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Globalizing Business in Japan

Enhancing Measures to Attract Global Talent
- Establishment of Japanese "Green Card" for Highly-skilled Foreign Professionals

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Khumpuang Sommawan, Senior Researcher at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), has made significant contributions to the practical application of “Minimal Fab.” Held up in her hand is a “minimal shuttle,” a hermetic sealed container for a tiny electronic substrate manufactured with local leaning technology.
(The picture is from AIST LINK No.11)

Companies, whether they are domestic or global companies, can best enhance their competitiveness by obtaining new human resources from far and wide. That is especially true now, when economic globalization is advancing and the competitive environment domeis becoming increasingly borderless. Even though business facilities are located in the domestic market, they cannot survive competition unless they attract talents from around the world. “Globalizing Business” is a benchmark for measuring the competitiveness of Japanese companies.

Deploying Top-Class Human Resources from Around the World in Cutting-Edge Fields

“I wish to make Japan a country friendly to people like her where they find it easy to live and pursue truly rewarding work,” Prime Minister Abe emphasized as he introduced Dr. Khumpuang Sommawan at a dinner speech at an international conference held in June, 2017. Dr. Khumpuang Sommawan is a senior researcher at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) who is engaging in the development of Minimal Fab, a new manufacturing technology suited for small volume and customized production of semiconductors. In cutting-edge technology fields, it is impossible to conduct effective research unless top-class human resources are attracted from around the world. That is exactly why Prime Minister Abe made this assertion: “Dr. Sommawan Khumpuang was absolutely critical to its development.”

Can Japan attract human resources from around the world? As of the end of June 2017, the number of foreign residents in Japan was approximately 2.5 million. Of the total, around 290,000 people had status of residence in specialized and technical fields, and this figure was a record high. In order to attract human resources with a high level of skills and knowledge from other countries, the Government of Japan is promoting such activities as improving the living environment so that foreign workers can live comfortably together with their families, enhancing the education environment for their children, and developing a portal site where they can access everyday information in English.

Easing of Requirements for Permanent Residence

The Government of Japan plans to increase the number of medical institutions that are well-prepared to treat international patients to around 100 by the end of the Fiscal 2017. In fact, Japan is very open to foreign nationals with a high level of skills and knowledge in terms of the residency management system. For example, it has not created a labor permit system based on a labor market test or a quota for acceptance of foreign workers. Furthermore, in April 2017, the government established the Japanese Green Card for Highly-skilled Foreign Professionals program, under which foreign nationals can apply for permanent residency after living in Japan for one year at the minimum as a way to step up efforts to obtain capable foreign workers.

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Source: Reference Material 4 distributed at the second meeting for the thorough promotion of structural reforms concerning company-related systems, industrial structural reform and innovation (employment and human resources) at the Council on Investments for the Future (December 13, 2017)

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Last updated:2018-05-02