Transforming the Workplace
Japanese Companies Recruit Talented International Students (#2 of 6 part series)
An increasing number of Japanese companies are recruiting international exchange students. Seibu Giken, an air conditioning equipment manufacturer in Koga City, is seen as representative of this trend. The company currently employs five members of staff from China and Korea in their development, sales, and accounting divisions. In 2007, the company founded a subsidiary in Jiangsu Province that has been thriving in recent years. They intend to expand their business activities to Southeast Asia, and plan to recruit more international exchange students originally from that the area in the near future.
The number of international workers in management responsibilities also appears to be rising. A Myanmar native who is a general manager at a company in Oita Prefecture called Ohkawa Mould Designs & Engineering, hinted that an applicant’s ability is the deciding factor for getting hired, stating that companies primarily recognize results. The company, which has six international employees out of a workforce of 47, has actively been recruiting international students from universities in the prefecture for the last 20 years, with the president stressing that nationality is not a factor where business is concerned.
There are still some employers who are apprehensive about recruiting international students, as there is a concern that they will not remain at the company long term. However, this is by no means a view held by all businesses. The president of Honda Kiko, a manufacturing company that specializes in making industrial pumps, has highlighted that one of the positive aspects of hiring highly skilled international workers is their desire to serve as a bridge between their home country and Japan. The company, which seeks employees who have an entrepreneurial spirit, has already hired 15 international members of staff, and looks to offer support to people who pursue their own start-ups after returning to their home countries. They have served as an agent for three businesses that were started by individuals who headed home after living in Japan, and in the process have become an important partner for overseas enterprises. Honda Kiko’s president has noted that Kyushu-based international student’s home nations are potential future markets, and as such it is necessary to consider how they can be tapped into.
New Era of Immigration in Kyushu
The number of workers from abroad, including international students and technical interns in Japan, exceeded one million for the first time last year. This group of people form an indispensable component of the workforce, irrespective of the government’s position on immigration. Read more installments from this series here.