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Jobs in Japan for the "Gaijin"?

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Jobs in Japan for the "Gaijin"?

Postby Nuro » Fri 03.16.2007 11:28 pm

I've been wanting to ask about this for a while.

I basically just want to know if I'll be able to get a job in Japan as a "gaijin" who knows Japanese. I guess I'm talking about non-JET stuff because anyone with a bachelor's degree can do that.

I'm studying the language from scratch at a University level and I'm loving it, so regardless of the responses I'm going to continue doing my best with it but I do wonder about what could be called racism towards foreigners... I understand this is a touchy topic for some people and I promise I am not trying to offend anyone with that comment.

I've always been interested in Japanese culture but the more I read about it the more I realise that people either seem to totally love the country, or they want to get the hell out as fast as possible.

It seems so strange to me that people could have experiences that contrast so harshly against each other like this.

Does anyone with experience here know? Am I going to be hated for being a foreigner or am I going to be welcomed... or will it be the same as here in Australia where nobody cares? :p
Last edited by Nuro on Fri 03.16.2007 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Jobs in Japan for the "Gaijin"?

Postby Kagemaru » Sat 03.17.2007 12:07 am

Please help.

Will I be married with with kids?


Nuro wrote:
I've been wanting to ask about this for a while.

I basically just want to know if I'll be able to get a job in Japan as a "gaijin" who knows Japanese.


My crystal ball says V-A-G-U-E

What are you qualified for?
How long will you stay?
What is your Japanese Level?

How on Earth are we supposed to answer this seriously?

Nuro wrote:I'm studying the language from scratch at a University level and I'm loving it, so regardless of the responses I'm going to continue doing my best with it ....


All the best of luck with it.

Nuro wrote:It seems so strange to me that people could have experiences that contrast so harshly against each other like this.


Horses for courses, right?

Nuro wrote:Does anyone with experience here know? Am I going to be hated for being a foreigner or am I going to be welcomed.


Red carpet at the aiport?
Ticker tape parades for you?
Hoisted on peoples shoulders?
spat on in public?
forced to drink from seperate drinking fountains?

What are you expecting?

Nuro wrote:or will it be the same as here in Australia where nobody cares? :p


They don't?
Where were you during the Cronulla riots?
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RE: Jobs in Japan for the "Gaijin"?

Postby Hatori » Sat 03.17.2007 12:17 am

This is a good question.
As people have done in history and still even now, they would choose the white man over the black man in the US. It just depends who you're dealing with, I would think would be the most likely answer to your question.

But don't listen to me. I'm like... stupid.
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RE: Jobs in Japan for the "Gaijin"?

Postby Nuro » Sat 03.17.2007 12:59 am

I understand it's vague but I'm only asking for generalisations. Post your experiences if you want, if everyone on here who goes to Japan says "everyone is rude and discriminating" then I'll assume the worst, but if everyone says the country is great and they've been having an awesome time then I'll go off that.

I can't exactly be more specific myself. I'm a first year student, so I can't say I'm going to have X qualification and go for Y career yet. All I do know is that I wish to be fluent in the language by the end of my course, beyond just knowing language to "get by" and live on.

And I was in another state during the Cronulla riots. That's Sydney's problem not QLD's... I dislike Sydney.
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RE: Jobs in Japan for the "Gaijin"?

Postby chobo2 » Sat 03.17.2007 3:11 am

I have been wondering that too can a foreigner get a job other than English teacher/translator in Japan. Like if your Japanese is good and have a bachelor degree in whatever field can you get a job?

I know in Canada any foreigner who comes here basically can get a job in there field of course if you come from a 3rd world country and are like a doctor you might be bumped down to a nurse but your in the same occupation and many times it seems like they don't even speak very well English too(but still can get a job no problem in there field).
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RE: Jobs in Japan for the "Gaijin"?

Postby Mike Cash » Sat 03.17.2007 7:02 am

What? No mention of visa obstacles yet? I'm disappointed.
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RE: Jobs in Japan for the "Gaijin"?

Postby aKuMu » Sat 03.17.2007 8:04 am

If you have no qualification other than being able to speak a bit Japanese, you don't have many possibilitys.. There are over 100 million Japanese speaker there.

What would a Japanese who only can speak a bit English (without any other Education) be able to work as in Australia? Work as a cleaner at McDonalds?

What do YOU have to offer?
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RE: Jobs in Japan for the "Gaijin"?

Postby Nuro » Sat 03.17.2007 9:04 am

Well I wasn't talking about going over now, that'd be insane. I mean... It'd be fun for a holiday or something but that's all.

I'd be trying to head there with a Bachelors degree, at the end of my University course. As I mentioned I'm studying there at the moment.

I'm not going to ask about Visa's because I don't have any clue about how that works yet... I'll tackle it in a year or two. O_o

I'm not talking about just going over with enough language to "get by", I mentioned that above, I should be fluent. I created this thread to find out about potential options.

They just have to be general careers people go for. I really want to hear about what people do there outside of teaching English, because that's the only suggestion I ever get.

On that note, the whole teaching English thing is confusing too. I hear stories of low pay, disgusting housing/treatment and whatever else you can think of, but then I also hear it can pay well and be a wonderful fun experience with no problems whatsoever...

Can anyone back up/dismiss these claims?

Again I'm sorry I can't be more specific, but that's the way things are. I'm not asking anyone to find some tailor-made job for me, I just want to know what options are open to people who speak both languages there.

Thanks guys.
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RE: Jobs in Japan for the "Gaijin"?

Postby keatonatron » Sat 03.17.2007 9:11 am

There are other threads like this already in existence. You might try searching, but I'm not sure what search string would provide the best results.

All work-related problems aside, what I've explained about being a foreigner in Japan on a social level is this:

When you first arrive and are new to the whole Japan thing, you will be very popular. You will become friends with lots of people who are interested in foreigners simply because they are foreign. On the other end of the spectrum, after you've been here a long time you can make REAL friends who actually like you for you (I've found the people that make the best friends are the ones that have absolutely no interest in English and don't really ask me about America that much). The only problem is, in between those two highs there is a considerable transition period which can be quite unpleasant.

For me, I felt really popular and special when I first arrived. Then when I started getting good at Japanese, the friends I had that liked me because I DIDN'T speak Japanese started to lose interest, and I started to realize what kind of people they really were. Unfortunately, my Japanese wasn't good enough yet to become friends with the people who had no interest in English, so I was very lonely for a long time. I'm assuming the people who say they can't stand Japan go home at this point.

After working at it for a really long time, I've finally been able to make some real, sincere friends who like me for me, and my experiences here are much better than they were when I first arrived (even though my popularity hasn't seemed to change, for better or worse). I'm assuming the people who say they love Japan are mostly in the first stage, but some are in this last stage too (like me).
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RE: Jobs in Japan for the "Gaijin"?

Postby Nuro » Sat 03.17.2007 9:14 am

keatonatron wrote:
There are other threads like this already in existence. You might try searching, but I'm not sure what search string would provide the best results.

All work-related problems aside, what I've explained about being a foreigner in Japan on a social level is this:

When you first arrive and are new to the whole Japan thing, you will be very popular. You will become friends with lots of people who are interested in foreigners simply because they are foreign. On the other end of the spectrum, after you've been here a long time you can make REAL friends who actually like you for you (I've found the people that make the best friends are the ones that have absolutely no interest in English and don't really ask me about America that much). The only problem is, in between those two highs there is a considerable transition period which can be quite unpleasant.

For me, I felt really popular and special when I first arrived. Then when I started getting good at Japanese, the friends I had that liked me because I DIDN'T speak Japanese started to lose interest, and I started to realize what kind of people they really were. Unfortunately, my Japanese wasn't good enough yet to become friends with the people who had no interest in English, so I was very lonely for a long time. I'm assuming the people who say they can't stand Japan go home at this point.

After working at it for a really long time, I've finally been able to make some real, sincere friends who like me for me, and my experiences here are much better than they were when I first arrived (even though my popularity hasn't seemed to change, for better or worse). I'm assuming the people who say they love Japan are mostly in the first stage, but some are in this last stage too (like me).


Thanks, that's great info. I'll keep on searching for different threads on this topic too, I didn't think it would've been brought up much becuase it's so general.

It kind of sounds like what happened to me and my family when we went to Indonesia. Although we left just as we were getting to know people. >_<
Last edited by Nuro on Sat 03.17.2007 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Jobs in Japan for the "Gaijin"?

Postby Dehitay » Sat 03.17.2007 9:17 am

teaching English is supposed to pay rather well. However, it's the stereotypical job for westerners and a lot of people don't like to fit stereotypes (mainly cause there are a few annoying stereotypes for them). There is a gaijin trucker that haunts these forums, so even our current TJP population doesn't have only English teacher ambassadors.
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RE: Jobs in Japan for the "Gaijin"?

Postby Mike Cash » Sat 03.17.2007 9:21 am

Nuro wrote:

I'm not talking about just going over with enough language to "get by", I mentioned that above, I should be fluent.


Forgive me a smile.


They just have to be general careers people go for. I really want to hear about what people do there outside of teaching English, because that's the only suggestion I ever get.


You're going to rapidly bump into the visa wall.

Japan isn't a country which just allows folks to come in and engage in whatever occupation they wish once they get here. Foreigners are allowed to come in and do work that, in theory at least, specifically call for some talent/skill that the foreign worker possesses and which can not be performed by a Japanese. That still leaves a range of employment opportunities in different fields, but it does mean you will be limited to places that will hire you because you're a foreigner and not even though you're a foreigner. Immigration policy, you see. Further, you can easily see why "English teacher" is the easiest and most common thing to get into. It requires no particular skills or qualifications in most cases, and it very neatly dovetails with the policy, facilitating folks' entry into Japan.

All bets are off if you get married to a Japanese citizen, though. In that case you're allowed to work any job not otherwise prohibited by law and which you can convince someone to hire you for. Me? I'm a truck driver.
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RE: Jobs in Japan for the "Gaijin"?

Postby Nuro » Sat 03.17.2007 9:34 am

So Mike did you marry in Japan? If what you say is true about the foreign employment trends I can't imagine why they would need non-Japanese truck drivers. The only other explanation I can think up is that it's a logistics management/communication thing.

I'm probably wrong though.
Last edited by Nuro on Sat 03.17.2007 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Jobs in Japan for the "Gaijin"?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 03.17.2007 9:58 am

He is married to a Japanese citizen.
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RE: Jobs in Japan for the "Gaijin"?

Postby Kagemaru » Sat 03.17.2007 12:37 pm

Nuro wrote:or will it be the same as here in Australia where nobody cares? :p


Nuro wrote:
And I was in another state during the Cronulla riots. That's Sydney's problem not QLD's... I dislike Sydney.


You're right. Sydney isn't in Australia.
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