Okinawa aims to attract skilled foreign workers

Okinawa Prefecture is supporting local companies looking to use global resources to hire people with ability to communicate in several languages. The aim is to strengthen inbound tourism and business expansion abroad.

The prefecture is planning to hold employment fairs in and outside of the prefecture for foreign people interested in working in Okinawa or for Japanese who have studied abroad. The aim is to spread information on 120 job openings this fiscal year.

The prefecture plans to have employment fairs in 12 cities in seven countries, including Singapore, Indonesia, South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, China and Japan, by next March. They also plan to construct a website with job availability information.

The prefecture has promotes developing global resources in Okinawa, however there has been a problem of having no information available about how to find a job in Okinawa, and potential employees have passed the prefecture to look elsewhere.

The Okinawa Prefecture Asia Economics Strategy Division explained, “We can expect to make Okinawa a central hub for the distribution traffic with ability to compete in overseas markets by acquiring highly-skilled employees globally.”

According to Okinawa Labour Bureau, the number of foreign workers in Okinawa as of the end of October 2016 was 5,971 that was 21.9% more than the previous year. The number of businesses with foreign workers was 1,279 that is 21.0% more. Both numbers were the highest ever.