A Step in the Right Direction: More Foreigners Seek Employment in Japan
October 23, 2010 1 Comment
More foreigners are looking to work in the Land of the Rising Sun. Do I think that this is a good thing? Objectively speaking (as much as I can be, anyway, because I’m one of those individuals), I think that it is.
- Bringing in foreign talent will force Japanese students to step up their game academically. Although lifetime employment (終身雇用 or shusshin kyo) is on the decline in a country where people working 2-3 part time jobs isn’t uncommon, it has created a sense of complacency that needs to be addressed. In bringing in foreigners to work in Japan, companies are doing exactly that.
- In order to compete elsewhere in the world, Japanese companies are right in recruiting foreigners to tailor business strategies and product planning to local markets. Such can only be achieved through knowledge gleaned by hiring foreign employees and helps Japanese companies communicate with local companies with greater ease.
- Tied into point #2, foreigners from the Anglosphere may help to increase English fluency amongst the Japanese, whose English literacy and fluency rates are among the lowest in the developed world. Being the language of business, knowing English is an enormous asset in doing business around the world.
- Perhaps the increased number of foreigners may gradually change Japan’s ‘anti-immigrant’ mentality. Japan’s workforce is aging and people just aren’t having kids. Shutting one’s ears and putting said issue on the sidelines will not solve the root (or one of the roots) of Japan’s economic malaise, much less preserve its economic future. Bringing in more foreign workers and showing the benefits that they bring to the country may be the key in not opening the floodgates, but rather increasing the current trickle of global talent.
On the other hand, Japanese students may suffer from increased competition for an increasingly limited amount of jobs. Bringing in foreigners, however, may lead to the above benefits and maybe, just maybe, the sleeping Japan can once again rise to fulfill its role as an economic superpower and compete wholeheartedly with China and the United States.
*Just a note on the side, but I think I made a mistake in previous posts by rewriting the article before giving my opinion. After rereading them myself, they gave off a journalistic vibe, which this blog isn’t supposed to be given that it’s well…a blog (especially when I attach the link of the source article to each post).