Japan has been closed for centuries, only allowing in technology, new ideas but allowing now one to visit the country. This system called “sakoku” or closed country was so strong back in the 1700 and 1800s, that even Japanese sailors who were shipwrecked and saved by British, French or US ships were refused reentry into their homeland. Even tainted Japanese were distrusted.
However, Japan is changing and there is a small opening in the door that will allow a small number of temporary tech workers into the country. Recently dozens of young Chinese engineers presented their work in a recent hack-athon in September in a high rise building just near Roppongi. The hack-athon was a four-day, all-expense paid recruitment visit to Tokyo from top schools in China, including Tsinghua and Peking Universities. The high end field of skilled workers seem to be welcomed to Tokyo recently as Japan suffers a short-fall in engineers.
A survey done by a Japanese Blockchain group suggested that Japan will run a short-fall of engineers to the tune of 20,000 to 25,000 by 2020. This view takes into account the number of new startups in Japan and the government`s drive to make Japan a major hub for blockchain startups in the coming decade. Japan has been showing leadership in blockchain with overwhelming support by the Japanese government and the FSA, Financial Services Agency. So the expanding ecosystem will be a major source of new jobs for kids leaving university.
Please view our audiovisual presentations on the Japanese economic expansion – New Immigration Model – as well as others the focus on startups.
Amid a dire shortage of IT-related engineers, Japanese tech companies are being forced to look for talent in places outside of Tokyo and in some cases from overseas. One firm, Mercari, said the following through Mr Takaya Ishiguro, manager of human resources, “I do not think there is a day when we can say that we have enough engineers.” Mercari is aiming for 1,000 engineers in the future, from the current number of 350 here in Tokyo.
The Japanese company Line, currently has 2,100 engineers but is targeting 3,000 in the future. These companies are now requiring some Japanese language skills when hiring engineers. They are offering intense language lessons – Japanese – for new engineers as Japanese like harmony at work. And clearly overseas engineers will be paid well and at the same time, get free Japanese lessons, a interesting perk for such employees.