Q: I want a a design job in Japan but I don’t have a degree of any kind. I am good in the field of design and can speak some Japanese? How can I get a design job?
A: Ignoring your problems of not having a design portfolio with Japanese clients and finding a design job in Japan…
Basically you have a big problem getting a company-sponsored visa problem since you don’t have a degree. You need to prove you have at least 5-7 years’ experience in your field as a “designer”. That’s real experience, not flakey self-employment claims. You’ll need a great design portfolio with major corporate clients and/or a REAL work history as a design company employee in a real design-related company.
A “working holiday visa” is available for Western people who are not from the USA, but those visa’s are short-term lasting only a year or two—it’s a visa for a student on a lark. See the 3Yen post: Working Holiday Visa.
You could self-sponsor your own visa by opening your own design company in Japan, but you need plenty of capital, strict personal organization, legal groundwork and many months (if not a year or two) of preplanning. See the previous post about I want to start-up a new biz in Japan…
Q: I want to start-up a new biz in Japan, where can I get help?
A: Check out the Japanese government’s ISBC service. That is…
JETRO’s Invest Japan Business Support Centers (IBSCs) have a wide range of services and facilities to help you when you are ready to set up your company in Japan…JETRO staff members are assigned to the Center to exclusively help you in your efforts. These advisors and staff members offer market information and conduct individual consulting at no charge. In addition an exhibition hall and private conference rooms are available for client use at no cost…Companies engaged in the process of opening an office in Japan are invited to use the IBSC for a period of up to 50 days. At the Tokyo IBSC, our business and legal specialists provide no-cost consulting services to clients planning to expand business into Japan. The Center includes 11 advisors representing specific business categories, as well as 5 legal advisors.
NOTE: Without a solid business plan and Sesame-Street style presentation, JETRO will neither understand what want them to do nor will they do any undefined work for you. You must give JETRO a bullet-point list on paper of your ideas so they can understand your needs.
Also refer to my previous report: Foreigner start-up companies wanted in Japan’s medical care sector.
Q: What’s with people getting fired? Is the job market shrinking or what? I knew that Mr X. used to work at one of my group companies and he does not work there any more…. Is it getting harder to find and hold on to jobs in Japan if you are a foreigner?
Every year it’s harder to find work in Japan for English speakers. Japan Inc is focusing on China and not USA any longer. Japanese to English translation market is 50% smaller than it was in the pre-“Bubble” years (before 1992) In addition, for the past decade Japanese public policy has been to fire all fulltime university instructors who are foreign. However, Mr X may have been canned for his instability not economics.
Taro Tip #223: Always ‘act” insanely nondescript and boring in Japanese companies to keep your job or to get one.
Q. I don’t live in Japan but for business purposes I need an Japanese address. Can I get a post office box?
A. Yes. You can rent post office box at most central post offices and have the mail forwarded to you.
However it’s not a true ‘accommodation’ address. The mail is just held at the post office for you so you need to tell whoever is writing to you the name of the post office and the box number. Access times may also be restricted.
A better solution that provides a true Japan address at a reasonable cost is the Pakmail company which has various size mail boxes for rent at all of it’s locations You get a regular Japanese address (the address of the Pakmail office) 24 hour access and can have the mailed sorted, forwarded or remailed very easily. Prices are quite low.
Japan Pakmail Website
Q. I need a Japanese bank account so my company can transfer my salary.
A. Anybody can open a Japanese Bank account. There a several different kinds of accounts (mostly concerned with savings) so be sure you get a normal account a so called Futsu Koza.
Simply fill in the application form, it may be bilingual but if not get one of the lobby helpers to guide you. You will need two forms of ID. Your passport is best and one other. Deposit some starter cash and you will receive a bank book with your account number in it. It’s that number your employer will need along with the name of the branch when they transfer your salary.
Thinking ahead, if you are living for some time in Japan get yourself a simple personal stamp with your name on it, so called Hanko. It’s not necessary but it saves a lot of time when doing business in Japan.
After opening the account the Bank will post on to you your ATM cash card.
Remember it’s not a credit card. Applying for and getting a credit card from Japanese Bank requires more qualifications and more paperwork.