the people of Japan and the United States by inviting U.S. elementary and secondary educators to visit Japan and share their experiences with fellow Americans upon their return. JFMF participants traveled to Japan with other outstanding educators, learned about Japanese culture and education, and returned to implement a self-designed plan to share their knowledge and experience with their students, colleagues and community.
The Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program was fully funded by the Government of Japan and administered by the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund office of the Japan-United States Educational Commission (JUSEC). The Institute of International Education (IIE) was the contracting agency that coordinated promotion, application processing, preliminary selection, and pre-departure arrangements.