Japanese Jobs in China

Japanese Jobs in China

At the start of 2003, DaiJob Inc., created a fully licensed
recruiting joint venture in Hong Kong, with a partner there. The
new company in Hong Kong is called DaiJob International and the
joint venture with this company enables DaiJob here in Tokyo to
take client requests for positions outside Japan, now meeting the
Japanese government requirements for Japanese licensed
recruiting firms to be involved with overseas placements.

This kind of request is becoming much more frequent, as both
foreign and Japanese firms look for reliable candidates to provide
technical, sales, and management skills in looking after valuable
Japanese customers in China. One large technology firm, for
example, has over 50 Japanese clients in China, which it wants a
Japanese speaker to look after in the same dedicated, professional
manner that the clients would be looked after Japan. Finding such
capabilities coupled with business expertise, is hard to come by
outside of Shanghai or Beijing.

The fortunate thing about China as a target market for a business
operating in Japan is that the stigma for Japanese to work there is
starting to lift. While it's true that the salaries to work in-country
are still modest, where a trilingual (Chinese-Japanese-English
speaking) Sales Manager would typically earn between JPY 7-10
million, the overall cost of living is still so much lower than in
Tokyo, that the amounts balance out. And of course, the upside of
being in China is the chance to participate in a dynamic, exciting
marketplace. This can make quite a change for someone used to the
steady hardship and grind of the Japanese market!

Another fortunate thing about recruiting for China positions is that
there are now many talented Chinese studying in Japan, getting
their undergrad qualifications here before heading to the USA for
an MBA, MSc, or applying for a job here in Japan. This means that
many of these people are not only trilingual (most Chinese learn
English in school and take the subject quite seriously), but they
have also experienced and understand the Japanese mindset. This is
a major departure from 5-10 years ago, when many Chinese people
were reluctant to come to Japan and even more reluctant to go back
to China to work, and Japanese companies also had a low opinion of
Chinese skill levels and language capabilities - an area of skill
that can now be very, very crucial for success in a Japanese firm.

Anyway, back at the beginning of 2003, we had always thought that
the largest user group in the DaiJob membership was Japanese
because most of the subscribed content we put out was in
Japanese. While this is in fact true, an analysis of the database
surprised us with the fact that about 5% of our Japanese-language
user base, just over 5,000 people, was in fact Chinese or Japanese
with strong Chinese-speaking skills. So it appears that many of
these people are now so used to living in Japan, that they can
comfortably function in either language. This has to be an
incredibly valuable resource for any company thinking about
developing their Japanese customer services within the China

Why would a company want a Japanese speaker in China, other than
a few expat managers looking after Head Office interests? The
reason is simply because almost 5,000 Japanese companies are
already in China, and having someone being able to sell to them or
support them in the same language/culture is money in the bank!

Companies that have strong Japan-China focus include software
companies, trading firms, mobile telco's, and similar technology
infrastructure firms. Most positions available for Japanese or
foreign firms operating in China are for Senior Sales people
(relationship managers in particular), manufacturing and factory
automation specialists, and software technology people. Happily,
these are also the types of Chinese coming and studying in Japan!

Terrie Lloyd is the founder of DaiJob, Inc. He also writes a weekly
newsletter for entrepreneurs and business people about business
and political opportunities in Japan. You can find the newsletter at
For further contact with Terrie, email him at