Mitsui & Co. (Australia) Ltd.

Social Contributions at Mitsui & Co.

Mitsui Educational Foundation


Founded in 1971 by then Chairman and Managing Director of Mitsui & Co. Australia Mr Ken Ejiri AC, the Mitsui Educational Foundation (MEF) promotes mutual understanding and friendship between Australia and Japan.

Every year the foundation sponsors eight Australian university students to participate in a three-week study tour of Japan.

The students travel through Japan and take part in activities to learn about the country's history, business, industry, contemporary and traditional culture, and relationship with Australia.

Students are selected from 22 partner universities around Australia. Over the past four decades, close to 400 Australian students have visited Japan through this program.

Many of the MEF's past participants now hold senior roles in government and business, and play an important role in promoting ties between Australia and Japan.

The MEF Experience

Videos of interviews with past tour participants are available under Reference Site below.

Participating Universities

Each year the foundation selects eight universities to participate in its program. For 2024, Mitsui has selected:

  • Griffith University
  • Murdoch University
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of NSW
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Technology Sydney
  • University of Western Australia
  • Western Sydney University

The universities will commence promotion during April through to June. To apply, please contact the relevant section at your university as nominated in the promotional posters / communication.

Program Itinerary

The 2024 program will be held from 19 November to 10 December. Activities may include:

  • briefing sessions on Mitsui's strategies and activities at our Tokyo headquarters
  • site visits to Japan's well-known businesses as well as Mitsui’s subsidiaries and business partners
  • a briefing on bilateral relations from the Australian Ambassador to Japan
  • an international politics class at Keio University in Tokyo
  • a chance to meet Japanese university students selected to work at Mitsui as graduates
  • a three-night homestay with a Japanese family in the city of Chigasaki
  • visits to places of historical and cultural significance in Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe and Hiroshima.

The MEF covers all transport, accommodation and activity costs.

Selection Criteria

Mitsui looks for applicants who are:

  • outstanding ambassadors for their university, and who will excel as Australian representatives while in Japan
  • academically capable; however, high academic achievement is not compulsory
  • interested in learning about Japan and who would most benefit from this experience
  • full-time undergraduate students (second year or higher) from any faculty and campus in the university's state or territory
  • Australian citizens.


The MEF program is overseen by five trustees.

Mitsui & Co. (Australia) Ltd trustees:

  • Mr Masato Sugahara, Chair and CEO
  • Ms Wendy Holdenson, Non-Executive Independent Director

External trustees:

  • Professor Ann Roberts, MEF alumni 1985, Professor in Physics, The University of Melbourne
  • Ms Alicia White, MEF alumni 1989, Member of the Australia Japan Business Council of Victoria, Corporate Affairs Executive
  • Mr Jonathan O'Dea, MEF alumni 1985, Former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly at Parliament of NSW