The purpose of this paper is to look into the relationship between international politics and Filipino studentswho studied in Japan during the 1930s. At that time, the Philippines was in the middle of a conflict betweentwo empires: Japan and the United States. In this context, Japan tried to use Filipino students as a meansto improve its soft power in the Philippines. In the first half of the decade, about 30 Filipinos were livingmainly in Tokyo, with the majority of them studying at medical schools, in particular The Jikei UniversitySchool of Medicine, Tokyo, which offered classes in English. But not all Japanese people welcomed Filipinoswith many heavily prejudiced against them. In the mid-30s Japan set up new institutions to attract moreinternational students but the number of Filipino students decreased gradually in the late 1930s becausethe fear of Japanese imperialism had spread in the Philippines. This paper contextualizes these historicaldevelopments to show the deep connections between foreign students and the international politics ofimperialism adopted by Japan in its attempts to obtain hegemony before the Pacific War.