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Etiquette at Work

A Beginner’s Guide to Japanese Business Etiquette

Poste date: Monday, January 29, 2018

Traditionally, Japanese culture has very strict rules of etiquette appropriate for every situation, from interactions between neighbors, customers and staff in a store, politicians, and every other social situation under the sun. Nowhere are these rules and customs more keenly felt by expatriates than in Japanese business interactions. Japan can be described as having a formal, high “power-distance” culture. The distinctions between bosses and subordinates are clearly defined with everyone being expected to know their place as well as when and how to express themselves.

Below are some guidelines that should help smooth your way.

Greetings and Introductions

Bowing in Japan

Unlike many Western cultures where shaking hands is the norm, when meeting someone for the first time in Japan, people bow to each other. The degree of the bow corresponds to the difference in social standing between the two individuals being introduced. The longer and deeper the bow, the greater the amount of respect will be shown by the one bowing. When meeting foreigners, some Japanese may offer to shake hands, as an effort to ease any discomfort or misunderstandings. Your best bet with regard to being introduced to a Japanese person is to do what they do. If they bow, return the bow, with your back straight and hands at your sides.

Japanese Business Cards

The presenting of business cards (meishi in Japanese) is another critical element of business introductions. Business cards should be presented with both hands, face up and facing the person receiving the card. When receiving a business card, accept it with both hands and review its details. Be sure to treat all cards received with respect. Business cards should always be neat and crisp and stored in a sturdy container carried in a briefcase or shirt pocket and never placed into a wallet. Also, never write on a business card that you receive. The state of a person’s business cards says a lot about the character of that person.

 

Japan Business Card Etiquette – Everything an Expat Should Know

Japanese Business Attire

Despite the government policies for Warm Biz and Cool Biz dress codes, business attire is still very formal in Japan. For men, the rule is dark suits, white shirts, and muted ties. For women, the same color rules generally apply, with either pant suits or longer skirt suits being the generally accepted mode of dress.

When you enter a traditional Japanese home or other traditional venues such as temples or restaurants, always remove your shoes. Typically, it will be quite apparent when this is required because there will be an obvious step up to the interior where shoes are disallowed, often accompanied by a cubby where shoes can be stored and indoor slippers acquired. When in doubt, just do what your hosts or other Japanese are doing in this regard. One note, it is generally not acceptable to walk around barefoot in these situations. If you are likely to be in a position where you might be wearing shoes that require no socks and have to remove them, it would be wise to pack a set of white socks to prevent your bare feet from touching the slippers.

White Slippers in Japan

Other tips

● Do take lots of notes in meetings. This shows interest and also will keep you from being embarrassed down the road when your counterpart reminds you of something you said in a meeting based on notes they took.

● Do wait to be seated in a meeting or at a restaurant until indicated to do so by your host.

● Do learn some basic Japanese phrases for greeting and thanking, even if you don’t speak Japanese otherwise. This demonstrates a willingness to learn and invest in the culture.

● Don’t put your hands in your pockets when speaking with someone. This shows boredom or disinterest in the conversation.

● Don’t point at people with a finger or chopsticks when making a point or indicating something as this is considered very rude.

● Don’t blow your nose during a meeting, instead excuse yourself to a restroom or outside as appropriate.

● Don’t be late to a meeting. Japanese are very punctual and meetings start and end on time.

There are far more intricate rules surrounding Japanese business culture that extend beyond this cursory introduction. That being said, a benefit of being a foreigner is that most Japanese will not expect you to know all the ins and outs of their rules of etiquette and are very accommodating and gracious to those of us who are not as familiar with how things should be done. As such, the best rule to follow is to be as polite as possible and follow the guidance of your hosts.

SOURCE: PLAZA HOMES
Original Text:  Click Here

Advantages and Disadvantages of living in Japan

Thinking of working in Japan? It’s good to know what you’re in for

BY ROCHELLE KOPP

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

 

So you’re thinking of working for a Japanese firm. You might be wondering whether what you’ve heard about working in Japan is true. Or, if you’re already working here, you may wonder if what you’re experiencing is typical.

I’ve devoted my career to the subject of non-Japanese working in Japanese companies. I was caught up in the first wave of hiring of non-Japanese employees, back during the bubble economy, when I got a job at the headquarters of a large Japanese bank.

Puzzled at why things didn’t work the same way that they did when I was at an American company back in Chicago, I became curious about how Japanese organizations operate and how non-Japanese can succeed in them. I ended up going back to grad school, writing a book on this issue, and, for the past 25 years since, have been consulting to Japanese global companies on cross-cultural and human resource topics. I split my time between Japan and the United States, where I work with non-Japanese employees working in Japanese companies in both places in industries ranging from cars to video games to pharmaceuticals.

When doing seminars at clients, I ask people what they enjoy most about working in a Japanese organization, and what they find most challenging. I’ve compiled a summary of the top themes that come up.

Positives

First let’s take a look at the things that non-Japanese mention most frequently as being what they like most about working in a Japanese organization. Of course, these don’t necessarily apply to every specific company and workplace.

It’s good to keep in mind that there can always be too much of a good thing, and that for every one of these strengths there can be a downside if it’s taken too far. One thing’s for sure, it’s important to keep these positives in mind if just for your own sanity — dwelling on the negatives can easily lead to unhappiness.

Politeness: Care in interactions with others is one of the hallmarks of Japanese culture, and this translates in the workplace as people making an effort to be pleasant and nonconfrontational. It’s easy to take for granted once you get used to it, but it can be a noticeable contrast to the more rough-and-tumble atmosphere of some non-Japanese companies.

Teamwork: Japanese are very good at working in teams to get things done and, naturally, prefer to collaborate with others. This means that colleagues can be very supportive, and also creates a natural sense of belonging.

Social contacts: Teamwork extends outside of the company with a lot of socializing with colleagues, most often over drinks after work. For those that enjoy it, this can lead to very strong relationships in the office.

Consensus in decision-making: True to their team nature, Japanese companies prefer to make decisions based on the consensus of everyone in the group. With the exception of some Japanese companies that are very top down, most firms strive to make sure that everyone (or at least their representatives) is on board with any decisions. Many non-Japanese employees appreciate this consensus-based approach.

Planning, process and details: Japanese companies spend an enormous amount of energy on planning, with detailed information gathering and analysis. They also put a lot of emphasis on the process, including attention to small details. This leads to high levels of quality and a disciplined, organized approach. Many non-Japanese say they learn a lot from this thorough and methodical way of working.

Ability to execute: As a result of the careful planning and attention to detail, Japanese companies are very good at following through with a plan. Once a Japanese company has decided to do something, it makes sure to get it done.

Lack of pigeonholing: Job definitions in Japan tend to be vague, which can give you an opportunity to get involved in areas beyond what you were originally hired for. There is often also scope to take initiative and suggest improvements or new activities, even if you are in an entry-level position.

Increased responsibility: Being one of a small number of non-Japanese employees can give you the opportunity to get involved in activities and take on more responsibility than might be possible when working in your home country. It also gives you more visibility and potential exposure to senior-level workers. There is a lot of potential to leverage your unique skills and viewpoint, including your native language.

Opportunity for learning: There is nothing like being inside a Japanese company for deepening your knowledge of Japanese business, not to mention your language skills.

Challenges

Alright, waiting for the other shoe to drop? Here it goes. The Japanese office is far from being a utopia and the following criticisms are also pet peeves for many Japanese. Take a deep breath and commiserate, here are the challenges of working for a Japanese company.

The language barrier: Even if you speak Japanese well, doing all your work in Japanese can be a strain. And if you don’t speak Japanese, you’ll find that there is always information that is not easily accessible. Your Japanese colleagues will likely also be struggling with a language barrier, which can sometimes lead to them thinking it’s not worth the effort to try and communicate.

Indirect communication style: People often tell me that the reluctance of their Japanese colleagues to say “no” clearly is a source of frustration. Until you get used to this style of communication, it may be difficult in pick up on the subtle negative signals that Japanese send instead of coming out and speaking directly. This is especially true if you’re from a culture that prefers to “tell it like it is.” The reluctance to confront people with negative information can also turn into passive-aggressive behavior.

A need to read between the lines: Not only do Japanese tend to be indirect, their communication style also tends to be vague. Instructions or feedback may be conveyed very nonspecifically, leaving non-Japanese to wonder what the real meaning is. Or, in some cases, nothing may be said at all, with the expectation being that you’ll somehow figure it out.

Lack of positive feedback: One of the things that tends to get left unsaid in Japanese culture is positive feedback. It’s rare for Japanese managers to praise verbally, and instead they tend to have a laser focus on what needs to be improved. This can feel disconcerting if you’re used to positive reinforcement.

Takes a long time to get anything done: The carefulness, planning and consensus-oriented decision-making discussed earlier has the effect of creating long drawn-out processes when making a decision. The large number of layers in the hierarchy and the myriad bureaucratic rules typical of Japanese firms can add to the time needed to finalize anything.

Slow to change: A corollary of the slowness to make decisions is a tendency to stick to the status quo and avoid change. This stems from the risk-averse nature of Japanese culture and incentive structures that harshly punish failure. As a result, middle managers in particular tend to be very reluctant to try anything new, lest it fail and doom their careers. As a result of the difficulty making changes in a Japanese organization, many employees — both Japanese and non-Japanese — can lose hope and become embittered.

Detail orientation: The Japanese pursuit of perfection means that tremendous energy may be devoted to relatively minor aspects of the work. This can be time-consuming and lead to extra work, not to mention the danger of losing sight of the forest for the trees.

Unclear career path: Japanese companies tend to not define clear career paths for their Japanese employees and, in the case of non-Japanese, the potential future paths are usually even less well mapped out. While there can be a great upside potential, there is also the danger of being stuck in a dead-end position.

Long working hours: This is one of the most notorious aspects of Japanese workplaces. The amount of overtime expected can vary significantly by company — anywhere from none to “a punishing amount.” Realizing this is a problem for all employees, many Japanese firms are attempting to restrict overtime as part of recent “workstyle reform” efforts.

We’re all in the same boat

Of course, issues with Japanese firms and how they manage employees is not only a concern of non-Japanese workers — many of the above challenges are things that frustrate Japanese employees as well.

Interestingly, some recent surveys of non-Japanese working in Japan have turned up similar themes. A survey conducted by job placement firm Adecco showed 77 percent of those surveyed being satisfied with their jobs, with the content of the work and the relationships with co-workers being the top reasons for their satisfaction. The negatives included indirect communication among the top responses, as well as concerns about lack of equality for women in the workplace and perceived discrimination against non-Japanese in general.

In a similar survey conducted by GPlusMedia in 2017, respondents mentioned the opportunity to live in Japan, the cultural experience and good benefits as the best part of working in Japan, and poor work-life balance, lack of flexibility and inequality as their top concerns. For those thinking of leaving their position at a Japanese firm, lack of career progression and compensation issues were the top reasons given.

Again, these are all generalizations, every situation is different. Depending on the specific corporate culture of the firm that you work for and your own personality and tastes, some of the things discussed here may be more or less applicable, and more or less appealing or annoying to you personally.

 

SOURCE: JAPAN TIMES
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JLPT

The JLPT has five levels: N1, N2, N3, N4 and N5. The easiest level is N5 and the most difficult level is N1.

N1 difficult ←→ easy N5

N4 and N5 measure the level of understanding of basic Japanese mainly learned in class. N1and N2 measure the level of understanding of Japanese used in a broad range of scenes in actual everyday life. N3 is a bridging level between N1/N2 and N4/N5.

Linguistic competence required for the JLPT is expressed in terms of language activities, such as Reading and Listening, as shown in the table below. While not noted in the table, Language Knowledge, such as Vocabulary and Grammar, is also required for successful execution of these activities.

Level
A summary of linguistic competence required for each level
N1

The ability to understand Japanese used in a variety of circumstances.

Reading
  • ・One is able to read writings with logical complexity and/or abstract writings on a variety of topics, such as newspaper editorials and critiques, and comprehend both their structures and contents.
  • ・One is also able to read written materials with profound contents on various topics and follow their narratives as well as understand the intent of the writers comprehensively.
Listening
  • ・One is able to comprehend orally presented materials such as coherent conversations, news reports, and lectures, spoken at natural speed in a broad variety of settings, and is able to follow their ideas and comprehend their contents comprehensively. One is also able to understand the details of the presented materials such as the relationships among the people involved, the logical structures, and the essential points.
N2

The ability to understand Japanese used in everyday situations, and in a variety of circumstances to a certain degree.

Reading
  • ・One is able to read materials written clearly on a variety of topics, such as articles and commentaries in newspapers and magazines as well as simple critiques, and comprehend their contents.
  • ・One is also able to read written materials on general topics and follow their narratives as well as understand the intent of the writers.
Listening
  • ・One is able to comprehend orally presented materials such as coherent conversations and news reports, spoken at nearly natural speed in everyday situations as well as in a variety of settings, and is able to follow their ideas and comprehend their contents. One is also able to understand the relationships among the people involved and the essential points of the presented materials.
N3

The ability to understand Japanese used in everyday situations to a certain degree.

Reading
  • ・One is able to read and understand written materials with specific contents concerning everyday topics.
  • ・One is also able to grasp summary information such as newspaper headlines.
  • ・In addition, one is also able to read slightly difficult writings encountered in everyday situations and understand the main points of the content if some alternative phrases are available to aid one’s understanding.
Listening
  • ・One is able to listen and comprehend coherent conversations in everyday situations, spoken at near-natural speed, and is generally able to follow their contents as well as grasp the relationships among the people involved.
N4

The ability to understand basic Japanese.

Reading
  • ・One is able to read and understand passages on familiar daily topics written in basic vocabulary and kanji.
Listening
  • ・One is able to listen and comprehend conversations encountered in daily life and generally follow their contents, provided that they are spoken slowly.
N5

The ability to understand some basic Japanese.

Reading
  • ・One is able to read and understand typical expressions and sentences written in hiragana, katakana, and basic kanji.
Listening
  • ・One is able to listen and comprehend conversations about topics regularly encountered in daily life and classroom situations, and is able to pick up necessary information from short conversations spoken slowly.
SOURCE: JAPANESE LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY TESTE
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Japanese Wages

Minimum Wage

Minimum Wage

OKINAWA  standard score: 40.65
Minimum wage is the wage set forth under the Minimum Wages Act and there are minimum wages set forth according to area and according to industry. Here, the minimum wages according to area have been compared.

The highest minimum wage is in Tokyo, with \791. Tokyo is followed by other urban areas such as Kanagawa (\789), Osaka (\762) and Saitama (\735). The lowest is in Okinawa, Miyazaki and Saga with \692. Prefectures in Kyushu and the Tohoku area are ranked low.

The correlative ranking shows that it is highly correlated with rankings in which urban areas are ranked high, such as Broadband Contracts, Prefectural Income and average residential land prices, indicating that minimum wages are higher in urban areas.

MINIMUM WAGE

Rank Prefectures Minimum Wage Standard
Score
1 Tokyo 985円 79.84
2 Kanagawa 983円 79.49
3 Osaka 936円 71.23
4 Aichi 898円 64.55
4 Saitama 898円 64.55
6 Chiba 895円 64.02
7 Kyoto 882円 61.74
8 Hyogo 871円 59.81
9 Shizuoka 858円 57.52
10 Mie 846円 55.41
11 Hiroshima 844円 55.06
12 Shiga 839円 54.18
13 Hokkaido 835円 53.48
14 Tochigi 826円 51.90
15 Gifu 825円 51.72
16 Ibaraki 822円 51.19
17 Toyama 821円 51.02
17 Nagano 821円 51.02
19 Fukuoka 814円 49.79
20 Nara 811円 49.26
21 Yamanashi 810円 49.08
22 Gunma 809円 48.91
23 Okayama 807円 48.56
24 Ishikawa 806円 48.38
25 Fukui 803円 47.85
25 Wakayama 803円 47.85
25 Niigata 803円 47.85
28 Yamaguchi 802円 47.68
29 Miyagi 798円 46.97
30 Kagawa 792円 45.92
31 Fukushima 772円 42.41
32 Tokushima 766円 41.35
33 Ehime 764円 41.00
33 Shimane 764円 41.00
35 Yamagata 763円 40.82
36 Oita 762円 40.65
36 Nagasaki 762円 40.65
36 Okinawa 762円 40.65
36 Kumamoto 762円 40.65
36 Miyazaki 762円 40.65
36 Tottori 762円 40.65
36 Saga 762円 40.65
36 Kochi 762円 40.65
36 Iwate 762円 40.65
36 Akita 762円 40.65
36 Aomori 762円 40.65
47 Kagoshima 761円 40.47
Japan 815円
SOURCE: STATISTICS JAPAN
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Cost of living

Average Living Expenses

Japan certainly has the image of being an expensive country, but even in Tokyo, you can live quite comfortably with an entry-level salary. In the table, you can see average living expenses and a budget version. Below we will explain each point and show how you can save more money.

This article is based on the annual statistics of living expenses for single households across Japan. Since living costs in the countryside and in the cities can vary greatly, slight alterations have been made to better reflect the situation of young people living alone in Tokyo.

Item Average Cost (in JPY) Budget Cost (in JPY)
Rent 70,000 45,000
Utilities 10,000 8,000
Phone & Internet 10,000 5,000
Food 40,000 20,000
Transportation 5,000 5,000
Health & Daily Necessities 3,000 2,000
Clothing & Personal Care 10,000 5,000
Going out 10,000 5,000
Entertainment 5,000 2,000
Total 163,000 97,000

1. Rent

Rent in Tokyo is higher than in most other regions of Japan. With 70,000 Yen you can get a nice apartment. For someone earning a typical salary of 250,000 Yen per month, this is just within the 1/3 of the net income that is recommended to be spent on living.

Cut cost: If you are willing to make compromises in regards to size, distance to city center, facilities, or consider shared living you can reduce your costs down to around 45,000 Yen per month.

READ ON  How to cut down rent costs in Tokyo

2. Utilities

Your bills for electricity, gas, and water, should be around 10,000 Yen per month. Though it is pay-as-you-use, fixed monthly often make up the larger chunk of your utility bill.

Cut cost: There isn’t much room to lower the cost here. Not turning on the AC when it is freezing or boiling outside, I also cannot recommend. Still, with mindful use of electricity and water you can keep scrape of around 20% bit of your monthly bills.

3. Phone&Internet

Phone and Internet contracts in Japan can easily cost 5,000 per month each. How much you pay exactly can vary vastly depending on the provider and services you choose.

Cut cost: To save money here, looking for cheap providers, cutting the phone flat-rate you don’t need, or getting portable wi-fi you can use at home and on the go, are ways to cut down your communication cost by half.

READ ON  Save with the right internet option for you

4. Food

In 2017 the average amount spend on food was 40,000 Yen per month. For this much money, you can get most of your food from restaurants and convenience stores. If you only eat out a few times a week 30,000 Yen a month or 1,000 Yen per day are a realistic budget.

Cut cost: The key to cutting down on food cost is cooking by yourself. In addition, comparing prices, shopping at cheaper supermarkets, and buying in bulk one can considerably reduce your expenses for groceries. This way you can reduce the money you spend on food to 20,000 a month. The rest is up to you, your culinary and management skills.

5. Transportation

Transportation costs really change by where you live but, in the city, it really boils down to your train fare. The cost for a monthly commuter pass is often somewhere between 5,000-10,000 Yen per month. Any additional costs depend on much you travel around in your free time.

Cut cost: The good news is that your employer will most likely pay for your commuter pass, cutting your transportation expenses down to almost nothing. Getting commuter passes for 3 or 6 months is another option to save a little money every month.

6. Health&Daily Necessities

We often forget to have a monthly budget to buy daily items like toothpaste, detergent, and tissues or put money on the side for an occasional doctors visit. It is not a lot but planning 3,000 Yen a month will help you to account for these small expenses over the year.

Cut cost: Going to the doctor early on if you are not feeling well is a good preventive measure. It may cost money at that moment, but the earlier you go the cheaper the costs for necessary treatments are likely to be. Otherwise, avoiding wastefulness when using daily items will lower these costs in the long run.

7. Clothing&Personal Care

When it comes to clothing and personal care items, like hairdresser visits, a big gap in spending can be noticed. While men spend an average of 5,000 Yen per month, women spend a whopping 20,000 Yen on average on their style and beauty regimen. Expenses in this category are also higher for people who have business style dress codes at work. Those snazzy suits don’t come cheap.

Cut cost: Regardless of how you identify you can easily cut your expenses by half in this category. It might take some searching, but you can find budget-friendly hair salons just as easy as you can get good quality outfits at affordable prices. A simple hair cut for men can cost as little as 1,000 Yen, and even women can make do with 5,000 Yen as long as they don’t want to get their nails done every month.

8. Going out

This one also depends highly on your preference. In Japan, it’s the men who spend more in this category with an average of 15,000 Yen a month. Women only use around 5,000 Yen, kind of balancing out the spending patterns in the previous section.

Cut cost: This one comes down to one simple truth: go out less. Limit yourself to one or two times a month and 5,000 Yen will be enough for you.

9. Entertainment

Books, music, games, movies, or maybe your Netflix subscription. The Japanese spend an average of 5,000 Yen per month, with men on average using more money for these things.

Cut cost: You can easily reduce this to around 2,000 Yen per month if you buy less (your room will thank you) or buy what you can second-hand. Japanese people often resell rather than to throw away, so even relatively new games and more can be found in Japan’s active second-hand network in shops and online

10. Other expenses

With the amount above, you can live in Tokyo. But the truth is you probably have other expenses not listed here as well. Whether you like to go out a lot, work out at a gym, get a bike, enjoy hiking, have that one item you need to have, pursue a hobby, attend to concerts, or study something, depending on your interest additional regular or irregular expenses are likely to be among your bills.

This one is really up to you. Planning an extra 10,000-20,000 Yen for pastime activities in your monthly budget will allow you to not to miss out on these things that matter to you.

How about savings?

Living costs are nice, but how much will that leave you with as savings? To get an idea, let’s find out how much of your gross income actually makes it into your bank account?

A typical income for young employees is 250,000 Yen per month. In this example, taxes should be close to 50,000 Yen per month and your net income would be 200,000 Yen per month. Get an estimate.

With a net income 200,000 Yen per month and average spending habits, you would be able to save 20,000-40,000 Yen per month. Someone who lives according to the budget plan suggested above can keep his living expenses at around 100,000 Yen per months, thereby save almost half of his salary. Try separating your savings into long-term savings for the, and short-term savings for your next trip home, a new computer, or other big expenses to get a better sense of if your saving goals are on track.

Living expenses of real people

Averages have to be taken with a grain of salt. In all likelihood, your expenses will be different from the ones above. So we asked two young foreigners living and saving money in Tokyo about their monthly expenses. Both of them moved to Japan for work and this is what they are spending.

Looking at these examples the secret to saving money in Japan lies in controlling fixed monthly costs and making conscious choices on where to spend one’s money.

Item Occasional Saver (in JPY) Extreme Saver (in JPY)
Rent 45,000 15,000
Utilities 10,000 8,000
Phone & Internet 5,000 4,000
Food 40,000 20,000
Transportation 5,000 3,000
Health & Daily Necessities 4,000 2,000
Clothing & Personal Care 5,000 2,000
Going out 8,000 5,000
Entertainment 2,000 3,000
Total 124,000 62,000

The occasional saver takes care to minimize her fixed monthly costs by finding a budget-friendly place to live. Otherwise, she is spending money freely to enjoy life in Japan, which includes eating out from time to time.

Our extreme saver is living in company housing, which allows him to cut down rent costs significantly. He cooks every meal by himself and told us that sometimes his monthly expenses for food are only 8,000 Yen, reducing total living expenses to less than 50,000 Yen. Currently though, he is spending a little extra every month to go to the gym.

How do your own spending patterns compare to the examples above? Go ahead and set your own spending and saving goals for your life in Japan!

Font: KIMI.WIKI
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7 Things you didn’t know about fish in Japan

7 Things you didn’t know about fish in Japan

  1. Tataki—a unique method of preparing fish

  Methods of preparing fish such as sashimi, frying, steaming and simmering are well known, but have you ever heard of tataki? There are actually two methods with this name. One is to chop raw horse mackerel or tuna into one-centimeter cubes, garnish them with seasonings such as herbs and miso paste, and mix it all together while cutting the fish into even smaller bits with a knife—or minching with two knives together. When dressed with miso, this dish is called namero, and is a traditional meal consumed by fisher folk in Chiba Prefecture, who take a few moments out of their busy day to eat while out on their boats. The other method is to cut a large fish such as bonito into blocks, skewer the blocks and very briefly sear the surface of the meat, then season it with herbs and eat

  1. Approximately seven hundred kanji use the character for fish as a left-side radical

   In the kanji used for fish names, the character for “fish” is used as a radical placed on the left. In Chinese-Japanese character dictionaries, there are actually 678 kanji that use the “fish” radical. Adding “fish” to katai (hard) forms the character for “bonito” (because bonito become very hard when dried). Adding it to yuki (snow) creates the character for “cod” (because cod come into season in the winter). You’ll often find teacups covered in columns of kanji characters that include the “fish” radical at sushi restaurants.

  1. There is no single style of making sushi

   There are many ways to make sushi associated with various regions in Japan. The style of placing sashimi on bite-sized, oblong balls of vinegared rice, the most familiar style overseas, is called Edomae sushi and was developed mainly in Tokyo. In the Kansai region, the general style was oshizushi (pressed sushi), where you place a piece of fish seasoned in vinegar, such as mackerel, on top of vinegared rice, then press it with a wooden mold. Other styles include sasazushi, which involves placing a fish such as salmon on vinegared rice and then wrapping it in bamboo grass, which has antibacterial properties, allowing it to be preserved for two or three days.

  1. Japanese people eat poisonous fish

   Fugu (blowfish) is a lethally dangerous fish. From ancient times the Japanese people have eaten it, but because it is difficult to completely remove the poisons in its organs, many diners ended up dying. During the sixteenth century, in fact, eating blowfish was banned, but among the citizenry it remained a part of food culture. In 1888, Hirobumi Ito, the first prime minister of Japan, dined on blowfish during a visit to the Shunpanro Inn in Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. He was so awestruck by its delicious flavor that it led to the lifting of the ban. Only licensed chefs with specialized knowledge and skills are allowed to prepare this fish.

  1. .Eating fish for good luck during the New Year’s holidays

   During the New Year’s holiday period, Japanese people typically eat a special type of food called osechi. Among the dishes served are herring roe, shrimp, konbu (kelp) and other seafood known to bring good luck. The large number of seasoned herring eggs making up herring roe is said to be a symbol of prosperity for one’s descendants. Shrimp are said to symbolize the hope of living old enough to have a back just as bent and whiskers just as long as those of a shrimp. Konbu sounds phonetically like kobu from the word yorokobu, which means to be happy. All of these items are packed with meanings expressing good luck or hope for progress, and are staples of New Year’s menus

  1. Fish in Japan change their names as they get older

   Until the Edo Period, the custom in Japan was for a samurai or scholar to change his name in accordance with the level of social progress or success he attained. In much the same way, some fish are known by different names at each stage in their development as they grow from a fry to an adult. Buri (yellowtail) begin life as wakashi, later become inada, then warasa, and finally buri. Suzuki (perch) begin life as seigo, become fukko, then suzuki, and finally are called otaro. Because they change their names as they grow older, eating these fish is thought to bolster hopes of advancement, so they are favored as dishes at celebratory occasions.

7.The ultimate delicacies for the fish-loving Japanese

   The three famous delicacies of Japan are said to be shio-uni (salted sea urchin, using the gonads as a main ingredient), karasumi (bora [striped mullet] ovaries pickled in salt), and konowata (salted sea cucumber intestines). Other unusual dishes include kuchiko (dried sea cucumber ovaries), shuto (the pickled entrails of such fish as tuna, salmon, sea bream and Pacific saury), and uruka (the salted intestines, ovaries and testicles of the ayu [sweetfish]).]

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Hiring Foreigners – Sector Building Cleaning

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Hiring specified skilled foreigners in the field of building cleaning-conditions, work content, examination


The building cleaning field, which cleans the inside of a building, is one of the industrial fields for which the status of residence for specific skills has been granted.

In the building cleaning industry, labor shortages are pointed out every year, and it is expected that the acceptance of foreigners will improve the hiring situation of companies.

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Trong lĩnh vực chăm sóc điều dưỡng – Tokutei Guinou Visa – Japan


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Trong lĩnh vực chăm sóc điều dưỡng, các điều kiện cần thiết cho người nước ngoài để có được thị thực kỹ năng cụ thể


Đối với lĩnh vực chăm sóc, chỉ có kỹ năng cụ thể 1 được chấp nhận. Không có ứng dụng cho 2.
Do đó, 5 là giới hạn trên đối với người nước ngoài có tình trạng cư trú đối với các kỹ năng cụ thể để làm việc.

Trong lĩnh vực chăm sóc điều dưỡng, cũng như các ngành công nghiệp khác, các điểm 3 sau đây là các điều kiện ứng dụng cơ bản.

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Hiring Foreigners – Sector Hotel Business

Specific skills] How do you hire foreigners in the hotel business? Comment on visa requirements and exam content

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By taking advantage of the newly created status of residence “specific skills”, the employment opportunities for foreigners in the hotel and hotel accommodation business have been expanded.
If you pass the exam, you will be able to work for up to 5 years regardless of your academic background or work history, and it is thought that a specific skill visa will have a major impact on the lack of labor in the accommodation industry.

Here, we will explain the points for hiring foreigners with specific skills in the accommodation business and the contents of the Japanese language and skills evaluation exams that foreigners will take.

Background to accepting foreigners with specific skills in lodging business is the increase of foreigners visiting Japan and labor shortages

First, let’s look at the current state of the accommodation industry.

The background to the expansion of foreigners’ acceptance is the demand for accommodation due to the increase in foreigners visiting Japan, and the labor shortage due to the decline in the working population.

The government has set a goal to achieve 2020 visits to foreigners in 4000.

As a matter of fact, the number of foreign tourists visiting Japan has been rising year by year as the tourism demand for the Olympics has risen.

In contrast, according to the government’s estimate, there are already 3 labor shortages in the industry.

This is a situation that is still insufficient even in light of work efficiency, productivity improvement by computerization, and employment promotion efforts of women and elderly people.

In light of the increase in the number of travelers in the future,10Inadequate laborIs expected to occur.

In response to the current situation of the labor shortage, the government has received a certain skill foreigner of 5 from the accommodation industry in the future.210,000 X NUM XPeopleIt was decided.

This number is the 14 largest number in the 7 industry sector that accepts certain skills foreigners.

Acceptance is carried out under the jurisdiction of the Tourism Authority of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

What is the scope of services allowed when hiring foreigners in hotel and hotel lodging businesses?

In the application for status of residence, the contents of work for foreigners areImportant point to decide permission / disapproval.

If you do not fall within the defined business scope, your application may be disapproved, so please check in advance.

Below, we will introduce the scope of the business accepted in the hotel business.

Recognized duties are front, plan, public information, customer service, restaurant service

The business of the accommodation business recognized by the status of residence of specific skills is the following business related to the provision of accommodation services.

  • front
  • Planning and PR
  • Customer service
  • Restaurant service etc.

In addition, sale of souvenirs in hall, check and exchange of hall equipment, etc.Do related work togetherNo problem. However, please be aware that it is not permitted to perform only related tasks.

The benefits that a specific skill visa brings to the accommodation business are:The number of foreigners who can obtain work visas has expandedThat’s the point.

Let’s compare the range of the status of residence that you can work with so far and the specific skills in the table.

【Previous Status of Residence and Scope of Specific Skills Visa】

Type of status of residence (Visa) front Planning and PR Customer service Restaurant service Remarks
Specific skills Educational background and work history
business Administration × × × × Only managerial positions etc. involved in management are possible
Technology · Humanities · International work × × × Relevant educational or professional background is required.
skill × × × (I.e. Foreign food cooks can apply. Senior career.

Up to now, it is possible to obtain a work visa in the accommodation industry, such as planning, public relations and accounting professionals who have acquired relevant educational background.

Or limited to some, such as foreign cooks with skilled skills.

For specific skill visas,Employment of foreigners is possible with the position of field staff.

This will enable foreigners to respond to foreign visitors, such as having a front desk staff capable of multilingual support.

Accommodation that does not permit specific skill visas | Working in backpackers and love hotels

Even in the same hotel business, the type of inn business “Simple post office sales“”Room salesThose that correspond to “can not hire specific skill foreigners.[1] P3 http://www.mlit.go.jp/common/001284808.pdf

In addition, we can not work in facilities such as love hotel which falls under the Sex Sales Act.

As for confirmation of such business form, establishments that employ foreignersPermit of hotel and hotel salesIt is determined by whether you are getting

[Business conditions to which the status of residence of specific skills can not be applied][2] https://www.mhlw.go.jp/bunya/kenkou/seikatsu-eisei04/03.html

  • Simple post office operation: A structure where many people share the accommodation, and an operation where facilities are provided (eg bed house, mountain hut, ski hut, youth hostel, capsule hotel)
  • Room sales: Sales to stay for a period of 1 months or more
  • When it corresponds to the “facility” specified in the Article 2 Article 6 Item 4 of the Sex Industry Act (Example: Love Hotel)

In addition, as defined in Article 2 Article 3 of the Sex Sales ActReceptionCan not be performed by certain skilled foreigners.[3] P6 http://www.mlit.go.jp/common/001284808.pdf

Requirements for Foreign Workers to Obtain Status of Residence for Specific Skills in the Accommodation Industry

Acceptance in the accommodation business is only the specific skill 1.

You do not need to have a specific academic background or career, just like any other status of residence you can work with.

The following 3 points are required of foreigners at the time of application:

  • Being older than 18
  • Pass the prescribed Japanese language proficiency test
  • Passing the prescribed skill evaluation test

In addition, although the specific skills 1 can be transferred on the exam exemption for the completion of skills internship 2, there is no acceptance of technical intern in the accommodation industry at the present time of 2019.

In addition, foreigners who are staying in specific activities (internships) must be careful because they can not take the skills evaluation test described below.

Contents of Japanese Exams and Technical Tests for Specific Skills 1 Required for Accommodation Business

We will explain the details of the Japanese exam and the proficiency test that you have to pass when applying for a specific skills visa for foreigners in the lodging business.

Accepted Japanese Examination and Required Level

Japanese language ability is judged by the following 2 exams.

  • 【Overseas】 The Japan Foundation Japanese Language Foundation Test
  • 【Domestic / Foreign】 Japanese Proficiency Test (NX NUMX or higher)

With accommodation business skill measurement examination

For foreigners who wish to work in the Japanese accommodation industry, this exam is a test that measures whether they have the necessary knowledge for business from both writing and practical skills.

General incorporated corporation accommodation skill examination centerHosted by

Subjects Your Comments Questions range
Department of test Mark sheet type for 60 Knowledge and skills pertaining to front desks for accommodation, planning and public relations, customer service, and restaurant services
Practical exam Judgment test by speaking about 5 minutes

We have established a minimum line for each subject, with X NUM X% or higher as the pass criteria.

[4]https://www.kankokeizai.com/外国人材特定技能、宿泊業のは初試験は4月国内7ヵ

Foreigners who pass the JLPT / Accommodation Skills Measurement Test and have an employment contract with a business operator can apply for a status of residence for specific skills.

Conducting body, date, and place of Japanese language examination and technical examination of accommodation work

Test name Implementer method Number of times 场所
Japanese language proficiency test [Domestic] Independent administrative institution Japan Foundation mark sheet Conducted 2 times a year Each prefecture
【International】 Japan International Education Support Association 1 times to 2 times Confirm with the local implementation organization
The Japan Foundation Japanese Language Foundation Test Independent administrative agency Japan Foundation CBT method About 6 times, only overseas Confirm with the local implementation organization
Accommodation skill measurement test General corporate judicial person accommodation business skill examination center Writing, practical skills [Domestic] Year XNUM times[Outside of country] in preparation In Japan, it will be implemented in Tokyo, Osaka and other areas

<Reference:General corporate judicial person accommodation business skill examination center>

5 points to hire foreigners with specific skills in hotels and ryokans

In fact, there are points that companies and organizations that are accepting organizations should be aware of when foreigners are hired with specific skills status at a hotel or inn.

  1. Employers join the council
  2. Direct employment only
  3. Employment contract is only permitted for full time staff
  4. The number of years of employment is up to 5 years
  5. Have an obligation to implement an appropriate support plan

I will explain in detail below.

Requirements for the business owner (host organization) of the hotel business

In addition to the requirements of the regular host institution, accommodation companies and organizations that accept specific skilled foreigners need to meet the following:

Accommodation industry

  • Running inn business with permission of inn / hotel business
  • Joining a conference established by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
  • Provide the necessary cooperation to the council

Businesses that accept foreigners with specific skills for the first time need to join the council within 4 months after entry of the foreigners.

Please contact the following about the meeting.

Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Tourism Industry Division Tourism Human Resources Policy Office

Phone 03-5253-8367

Recruitment of accommodation business is possible only direct employment, dispatch is not permitted

In the lodging industry, the employment of foreigners with specific skills is with hotels and ryokans.Direct contract onlyIt is recognized.

In the case of acceptance by dispatch, you can not use the status of residence of certain skills.

Employment contract full-time: be aware of peak season fluctuations

Employment contracts with foreigners who apply for status of residence for specific skills have some points that companies must comply with.

  • Specified working time is full time
  • That salary level is equal to or higher than Japanese engaged in the same duties
  • Do not unfairly discriminate on social insurance and workers’ accidents because they are foreigners
  • To be able to get paid when returning home temporarily

Above all, employment contractCertain skills visas can not be granted without full timePlease note in particular.

As specified working hours, at least 5 days a week 30 hours or more are required.

You can not hire certain skilled foreigners during working hours such as part-time jobs.

Employment of certain skills 1 foreigners must not exceed 5 years

The period of stay for certain skills 1 foreigners is limited.

It is possible to hire foreigners who use the specific skills of accommodationUp to 5 years in total.

After employment for 5, the foreigner must either return to his home country or obtain an appropriate status of residence other than specific skills.

In the case of hiring a large number of foreigners, follow the upper limit of 5 of your stay to plan your recruitment.

With the support plan that the host organization should carry out

When hiring specific skills 1 foreigners, the host organization needs to create and implement an appropriate support plan.

The required assistance plans include pre-entry guidance, airport transfers, support for securing a residence, and the provision of information necessary for work and life.

These support plans areEmploying company is obligedIt must be done.

We can use in such a situation! Case example of utilizing the status of residence of specific skills in the lodging industry

Lastly, we will introduce the case that is expected in the hotel business, under which circumstances it is possible to utilize the status of residence for specific skills.

I would like to employ a multilingual staff at the hotel

With the start of the Olympic Games in 2020, the demand for multilingual support is increasing at tourist destinations.

Not only English, but also the ability to support languages ​​in countries with many foreigners visiting Japan, such as Spanish, Chinese, and Korean, is a great advantage for accommodation.

At a hotel or inn you want to hire foreigners who are fluent in language for the front desk staff, you can use the status of residence for specific skills.

I would like to invite staff working at overseas hotels of group companies to Japan

Specific skills visas can also be used to bring in foreigners from abroad.

I would like to hire staff working at overseas group hotels of group companies at Japanese hotels for several years. For training, I want to call for a certain period.

Even in this situation, specific skill visas are available.

We want to employ foreigners familiar with a specific country in public relations to attract foreigners visiting Japan

Employment of marketing staff, such as public relations and planning, can also use specific skill visas.

When attracting foreigners from overseas, if there are foreigners who are familiar with the local circumstances, it is possible to plan more attractive package tours and devise advertising methods.

Summary: The use of specific skills for the hotel industry is a chance to resolve labor shortages

The status of residence of specific skills can be used within the scope of work for which a workable visa could not be obtained so far, and it has a great advantage for businesses engaged in the accommodation business.

In order to prepare for the increasing number of foreigners visiting Japan, I would like to employ staff capable of multilingual support.

I would like to employ part-time international students who work in the field as full-time employees.

I would like to hire a staff who is familiar with the locality to attract customers from overseas.

In these cases, specific skills can be leveraged. However, when hiring certain skills foreigners, it is important to remember the obligations required of the company that is the host organization.

Understand the contents of the employment contract and the implementation of the support plan before hiring.

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