As part of its ‘Abenomics’ strategy, the Japanese government is planning to allow highly skilled foreigners to stay in the country for up to 8 years. When this takes effect, Japanese companies would be able to apply for permission to invite skilled workers to Japan, particularly if they are global company staff or IT engineers.

This measure is a step towards tackling the issue of Japan’s ageing society and the consequential shrinking of its work force—at the current rate, Japan is expected to lose four million of its working population by 2020.

Foreign students at Japanese universities are also being encouraged to work in Japan. The government is aiming to increase the percentage of foreign graduates who work in Japan after graduation from 20% to 50%. With this in mind, the regulations that previously limited the employment of foreign students have been relaxed, allowing students to now work up to 28 hours per week during the term and 8 hours per day in the holidays.

The labour shortage makes it much easier to enter the Japanese market as an employee of a Japanese company than as an entrepreneur or investor. Following this route for a few years can have its advantages—especially for students studying in Japan—as it can help you to build up the skills and contacts that you can use for your business later.

If you are already an established business outside Japan, you can be transferred to Japan as a key worker. As the Japanese government is keen to attract foreign companies, they will practically be rolling out the red carpet for you.

Our tips:

1) Check the Japanese government website for general information on investor/manager visas.
» The Ministry of Justice

2) If you have an established business outside Japan, you should contact an inward investment agency to get support.
» Japan External Trade Organization - JETRO

3) If you are a student in Japan and are initially looking to work for a Japanese company:-

4) Consult with an administrative documentation lawyer (Gyoseishoshi lawyer行政書士) to apply for a visa.
» Gyoseishoshi Lawyers of Tokyo
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