7 FAQs About Foreigners Looking For a Job in Japan

7 FAQs About Foreigners Looking For a Job in Japan

Did you know that the job hunting process is quite different between Japan and other countries?

In today’s article, we will go over some of the most frequently asked questions that internationals in Japan want to know when applying for jobs.

Let’s get started!

Table of contents

7 frequently asked questions about foreigners looking for a job in Japan

Where are foreigners concentrated in Japan?

According to Kyodo news research published in January 2020[2], by looking at the percentage by prefecture, Tokyo holds the highest percentage of foreign population by 26.6%, Aichi is 8.0%, and Osaka comes in third place with 7.3%.

Looking at the increment rate by prefecture, Nara increased by 22.9% from the previous years, and Okinawa increased by 22.0%, and Miyagi increased by 20.6%.

Source: Kyodo News

How much Japanese skills do I need to work in Japan?

The Japanese language skills required for a job vary depending on the type of job. As a rule of thumb, business-level Japanese language skills are necessary (JLPT N2 or higher).

However, some foreigners are hired as English teachers, restaurants and leisure positions, and engineers for some IT companies even if they cannot speak Japanese. Check our previous article about Top Five Most Popular Jobs For Foreigners In Japan for more information.

What is the hiring process for Japanese companies?

The hiring process for Japanese companies is much lengthier and very different from other countries, and generally, this process is as follows

Document screening → Written exam→ Interview (2 to 3 times) → Offer

In some cases, companies also carry out proper background checks on the applicants.
The Japanese job-hunting process is also characterized by a strict dress code and manners that the interviewers could accept or reject your application based on how well you follow these manners and customs.

Is it possible to find a job in Japan while abroad?

It is possible to interview with a Japanese company while you are abroad. The number of Japanese companies that complete the interview process and selection online has been increasing recently, especially in the hotel industry and foreign-affiliated companies.

However, many Japanese companies emphasize not only skills and experience but also “personality.” As we previously explored how the Japanese companies emphasize the importance of potential recruiting or ポテンシャル採用, therefore, although the first interview may be done by video call, in the end, you may be required to visit Japan for the “real” interview.

There are many cases when looking for a job in Japan where it will be easier to find a job if you first come to Japan and then start looking for a job.

What is the difference between “Full-time employees” and “Contract employees”?

The main difference is the period of employment. Full-time employees have an indefinite employment contract with no fixed working period, and contract employees have fixed-term employment and different working styles with fixed working periods.

If you are hired as a full-time employee, you do not have to worry about being dismissed unless there is a major problem with your company’s financial situation or working style.

The full-time employment type is called 正社員 (Seishain). The merits of regular employment are job security, the chance for promotion, insurance coverage (social, unemployment insurance, etc.), and possibly more.

The contract employee type is called 契約社員 (Keiyakushain) and is typically hired for short periods such as 3, 6, or 12 months, and companies maintain the right to extend or break the contract before the agreed-upon time is over.

Having a full-time contract is certainly preferable for the immigration papers and process, as well as gives you a higher chance to obtain a longer visa length.

What do I need in order to work in Japan?

To work in Japan, you need to obtain a visa that is not a tourist visa. Working hours vary depending on the type of visa, so it is recommended that you check the type of visa on the Tokyo Employment Service Center for Foreigners website in advance.

You can find more detailed information about this here.

For internationals working as full-time employees in Japan, the typical work visa issued is a visa with the residency status of “Technology / Humanities / International Services.” Residents with a status of residence such as “permanent resident,” “spouse of Japanese national,” and “spouse of permanent resident” can work in Japan without needing to obtain a separate work visa.

Source: Tokyo Employment Service Center for Foreigners

As a foreigner who works in Japan, is my salary different from that of a Japanese worker?

If you have the same occupation and position as a Japanese person, your salary should be pretty much the same as a Japanese person. Moreover, your tax should also be the same (internationals working in Japan must also pay the pension, income tax, residential tax, and unemployment insurance).

Japanese law strongly prohibits discrimination based on nationality. Therefore, you can expect the same salary level as a Japanese person if they are in the same occupation and position as you.

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In conclusion

We hope we summarized the most important topics that concern international residents who are seeking a job in Japan. Working in a foreign environment is not easy. However, as Japan is a very order and principle oriented country, the processes maintain transparency and clarity. Therefore, you do not need to worry about getting into a morally vague situation.

We hope you benefited from these questions. If there are questions that we did not touch upon in this article, please leave a comment below with your concerns, and we will try to answer you in a speedy manner.