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Internship Opportunities with the U.S. Commercial Service, Japan


The U.S. Commercial Service, Japan offers a unique opportunity for students of economics, business administration and related fields to gain hands-on, real-world international government and business experience through working in the Commercial Section of an American diplomatic mission. Interns work independently and as part of teams of experienced Japanese commercial specialists and American diplomats on a wide variety of trade development and promotion activities. Interns perform a broad range of functions, from making logistical arrangements for meetings and events, to conducting in-depth research and analysis on market conditions, to preparing briefing materials for high-level Embassy principals. Successful interns leave with a unique experience, deep insight into the conduct of international business and diplomacy, and a powerful and uncommon entry for their resumes.


Internships are available to U.S. and non-U.S. citizens. An applicant must be a continuing student – a college or university junior or senior or graduate student currently enrolled in a degree program and scheduled to return to study in a degree program upon completion of the internship. Acceptance into the internship program is contingent upon the receipt of a favorable result from a U.S. Government Security Assurance Check.


Applicants should have strong writing, research, and analytical skills, good computer skills, and a high level of proficiency in verbal and written English and Japanese.


Internships are available in the Commercial Sections of U.S. Embassy Tokyo and U.S. Consulate General Osaka-Kobe.

Duration and Hours

Internships run for a minimum of one academic term, and are available during both the U.S. and Japanese academic years and U.S. summer recess. Interns concurrently enrolled in courses will work on a part-time basis for an average of 16 hours per week and a minimum total of 140 hours. Interns on U.S. summer recess or an academic term off will work full time, 40 hours per week, for a minimum of six weeks.

Academic Credit

Check with your educational institution regarding eligibility to earn academic credit for your internship. Confirm the documentation required by your educational institution in order to earn credit, and check with the U.S. Commercial Service, Japan in advance to ensure your ability to acquire the documentation.

Financial Considerations

The cost of living in Japan is high. Internships are voluntary and uncompensated. Interns must make their own arrangements and assume all costs for travel, transportation, housing, utilities, food, insurance, and other essentials. Interns are not entitled to benefits, reimbursements or payments of any kind from the United States Government.

When to Apply

The application process, from initial contact, to interview, selection, and Security Assurance Check, takes several months to complete. Applications should be submitted well in advance of your proposed start date.

How to Apply

1)Submit Resume and Statement of Interest

Submit via email (click here) a resume, along with a Statement of Interest, being sure to indicate:

  • The name of the academic institution to which enrolled
  • Expected graduation date
  • Desired starting and completion dates
  • Location (Tokyo, Osaka-Kobe) of interest
  • Full contact information

2)In-person or Telephone Interview

Applicants who satisfy the criteria noted above will be contacted and invited to participate in an interview, either in person or by telephone. The interview will be conducted in English and Japanese.


The U.S. Commercial Service, Japan will make selections within a few days of conducting interviews, and will inform applicants of the results promptly. Applicants selected to continue their candidacy will be asked to begin the Security Assurance Check process.

4)Security Assurance Check

Applicants selected to continue their candidacy will be provided with the forms and other instructions required for undergoing a Security Assurance Check. The check is extensive and takes at least three months. No offer of an internship is final until the Security Assurance Check is completed with a favorable result. The applicant should not make irrevocable commitments (travel, housing, other) or decline other internship offers or opportunities prior to receipt of a favorable result from the Security Assurance Check.

5)Official Offer

Upon the receipt of a favorable result from the Security Assurance Check, the U.S. Commercial Service, Japan will extend an official offer to the applicant.

For more information about internship opportunities with the U.S. Commercial Service, Japan, send email to: office.tokyo@trade.gov