quote of the day

Looking at the global environment, Japan is lagging in attracting high-skilled and knowledgeable foreign human resources.


Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, saying he is considering systemic reforms to attract such workers.

© Yomiuri Shimbun

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Given recent history why is this surprising?

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Why not incentivise and train young Japanese workers to fill these high-skilled and well paying jobs? Problem solved. (Unless, of course, these jobs aren't actually high-skilled or well paid and the goal is just to import and exploit cheap foreign workers to boost Japan Inc's profitability.)

10 ( +12 / -2 )

@M3M3M3 - from another publication:

On the same day, Kishida visited the planned site of an international research and education organization that will be established in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, and said, “We want to make it a world-class center where outstanding researchers from Japan and abroad gather to conduct the world’s most advanced research."

I think he's talking about bringing in top technology people, not just cheap foreign workers (though how cheap can they be if they have to fly to Japan and live there?).

Personally, and speaking as a technology person, I'd love to work in Japan, but how to find a job, set up residency and find housing, deal with the language (I have taken a couple of years of Japanese in college but can't really speak more than a few words) and find something for my family to do would all be quite challenging. Then there's the little detail that tech jobs pay a lot more in the U.S., so moving to Japan for such work would be strictly a lifestyle choice and not a financially wise move.

I think in the long run, Japan needs to up its game and become more competitive in software versus the U.S. giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook etc., and then they will have more high paying jobs & start attracting top talent from overseas, likely mostly from China and other Asian areas.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

How about making sure Japanese men get better salaries to improve the birth rate?

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Entry-level is not minimum wage.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

All G7 economies are struggling because they lack the relatively low-paid migrant labourers that they have all just kicked out/repatriated. If you think their jobs are 'low skilled', why are so few of the locals capable of replacing them? You try harvesting crops all day and you'll find out.

Focus on graduates if you want, but 'enough graduates' is easier to produce from local labour than enough key workers, manual labourers and care workers. No G7 economy is failing due to a lack of bankers and management.

It really shouldn't be difficult producing more skilled Japanese workers. There are so many universities in Japan. What do they do all day?

IT security is a separate case. Everyone is short of them, as most tech is poorly designed, poorly implemented and poorly deployed, and they are needed to make good the failings.

Incidents like the high profile prosecution of Carlos Ghosn really didn't help. Neither does the ban on effective painkillers and sundry tax/residency laws.

Japan has its own unique business culture, which foreigners may find difficult to adapt to and frustrating. Squaring that circle may not be possible.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Looking at the global environment, Japan is lagging in attracting high-skilled and knowledgeable foreign human resources.

In 2007, I was working in a big (and I mean big) US company in Japan. The word was then was to move the IT to Singapore (they since did), as: it was cheaper, the staff was more qualified and the tech-level was higher.

But the real problem was that the last decade has been pretty much a PR-disaster for Japan.

I would put the starting point at the Fukushima disaster. Hundred of thousands of foreigners (the so-called "flyjins") left. My take is that a lot didn't return. Moreover, following the disaster did a lot of students, professionals but also family members scheduled to come to Japan scrap their plans, same for the recent in-comers back then.

in 2015, I applied to a job (didn't get it in the end) where the company's choice a few months earlier was a guy who ultimately rescinded his application because "his wife was worried about Fukushima". This was 4 years after Fukushima.

Then, under Abe's helm, we had pretty much a decade of scandals, political ones and corporate ones. Don't get me wrong, we already had decades of them, but under Abe it was literally a highway pile-up at shinkansen speed. All these scandals did make headlines in the international press but also in the business press and in the general professional press making readers wonder what was the hell was going on here in Japan.

Then came the Carlos Ghosn mess. I recall a few articles where recruiting companies in Japan mentioned that candidates for top jobs in Japan wanted to wait and see what happens with Ghosn first. After the whole thing ended with Ghosn's piano caper, I doubt they were still considering to come here. There were articles in the international and business press stating that companies were moving their top management to neighboring countries as well.

Then came the COVID-crisis and the J-gov's infatuation with the Olympics despite a general public opposition to holding the event making readers worldwide ask themselves about Japan as a "democracy".

Then came the lockdown with, again, hundred of thousands of foreigners living and working in Japan or scheduled to come to Japan being impacted.

My take being that workers slated to come to Japan and short-term residents in Japan "got the message" and left, and so did a potion of the mid-term residents, leaving mostly long-term residents soldering on. But again, when you grow old, your career starts to stutter in Japan...

As for students, those already in Japan, or slated to come to Japan as well as preparing to come to Japan either left or aimed for another country instead. Now the problem is that students looking at / considering to come to Japan in a short future realigned their plans as well.

Now we are in the midst of the Moonie scandal tainting politics and making people yet aqain wonder a lot about Japan politics and democracy since, well pretty much since it officially started 6+ decades ago, not mentioning, yet another infatuation of the J-gov, this time with the funeral ceremony around what is internationally known as a shady character (Abe) and again public opinion.

"Skilled and knowledgeable" human ressources would do their due diligence before coming and in regard of the above, think twice before coming. As for "less skilled and knowledgeable" staff, the word on mistreatment of foreign workers is out there, both within and out of Japan, again, making people think twice before coming.

And again, we all know where Japan had been standing on salaries for the last 3 decades, don't we?

It is said that "building a reputation takes time, sometimes decades, but trashing it only one misstep". Japan has trashed its reputation over a decade. It will take a LOT of time but get the stains off its reputation, if even possible...The problem being that Japan has already run out of times decades ago...

Japan needs to fix itself before anything else and stop relying on foreigners just when it's "convenient". We, foreigners, are not a "convenience", we're a "resource", a "human" one. We need to be treated as such, and frankly, so do the Japanese nationals too.

For all intents and purposes, is Japan currently nothing more than an underfunded and extraordinarily badly managed "black company (ブラック企業)". Tossing out the "management" is a pre-requisite to any hope for improvement across the board.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

I can’t imagine why.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@blue, well argued!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Looking at the global environment, Japan is lagging in attracting high-skilled and knowledgeable foreign human resources.

They have before, but the problem is when the foreigners are too good then the Japanese coworkers get jealous. After that, you begin to have the scheming by Japanese colleagues leading to them trying to find ways to get rid them. The same situation happened to Ghosn with Nissan colluding with corrupt officials in Abe's political party.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

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