Japan’s top companies are increasingly moving to give foreign people permanent contracts, judging that the benefits of diversification are well worth the challenges.
Among them is convenience store chain Lawson Inc., which has awarded between 10 and 30 percent of its graduate positions to foreign nationals over the past several years.
Among major manufacturers, such as Fujitsu Ltd. and Hitachi Ltd., around 10 percent of the new graduates scheduled to start work in the business year beginning next April are not Japanese.
Looking beyond Japanese for new hires has until recently been the preserve of small and midsize enterprises struggling with the labor shortage.
But major manufacturers — citing the need to better manage overseas expansion or take better advantage of the tourism boom —now find themselves seeking to diversify their workforces.
I – Word Understanding
Look beyond – to consider more (than or not just)
Preserve – area or territory
II – Have Your Say
1. Does Japan need foreign workers? Please share your opinions why or why not.
2. Employing foreign nationals brings diversity to a homogenous Japan. What are the benefits of diversifying Japan’s labor force?
3. For most of Japanese companies, traditional employment practices are observed up until now. What challenges should foreign workers expect when they come to Japan?
3. How can companies make employment offers attractive to foreign workers?