Japan opens opportunities for foreign graduates of Japanese universities

This is Stephanie of IMS.

The Justice Ministry on Tuesday announced that effective May 30, foreign graduates of Japanese universities will now be able to work at restaurants, retail shops, and factory production lines under the Designated Activities visa. Until now, foreign graduates were not able to work in the services sectors due to irrelevancy to their expertise and unskilled labor concerns. Therefore, graduates have been limited to jobs permitted by the Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services visa.

However, in efforts to increase the employment rates of foreign graduates and encourage a younger workforce in the face of labor shortages, beginning Thursday, more job options will now become available to those who qualify. To be eligible for this status after graduation, foreign graduates must be hired as a full-time regular employee, be paid equivalent to their Japanese counterparts, and have passed the highest level of the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (N1).

The government’s goal is to increase the employment rate of foreign students to 50 percent, and it predicts that this latest revision will enable several thousand more foreigners to find jobs in Japan.