Japan welcomes highly skilled professionals

By on July 31, 2012
Although the population of Japan saw an increase in 2008, the number has consistently dropped from October of the same year.   Japan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare forecasts a decline by a million people each year in the years ahead. This means that by 2060, Japan’s population will have dropped to 87 million from the present 127,650,000.  With people over the age of 65 making up 40%  in the coming decades, it can be said that Japan is now entering a new era that calls for a completely new paradigm.
What makes Japan attractive to highly skilled career professionals?  Although China has overtaken Japan as the second largest economy in the world,  the per capita personal income of the Japanese people at  USD39,727 is 10 times that of China even in a slow economy.   According to the World Watch Report (2010), the number of Japanese with more than a million American dollars in cash is 1.6 million, three times higher than the Chinese. 

With Japan ranking as the  20th in World Economic freedom, it is by far smoother for foreign investors to start a business in Japan than China which ranks 135th.   Not only that,  people are more secured in a country that has arguably one of the lowest crime rate in the world.  That makes Japan one of the safest countries to raise a family.

Pre-empting what could most likely hurt its economy in the near future, the Japanese government has rethought its immigration strategy. (www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/topics/120502_en.html)  In May this year, the Ministry of Justice has  started offering incentives to highly skilled foreign workers  to work and stay in the country in order to attract people with the know-how to help re-energize the economy.  Naturally, this comes with certain conditions.  The areas in which skilled professionals are now sought after are in the Academic Research, Advanced specialization/technical, and Business management fields.   Similar to the points system used in countries like Canada and Australia where it has worked, one has to pass a minimum total score currently set at 70 whether you are applying from abroad or in Japan.  Under the educational attainment criteria for example,  it is possible to obtain the maximum point of 30 for a doctorate degree and 20 for a master’s degree holder  in the case of academic research or advanced specialized/technical professionals.  For business management professionals, the point requirement for a doctorate degree is 20 and 10 for a master’s degree holder.
Jacques Deguest from France who studied Japanese culture and civilisation before coming to Japan 11 years ago finds doing business in France tougher than it is here.  Married for 19 years to his Japanese wife Yuri who he met at a university in France,  Jacques left his country behind to make Japan his permanent home. “My overall goal in life is to be able to look back in my old days, and be satisfied with what I have achieved, but more importantly how I have achieved it.  And what do I want to achieve?  I want to leverage my experience and my entrepreneurial background to help people realize their dreams, and contribute to change the society for the better.  Especially, I want to help empower women entrepreneurs as I strongly believe they are the key to the future of Japan and Asia in general.” 

Jacques currently heads Deguest Limited providing venture capital services and acting as Angel Investor focussed on the service industry.  He also supports small and medium size enterprises.  Putting a strong importance on ‘inculturation’ as the key to business and vision, Deguest embarked on an MBA course at GLOBIS University graduate school of management which he says, “has given me precious knowledge in all areas that I felt, from my experience, really mattered:  the basics like HR, Accounting, Finance, but more specialized courses like Venture Capital, Strategic and Leadership.  The MBA course at GLOBIS University has given me in addition to knowledge the values that define the way business is managed making my life richer, future brighter and confidence stronger than ever.”

Born in Austria but raised in Switzerland, Christian Moser’s  interest in coming to work in Japan came about after meeting some good Japanese friends while traveling to Australia on vacation with people from different countries.  After working for a boutique architectural firm back home,  he decided to work in a Japanese company to further his knowledge about the country.  Christian, who has a strong passion for arts and all things beautiful,  says “Japan in general makes a lot of investment in fashion and brands.  I am planning to stay in Japan for the long-term and to connect the Asian regions through business in luxury goods.”  Taking an MBA course at GLOBIS University was the first investment  he made to making that vision a reality.  “I wanted to learn more about corporate business and enterprise management because my architectural background involved a lot of creativity and decision making but little of concepts and practices of doing global business,” says Christian.

Japan’s lifetime employment system has now faded into obscurity.  Its future as a global player depends on visionary leaders that will help shape the economy and secure its position in the game field.   Will you be the next mover and shaker?

Cesar Sison is the author of Japanese Enigma,  a book written on the foundations of Japanese Market Entry, its strategy, and its execution. Available at amazon.co.jp www.japaneseenigma.com

For more information on GLOBIS University, visit www.globis.ac.jp

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