Facts About the JET Programme in Shimane

*Edit  Oliver here! I have updated the statistics on this post – originally written by Damien (my super senpai CIR-PA) – to reflect the current Shimane JET Programme (as of March 2018)

As a follow up to the Myths About the JET Programme in Shimane, I thought it may be interesting to provide some general facts about the Programme and its participants in Shimane. There will be no quiz. I just like numbers.

  • There are 60 ALTs and 25 CIRs on the JET Programme in Shimane, giving Shimane a total of 85 participants.
  • Those 25 CIRs mean Shimane has the most CIRs of any other Prefecture or Designated City in Japan.
  • Shimane’s JETs come from the USA, China, Korea, Finland, Ireland, Poland, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, France, Russia, the UK and Canada.
  • JETs from the USA make up approximately 57% of the Programme across Japan (July 2016) and 66.3% of Shimane’s participants.
  • There are 43 women and 42 men in the Shimane JET Programme.
  • The approximate average age of a Shimane JET is 26.5 (CIR: 27.2, ALT: 26.3). (last updated 2012)
    • That means if you are a 26 year-old female ALT from the USA, you are the perfect ‘average’ Shimane JET. Feel special.
  • Excluding all first year JETs, the remaining 55 JETs accounted for approximately 115 years of experience on the Programme at the start of the latest contract year.
  • The 2010 Summer intake was unusual in that every new Shimane JET that year re-contracted for a second year.
  • Shimane JETs currently account for approximately .012% of Shimane’s permanent population and about 1.1% of the foreign resident population. (December 2017)
  • At its peak, Shimane had over 120 JETs. Between Matsue City switching to Interac ALTs and general budget cuts, this number has decreased, but remains relatively stable at present. This reflects a wider pattern across Japan of lower overall JET numbers compared to the peak of over 6,000 in 2002.
  • Shimane is thought to be home to the smallest municipality to employ a JET in Japan. This would be Chibu Village, the only municipality on Chiburi Island, part of the Oki Islands.
  • Famous Irish-Greek writer Lafcadio Hearn taught at the same senior high school school in Matsue as a JET.
    • Speaking of Hearn, he only lived in Shimane for 15 months, meaning that a JET half-way through their second contract year has lived here longer than he did.
  • Due to her technically being an employee of the Shimane International Center and thus not affected by the 3-year movement cycle, one of the Japanese PAs is in her 13th year in the position. This makes her one of the longest serving PAs in Japan.
  • While it is no surprise, Shimane is one of the least selected prefectures by aspiring JETs.
  • At the end of the 2011-12 Summer JET year, the average length of time on the Programmer of the ‘Leavers’ was just over 3 years.

Breakdown of Shimane JETs by Year

Year Percentage
1st Year 35.3%
2nd Year 40%
3rd Year 11.8%
4th Year 8.2%
5th Year 4.7%


And there you have it. Do you  feel enlightened now? Is there anything else you’d like to know? Are you the elusive perfectly average Shimane JET?


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