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Reality and Keys Non-Japanese Nationals Should Know to Work for Japanese Companies【Part.2】

Interview with Mr. Takeuchi, Representative Director of GLOBAL POWER Inc. Operating a Recruitment/Staffing and Career Change Platform for Highly Skilled International Professionals HAVE YOU READ PART 1?

【Interviewee's Profile】

Kouichi Takeuchi/竹内 幸一

Representative Director of GLOBAL POWER Inc.

Director of the Japan Association for the Employment of Foreign Nationals: JAEFN

Takeuchi was born in 1974 in Tokyo and raised in Gunma. After graduating from the prefectural Tomioka High School of Gunma, he studied abroad at California State University, Sacramento, and then quit. In 1998, he got a job at a foreign-affiliated wine trading company and moved to a major HR company, FULLCAST, in 2003. Two years later, he launched a support project for non-Japanese nationals' employment through intrapreneurship and joined the launch of GLOBAL POWER from the initial stage after the management buyout of the division. In 2010, Takeuchi took the position of a representative director, and in 2016, he was appointed as a director of the Japan Association for the Employment of Foreign Nationals.

He has appeared on many TV programs, such as "Gaia no Yoake (: The Sunrise of Gaia)", "WBS," the NHK Special", etc. His book, "知識ゼロからの外国人雇用 (: Employment of Expats Started with No Knowledge)" was published by幻冬舎(GENTOSHA INC.) in 2020.


ーIt seems that non-Japanese people think, "in Japanese companies, employees have to do tasks which are not part of their job" (by hearing such a story from someone or on TV). What do you think about it?

Well, that is how Japanese people work.

The concept deeply rooted in Japanese companies is to create generalists.

The simultaneous recruitment of new graduates originated from the custom. The basis of the Japanese companies' culture is to create generalists, not specialists. Therefore, scenes like, "this is your job, but this can be included in yours. And you can do that, too," are normally seen in Japanese companies, I think.

Concerning this working culture, on NINJA, there is a rule to state sub-tasks as detailed as possible along with job duties in job descriptions because, otherwise, it is not clear.

For example, a job description like "Responsibilities include accounting, finance, management of incomings and outgoings, and wage payment" is not detailed enough. When you want to apply for the job, make sure to ask, "Are there any sub-tasks other than the duties stated in the description?" If you think, "I will be responsible only for this because I am a specialist," you must find somewhere else your request is accepted, but the chance will go down to 1%, which is the same thing as what happens with the case of Japanese language skills.

Make it clear what will be your responsibilities, their range, their level of difficulty, and the required skills for them when you apply after checking the job posting, or at the interview. Half of the HR staff may think "It's noisy", "Bothering", or "Displeasing", but the other half would be like, "That doesn't bother at all".

So, when the staff in the company does not like being asked too deeply, try to accept it, and think that the job is not the one to be yours and that cannot be helped.

ーWhat are the commonly and frequently asked questions from NINJA's members who want to change their job or get a job?

There are some, but the first one is about whether the company is a place where a non-Japanese person can manage to work, such as:

  • How many non-Japanese nationals are working for the company;

  • What kind of positions they are in, a section manager, or a company officer?

People who want to get/already have been promoted seemed to like to know how high the positions the non-Japanese employees get promoted up to. We are doing our best to put those kinds of information on job postings on NINJA as thoroughly as possible.

Secondly, we are often asked how to write a Japanese resume/CV and expressions for it because there is a unique tacit understanding in Japanese companies.

The third one is about things related to money, such as overtime work, salary raises,

bonuses, etc., which is the same for Japanese workers. Specifically, the questions are:

  • Does the salary stated on a job posting include wages for expected overtime work or do employees get paid separately;

  • How many hours is the maximum overtime work, and how many hours is the average?

We basically put those kinds of terms on job postings on NINJA, but currently, I am afraid there are still a lot of companies' postings that do not include enough information.

Job seekers are very concerned about the average hours of overtime of employees who belong to the company and furthermore, the section they apply to.

ーLastly, could you give a message to the people who want to get a job in Japan?

Thanks for wanting to work in Japan. I truly appreciate that.

The country of Japan is going to gradually lose its population and will become much less energetic because this country has not accepted diversity which is essential to empower organizations. I sincerely hope that Japanese companies will understand how well diversity connects to achievements.

Despite all the circumstances, people like you who have backbone and a completely different background are looking to work actively in Japan. I am just so grateful for you and believe the society of Japan will be empowered by your wonderful participation.

There may be hard and stressful times but get over them with a never-give-up spirit. We are cheering for you to be yourself who you want to be, here in Japan.

If you are interested in NINJA, please sign up for it. We would like you to use our platform for changing or hunting for a job and hope you will find it helpful.

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1 comentario

13 nov 2022

But Japan is deep in an aging and low childbirth crisis. There are more job openings than applicants. It is a "buyer's market" and will be so for a long time in the future.

Depending on one's skills, particularly in Japanese, and experience, one's opportunities in Japan are very good. While there are some industries (especially in Tokyo) where competition for job openings is high, in much of Japan the opposite is true.

In this era, it is better to think of "the job hunt" as being one in which employers are hunting for staff. The job interview is one in which you (should) have the opportunity to interview the company, too. Choosing the right company to work for and…

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