Japan considers easing residency requirements for foreign students in anime, design and food industries
The government is discussing plans to relax residency requirements for foreign students in Japan studying anime, design and culinary professions to make it easier for them to find jobs here after graduation, sources said.
The proposed deregulation is aimed at securing up-and-coming human resources to promote the further development of Japan’s content industry, the sources said Sunday.
The proposal is a response to requests made by experts and industry representatives on a panel set up in March to study human resources development under Cool Japan, the government’s program for promoting Japanese culture abroad.
The government plans to survey related industry sectors and educational institutions starting from late April, with an eye to easing residency requirements later in the year, at the earliest, the sources said.
To work in Japan, one must acquire resident status. Foreign students can gain this status if they can make use of the specialized knowledge and techniques they acquired at vocational schools or universities in Japan.
For instance, graduates of dressmaking schools are allowed to work in Japan as designers and product planners. But resident status for working is not issued for tasks that don’t require higher professional skills, such as cutting cloth, sewing and coloring.
For this reason, some experts point out that it is not realistic for content industry workers to engage in sophisticated creative activities immediately after entering the workforce.
Resident status allowing engagement in less complicated work is currently issued for only a limited training period soon after employment, but the government is considering granting permission lasting for one or two years on condition that medium- to long-term employment plans are submitted, the sources said.
The government also plans to revise the amount of time students from abroad can stay while seeking employment.
After graduation from university or vocational school in Japan, foreign students are given six months, with a possible extension to a maximum of one year, to find jobs in the country. But this period is deemed too short by some because students are busy with graduation projects in the last phase of their school life.
With the Justice Ministry said to be cautious about lengthening the period, the government plans to hold discussions among related ministries and agencies, the sources said.
Cover photo: GaijinPot Blog