‘Steady employment’ cited as top draw for foreign workers in Japan

What's the top disadvantage to working there?

‘Steady employment’ cited as top draw for foreign workers in Japan

Foreign workers in Japan have cited steady employment as the top merit in working for the East Asian country, but the wage levels there are turning them off.

These are the findings of employment company Originator, which received 124 responses from foreigners hired by Japanese employers.

The findings, which were reported by Nippon, found that more than half (54%) of the respondents said "steady employment" was a merit of working in Japan. The full ranking include:

  1. Steady employment
  2. Able to do the work you want
  3. Expertise valued even without Japanese language ability
  4. Can make use of expertise and previous work experience
  5. High wage level
  6. Good training and career development programmes
  7. Can enhance career after returning to home country
  8. Technically advanced

Disadvantages in Japan

Meanwhile, the respondents noted that the country's wage levels (51.6%) is a disappointing factor in working in Japan. According to Nippon's report, the full list of disappointment for foreign workers include:

  1. Wage level not high
  2. Insufficient consideration for not being a native Japanese speaker
  3. Foreigners cannot receive a pay rise or promotion
  4. Too much overtime
  5. Not technically advanced
  6. Difficult to take paid leave
  7. Not suited to the company culture
  8. No supervisor or colleagues that can be respected
  9. No clearly specified role
  10. Cannot engage in the work you want to do
  11. Cannot use expertise or experience
  12. Possibility of being relocated
  13. No steady employment
  14. Lack of understanding for religion and different cultures

The findings come as Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida earlier pushed employers to hike wages to outpace inflation.

This year, employers including Fast Retailing, Oriental Land, and Aeon have already announced that they are increasing salaries.

Japan's largest industrial union UA Zensen also sealed a 5.28% average pay hike deal with employers in the recently held annual wage talks.

What could make foreign workers stay?

The demand for leave entitlements that would allow foreign workers to return to their respective home countries is strong among the respondents, the report found.

According to the survey, foreign workers would stay with their Japanese organisations if they offered the following:

  1. Consecutive leave to be able to visit home country and telework from there
  2. Objective performance evaluation
  3. Support for acquiring qualifications
  4. Japanese language training
  5. Mentorship and external consultations
  6. Ability to request position changes and transfers

Japan has been taking steps to improve the situation for foreign workers getting in the country.

This week, a government panel recommended the abolition of the country's three-decade-old training programme for foreigners entering Japan as interns, amid reports of exploitation plaguing the scheme.

The panel proposed the establishment of a new system, which develop and secure foreign workers getting in the country.

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