The labor market in Japan


Japan's labor market is quite restrictive to expatriates. However, it is possible for them to find a job in different fields...

The work market is quite open in Japan, though very restrictive and demanding for foreigners. Strong skills in Japanese are often required, in addition to very specific professional skills.

However, Japan needs foreign workers in the language industry (translators, interpreters, language teachers) or in very specific fields like in the craft industry or haute cuisine.

Don’t hesitate to ask the economic mission of your home country established in Japan to learn more about the Japanese labor market, or send your CV to foreign companies settled in Japan.

Working holiday visa holders will rapidly find jobs or temporary work in Japan provided that they have good command of Japanese.


Wages vary greatly depending on the type of work undertaken in Japan. Japanese companies often establish fixed and codified salaries charts, and promotions are given upon seniority in the company. There is no minimum wage per se in Japan. However, a daily minimum wage is locally fixed for each branch of activity. For more information about wages in Japan, visit the Japanese Ministry of Labour.

The legal working week time is 40 hours in Japan. However, working overtime is the norm and widely accepted by Japanese workers.

  Good to know:

Seeking for a job in Japan may seem a very hard task to achieve but many foreigners have succeeded in doing so! Keep in mind that the labor market is quite more different in Japan than in Europe or America. Keep open-minded and flexible, adapt yourself to the Japanese way, comply with the Japanese rules and everything should be fine.


If you intend to stay in Japan for more than 90 days, the first thing to do upon arrival is asking for your Alien card. The Alien card is your official ID in Japan. The Alien card is compulsory when opening a bank account, applying for your social security card etc. You must apply for your Alien card at the nearest city hall office.

 Liens utiles:

Japanese Ministry of Labor
Jet Program

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Member since 01 June 2008
Small earth, Mauritius
1 Comment
3 years ago

What sorts of jobs are available if we don't have a good grasp of Japanese and not from English speaking country ?


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