Works Mobile Japan survey reveals about 70% of Japanese workers are in favor of working with colleagues from other countries

Works Mobile Japan released the results of their awareness survey targeted towards Japanese workers who have worked alongside colleagues from other countries in 6 industries: elderly care/medical, construction, manufacturing, service, lodging and food service.

The survey reveals that about 70% of the respondents are in favor of working with overseas colleagues, stating that non-Japanese workers would make up for the labor shortages in their companies. Others indicated other reasons for their approval, such as foreign workers helping them think outside of the box and give them new perspectives, or simply that they enjoy working with foreigners.

The survey also showed that about 40% of the respondents answered that their workplaces had poor support systems to welcome foreign workers. On the other hand, the 3 most successful initiatives they saw at their workplace were multilingual work manuals, employee benefits for foreign workers, and Japanese language and culture training.

There seems to be a pattern whereby Japanese workers become more supportive of accepting foreign workers when they have actually worked with them: before they worked with foreigners, 68.5% of the respondents answered they are in favor of working with them, but the percentage increased to 74.8% when the respondents have experience working with people from other countries.

Out of those 6 industries, the elderly care/medical industry showed the greatest approval for foreign workers. In the construction industry, 77.9% of Japanese workers indicated their approval stating that foreign workers would be the solution to the labor shortage, while in the service industry, only 56.1% indicated their approval.


Regarding the support systems for foreign workers, the construction industry seems to have the most sufficient support system, while the food service industry seems to have the least sufficient system. 35.6% of the respondents answered that they can’t think of any particular initiatives at their workplace to support foreign workers, while 32.9% pointed to job training for foreign workers, 22.6% specified Japanese language and culture training, and 17.6% said there was job training for Japanese workers as to how to work with foreign workers efficiently and harmoniously.


Several industries including elderly care/medical, lodging and construction industries showed a high degree of satisfaction towards hiring multilingual employees to support communication between Japanese and foreign workers, though this was not among the 3 most successful support initiatives.


Those who already have a workplace in mind are encouraged to check their prospective workplace’s support system for foreign workers to avoid landing a job that’s bad fit. Since support systems differ from company to company rather than industry to industry, it is recommended to find an ideal workplace based on your preference.

This nationwide survey was conducted online from March 12 to 14 2019, covering 534 male and 294 female full-time workers aged between 20 and 59.

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