Filtering by Tag: Foreigners
We time to time come across the usual consensual articles (here published in the both extremely narrowing and diminishing English speaking audience of the Japan Times, a well-known local newspaper) trying to depict a what seems to be an on-going changing process occurring within so-called major local corporations willing to hire (and apparently already hiring) foreigners. Yes,外国人の方！ People from " overseas " also humbly called " non-Japanese people ".
"Japan’s top companies are increasingly moving to give foreign people permanent contracts, judging that the benefits of diversification are well worth the challenges.
Among them is convenience store chain Lawson Inc., which has awarded between 10 and 30 percent of its graduate positions to foreign nationals over the past several years."
Well, we simply wish these young foreign recruits at Japanese companies all the best. In reality, we feel they are in for a very rocky road and a rude awakening. Japanese corporations are in general extremely hostile places for foreign workers. These non-Japanse workers should expect to face widespread discrimination, bullying, exclusion and xenophobia, so they should prepare themselves for such situations.
They should also understand that the qualities which are ingrained by Japanese companies into their staff are the polar opposite of what makes employees successful at other large global companies outside of Japan, so they will face the very difficult challenges of retooling and retraining themselves when they leave the closed and insular ecosystem of corporate Japan to work elsewhere. Japanese companies train employees to uphold the status-quo at all cost, value a follow-the-herd and group think mentality, strongly discourage anyone to think independently, hate those who take risks or express new ideas, place an unhealthy emphasis on deference to authority and reward those who blindly follow the path of least resistance. These are not qualities which make employees desirable in the eyes of other global non-Japanese companies down the road. They call Japan Galapagos for a reason and corporate Japan represents the worst of the worst in this regard.
Japanese companies are also notorious for not offering foreign staff the same job security, compensation, training, professional development and career development opportunities as their Japanese staff. This is true regardless of if the foreign staff is temp/contract or regular full-time "permanent" Seishain employee.
Experience has shown that many Japanese companies show complete disregard for the agreements and contracts they offer foreign staff, since these are not worth the paper they are written on. These companies have shown blatant disregard of Japanese labor laws when it comes to foreign staff. The rights, privileges and protection of workers under the Japanese labor and employment laws do not seem to apply to, or protect foreign employees for all practical purposes. The Japanese judicial system is famously corrupt, racist and xenophobic, so non-Japanese workers cannot expect to receive any relief or fair treatment from Japanese courts, either.
The hard and cold reality of Japanese hiring procedures.
Lastly, the fact that almost no one at the vast majority of Japanese companies can speak or understand English is a major concern for non-Japanese workers. If Japan is indeed serious about making its corporations more global and increasing diversity in the workplace it has to first address these underlying problems and to stop treating foreign staff as second-class disposable workers. Headline stories about them hiring a few fresh-faced foreigners for window dressing, some wearing jeans at company entrance ceremonies, is not going to fundamentally change anything.
Despite the embarrassing reality that English is endemically mis-used (as it happens most of the time), time to time some absolute priceless and well-spotted statements (which do not really need any further observation) erupt in your daily sky obscured by rather strange clouds . We are all Pink Floyds trying to escape that gloomy sky. Bingo.