Adventurous expat professionals should consider Japan

Published:  27 Jul at 6 PM
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Adventurous expat professionals looking for a rewarding new experience in a fascinatingly different location should head for Japan.

If the traditional benefits of the majority of popular international relocation destinations are losing their appeal, there’s one somewhat overlooked country that’s up and coming for those with an adventurous nature and an open mind. Nowadays, due to its demographics, Japan is opening up as never before and welcoming younger, highly skilled expat professionals into its unique culture.

Tokyo is the world’s largest metropolis, divided into a number of highly individual districts and now recognised as one of the planet’s most influential mega-cities. Its former reputation of rejecting foreign influence is fading as fast as its population is ageing, resulting in a genuine need for younger, highly qualified and experienced expat professionals. The points-based immigration system is set to attract increasing numbers of expats over the next few years, and offers encouragement via prioritised application processing and assistance from prosepective employers.

This unique country and its capital are a fascinating mix of history, culture and ultra-modernity sure to appeal to ambitious, younger expat professionals. Adjustment to the Japanese way of life is a daunting challenge reaping endless rewards, as attested by the two million expats living and working in its major cities. Admittedly, gaijins (foreigners) are seen as outsiders, however long they’ve stayed in the country, but the traditional Japanese politeness makes everyday communication a pleasure.

The Japanese language is considered one of the most difficult in the world, especially with regard to its alphabet, comprised of three totally different scripts known as Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji and making reading and writing a nightmare. Fortunately, English is widely spoken in business settings and once colleagues are aware you’re learning their language, they’ll be happy to help. Japan scores high in the personal safety stakes, and transportation to from and in and around the huge cities is easy, inexpensive and ultra-modern.

Healthcare in all its forms is high quality and easily available, with the state health coverage extended to long-stay foreigners. For those staying for over three months, there’s also a National Health Insurance scheme. Skills most in demand obviously include IT and communications, and the lifestyle isn’t just determined by the cities’ high-rise architecture, as Japanese people feel most at home in natural settings such as parks and traditional gardens.
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