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Japan is a country that has undergone massive development processes over the past 50 years; and is now the worlds second industrial power after the United States. The economy has been affected by a slowdown; and there no longer is full employment. Japanese embassies do not issue work permits. When you have obtained a job, your employer will go to the local immigration bureau in Japan to apply for a certificate of eligibility , which is in effect a work permit. Once it has been processed, the original will be sent to the employee, who can then obtain a working visa from any local Japanese embassy or Consulate. The most popular places to apply from are Korea and Taiwan. The work visa has to be collected from the same place, but it is possible to return to Japan while waiting for your papers to be processed.
Britons (and EU in general) and US citizens require no Visa to enter Japan and can stay as tourists for up to six months (UK) or three months (US citizens). It may be possible to extend a tourist Visa by applying to one of the immigration offices at least ten days before its expiry.
> FINDING A JOB
Getting a job in Japan is not an easy task, now that more and more foreigners are based there; but it can be rewarding, especially for those who are willing to stay for some time, and get to know its remarkable culture and most importantly, its language, while also taking advantage of job opportunities ranging from English teaching to technical work.
The cost of living is very high, but prices are stable. The major item of expenditure is rent. A tiny unfurnished flat in a city is likely to cost at least 200 Euros per week. Looking for work can take time, and it is unwise to go to Japan without some funds for you to get by. It may take some time with all these expenditures to begin to save some money.
Looking for work in Japan from abroad can be a difficult process and the Japanese embassy does not offer help. However, it is possible to apply directly to companies and schools.
Work is easier to find once you are there, and much recruiting (and business life in general) is based on personal relations. Employment agencies are springing up, but in general the best method for seeking work is to read the English-language newspaper or contact companies or schools in person or by telephone. In larger cities, Gaijin houses have notice boards with advertisements; and they are often willing for you to use their phone number as a contact.
Teaching English (or even another language) is probably the most reliable full-time work to be found in Japan. There are also highly paid jobs in related subjects, such as linguistics or English literature. There is a great demand for English teachers in universities and colleges, governments departments, big businesses and in language school. Japan has recently been flooded with highly qualified American English teachers; and it is now becoming difficult to find a job without a masters degree certificate or something similar; this will also make it easier to obtain a work permit.
There are over 500 English schools in Tokyo alone and thousands more in the rest of Japan. Some of the bigger ones have representatives abroad to recruit teachers, but the majority do not. If someone is looking for work on the spot, the crucial point to remember is that you will need a sponsor in order to obtain a permit, and this can only be granted if a school can offer a full-time contract. Teaching can be very well paid, with hourly wages ranging from 20 Euros to 60 Euros.
> USEFUL LINKS
JOBS IN JAPAN: www.jobsinjapan.com
JAPANESE JOBS: www.japanesejobs.com
THE DAIWA FOUNDATION: www.dajf.org.uk
> LOCAL PAPERS
THE JAPAN TIMES: www.japantimes.co.jp
THE DAILY YOMIURI: www.yomiuri.co.jp/index-e.htm
MAINICHI DAILY NEWS: www.mainichi.co.jp/english
JAPAN UPDATE: www.japanupdate.com
> FOR MORE INFORMATION
BORGNAN HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE Daisan Taihei Building
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