Foreign Workers in Japan

Today, there are 1.66 million foreign workers in Japan. Why do the Japanese hire foreigners? What do the Japanese expect from foreign workers?


I live in Tokyo, Japan, and I have seen many foreign workers in restaurants, shops, plants, and various companies. Japanese government material shows there are 1.66 million foreign workers as of October 2019. The Japanese government (Kousei Roudou Shou) material is here.

Japanese companies hire foreigners although they cannot communicate fluently in Japanese. Why? What do the Japanese expect from foreign workers?

Foreign Workers in Japan

In my opinion, there are two types of foreign workers. First is the workforce type, and second is the English tutor type.

Japan Needs Foreign Workers for Workforce

Japanese companies always need the workforce because they cannot hire Japanese workers. Because Japanese workers do not prefer long hours and low wages. They seek other jobs.

On the other hand, foreign workers are more vital than the Japanese. They can stand hard work. Also, they can accept low wages. Company owners like these points.

Plus, workforce type jobs do not need to communicate fluently in Japanese.

Private English Tutors in Japan

Japanese workers need English communication skills, so they always seek English tutors. Recently, online tutor demand has increased.

The English tutor type job does not need Japanese speaking skills. The Japanese prefer zero knowledge of the Japanese language because the Japanese want to talk in only English.

The Japanese need English communication. For example, they might need it for presentations for US customers or negotiations of sales price with foreign countries, etc.

Japanese Skills

If you can communicate fluently in Japanese, you get trusted by the company owner. You can up your salary. Many foreign workers cannot communicate fluently in Japanese. It is your advantage.


Japanese expect vitality and English skills in a foreign worker. Joining a Japanese company is not difficult if you have vitality and English skills. It is easier if you have Japanese skills as well.



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