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Japan is a country that is becoming increasingly popular with foreigners, and many aspire to live and work there. The country offers a chance to explore a new culture, to learn about its tradition, to discover the beautiful nature and more. Finding a job in Japan is not so hard if you’re looking for jobs in education, it does, however, get harder when looking for jobs outside of this sector. In any case, it is recommended to find a job before travelling to Japan to secure a long-term visa for your stay.

Job opportunities in Japan

Japan has many industries with job availabilities for Japanese nationals, but these availabilities become slim when it comes to expatriates looking to work in Japan.

The main areas offering work for expats besides teaching English are in the tourism industry, translation and interpretation, and international trade. In the tourism industry, foreign nationals can find employment in entertainment establishments that require foreign language services, bars and restaurants, hotels and hostels, promoters and occasionally as tourist guides. Translation and interpretation are also good areas of work for foreigners, but this does require fluency in at least two languages (with one being Japanese) and to have had prior experience.

Expats can also look for work in large international companies. To do so, however, comes at a tall order -- you must be highly skilled or have specialist skills, have a great amount of previous experience, be highly qualified and have some knowledge of Japanese customs.

Teaching English in Japan

The biggest sector offering employment to expats in Japan (especially those from countries where English is the native language) is teaching English. In recent years there has been a big push from the government for the standards of English to be improved, and thus native English teachers are sought after all over.

Opportunities to teach English can be found in a number of different institutions. ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) jobs are often a good way to teach in Japan, and these jobs involve working in public schools at either elementary, junior high and high school level. Many ALT dispatch companies hire from overseas such as JET, Interac and Altia. Another favourite teaching job in Japan is teaching English in an Eikaiwa (English language school). Unlike ALT’s, you work for one private company instead for public schools. There are several large companies that hire both overseas and internally such as AEON, ECC, Amity, Nova and more.

There are also opportunities to teach at private international kindergartens, preschools, at universities, colleges and even to take part in private tutoring.

Finding a job in Japan

As previously stated it is best to find a job before moving to the country so that your visa status is secured. Many job listing sites show jobs available nationwide, and using them is one of the best ways to find a job in Japan. You can also apply directly to many companies who hire foreigners in Japan. Newspaper listings for jobs can also be found both internationally and nationally. The Japan Times often features job listings and is written in English, so there is Japanese language ability is not necessary.

Another way to find a job is to sign up with one of the country’s recruitment agencies or employment services. Good recruitment agencies are Alex Tsukada International and East West Consulting.

 Useful links:

Pasona Staffing
Foreign bilingual workers
Career cross
JET Program (teaching foreign languages in Japan)

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