Working in Japan Recap
June 11th, over 50 people came to San Francisco to hear about new startup incentives in the changing job market in Japan. There was only just enough room to stand in at the Toto Showroom and hear four speakers give practical advice on how to take advantage of new business incentives and make the move to Japan. Noriko Higashizawa and Masumi Takimoto of the Japanese law firm City-Yuwa described the visa system and how new reforms are making it easier for highly skilled foreigners to get a work visa and obtain permanent residency in Japan. In particular, the Japanese government has launched a new point system that facilitates visas for highly skilled professionals that is also a fast track to permanent residency. It’s also easy for a small business owner to secure a visa with a relatively low threshold of investment.
Accenture Management Consultant James K. Hoover talked about the Access to Tokyo program in which the Tokyo Metropolitan Government provides services to facilitate setting up startups and SMS’s in Tokyo, including advice, temporary space, and financial incentives. So far about 100 companies from around the world have taken advantage of this interesting program.
Mari Takahashi of Pasona talked about the practical aspects of working as a relatively young professional in Japan. She pointed out Japan’s shrinking work force and the Government’s desire to attract more high skilled workers from around the world. Although salaries in Japan were substantially below those offered in the Bay Area, she explained that the cost of living was also very much lower than the Bay Area, and that in the end your disposal income in a typical job in Japan would be at least as great as in the case of a US job. Having good Japanese language skills was obviously a big plus.
The big take-away from our speakers–if you’re considering a career or business move to Japan, now is the time.