Japan’s ageing demographic and working culture are providing challenges in the land of the rising sun.
As Recruiter notes in the forthcoming Global Spotlight piece on p17 of the new August edition of the magazine, Japan has the world’s second highest median age, at nearly 45.5 years, as well as the world’s highest life expectancy and second lowest birth rate.
Hiromi Murata, senior research associate at recruitment agency Recruit Co’s research body Works Institute, says there is a need for more nursing and care workers as a result.
He tells Recruiter: “Measures to address the declining birth rate and ageing population have already been introduced such as accepting nursing care workers from other countries using FTA [Free Trade Agreement] schemes.”
As he notes in the magazine article, lifelong employment is relatively commonplace and the furthering of vocational education and careers services in universities, as well as the role of temporary employment agencies, “have drawn attention” to potential ways of creating a more dynamic labour market.
On the question of bringing in overseas talent, Michael J Case, managing director and co-founder of Tokyo-based recruiter Wahl & Case, tells Recruiter: “Migrations laws are surprisingly lax for educated, rich-country professionals like US and EU workers. Usually a college degree and an offer letter is enough to get a visa approved.
“Developing countries can be harder, but it is still much easier than [migrating to] the US or EU from what we have seen.”
This said, he notes that “in sheer numbers there is not a lot of flow” and that the company will almost never place a foreigner “without at least conversational if not fluent Japanese”.