There are plenty of jobs for people who’d rather spend their expat life working in Tokyo itself. In addition to high-tech ventures such as robotics, Tokyo is the national center of various service industries — and this in a country whose entire economy focuses on the service sector. So, if you have professional experience in international finance, transportation, or tourism, you might be working in Tokyo soon.
Tokyo’s financial heart beats in the area of Ōtemachi, Marunouchi, and Yūrakuchō (which also houses the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan). Some financial services can be found in the Roppongi neighborhood as well. However, Roppongi is also of great importance to the software industry and the global information and communication technologies. For example, Google Japan has established its main office there.
ICT plays a big part in the district economy of Tokyo’s Akihabara, too, while R&D facilities and start-up incubators tend to be located in the newly developed Waterfront City. Last but not least, there are also areas with a huge concentration of more traditional manufacturing, e.g. of machinery, metals, or apparel.
Regardless of the respective industry, Tokyo does offer a vast pool of talent to HR recruiters: the attendees of its over 200 trade fairs, the graduates from its more than 100 universities, and the foreign expats who would like to work there for a while. However, you should be aware that even Japanese graduates are currently struggling to find employment. Until the Japanese economy is on the road to recovery, the Tokyo labor market will be difficult to break into outside a foreign assignment.
If you should have coveted hard skills in any of the fields mentioned above, you can even go about looking for a job in Tokyo / the Kantō Region outside the framework of a conventional expat assignment. This is particularly true for jobs in engineering, green technology, energy management, the life sciences, or medical technology.
Job vacancies in Tokyo are often advertised on commercial websites like the following:
Furthermore, your home country’s chamber of commerce in Tokyo, as well the Japanese chamber of commerce in your country of origin, may both host online job listings. They also regularly announce vacant positions in their own print publications.
You should also keep in mind that networking is an extremely important part of any successful job search in Japan, even more so than in other nations. If you don’t have a business network in Tokyo yet, you should start building one — and not only online. Begin by attending trade fairs in Tokyo, if possible, or at least Japan-centric trade fairs at home.
You could also check the event calendar of the nearest Japanese chamber of commerce for business gatherings relevant to your professional interests. If they should not offer any of those (and even if they do), also ask them if they know about further Japan-related business associations in your home country. The Japan External Trade Organization, for instance, is active in over 50 countries, from Australia to Germany, Turkey, and the UK to the USA.
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