Japan Association of Corporate Executives (経済同友会) view on increasing non-Japanese students and employees to help Japan compete internationally

by Anna
Published on: October 22, 2012
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The Japan Association of Corporate Executives (経済同友会) published a paper earlier this month on global talent development in Japan and how to increase the participation of non-Japanese employees and students in industry in Japan.

This paper appears to only be available in Japanese at the moment, and you access the paper here: http://www.doyukai.or.jp/policyproposals/articles/2012/pdf/121005a.pdf

Overall the conclusion of the paper is that Japanese government, industry and higher educational institutions, despite stating the intention to increase foreign worker/student participation, do not have a viable strategy and action plan in place.

Here is a highlight of some of the recommendations made in the paper based on what each sector should do in order to increase participation of non-Japanese employees and help Japan compete more effectively in the global marketplace.

– Develop a human capital strategy
– Set up cross-departmental teams in order to make best more effective use of limited budgets.
– Review the current immigration “point system” to position Japan so that it can attract top international talent more effectively.
– Improve the general infrastructure and environment to make it easier for non-Japanese people to live and work in Japan.

– Develop more transparent HR systems and policies that foster a fairer working environment for non-Japanese employees.
– Create more transparent career paths with more options to better retain non-Japanese talent.

Higher education institutions
– Be more proactive in promoting Japanese higher educations institutions abroad.
– Each institution should better clarify the benefits that they can offer foreign students and develop a strategy to increase foreign student numbers.
– Provide more foreign student support, financially and otherwise, to help foreign students with issues relating to living in Japan (such as finding suitable accommodation and Japanese language learning) and finding work after completion of studies.

In terms of the recommendations for industry, it is interesting to note that policies and processes are the main focus.  However, I also wonder if there was any discussion in terms of developing leadership that fosters team environments in which people of diverse backgrounds can work effectively together.  Aspects of corporate culture, such as long hours of overtime and rigid hierarchies of management, are also known to put off non-Japanese talent from coming to Japan so feels like this would also benefit from further discussion.

And, finally, interesting to note the scarcity of non-Japanese people on the very long list of committee members for this publication…

English language website for Japan Association of Corporate Executives can be found at http://www.doyukai.or.jp/en/

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