(Yomiuri: Evening, July 18, 2015 – p. 1)
In order to resolve the shortage of IT experts for software development, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and industry (METI) will start from fiscal 2016 programs inviting fresh university graduates from Asian countries and introducing them to Japanese language schools and jobs in Japan. METI aims to accept about 10,000 Asian students, first from Indonesia and Vietnam.
METI will create a system under which Asian university students majoring in IT can find jobs in Japan after studying the Japanese language. The ministry plans to earmark related costs in its budget for fiscal 2016 and accept Asian students from FY2016.
METI will introduce Japanese universities to Asian university students. The ministry will create a system for Asian students to be able to work part-time at IT firms to earn money to cover living and school expenses.
METI will set up a council comprising IT companies and Japanese English schools. It plans to create a joint panel together with the Indian government and discuss concrete measures this fall. It will also seek cooperation from Vietnam, which is enthusiastic about developing IT specialists.
According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, a total of 31,581 foreigners were working at IT corporations in Japan in October 2014.
As part of its growth strategy, the government has set a goal of doubling the number of foreigners working at IT firms to 60,000 in 2020. However, Japanese software development and video game creation companies are cautious about hiring foreigners who can’t speak Japanese.
Although the trend of Japanese firms employing Chinese human resources specialized in IT has taken root in Japan, Japanese companies have not hired Indian students. So many Indian students have found jobs in American companies where they can speak English in the workplace.
The shortage of IT experts has become increasingly serious in Japan in dealing with the introduction of the “My Number” social security and tax identity system and the demand for the renewal of systems. Japan also needs experts to analyze the vast amount of electronic data collected by industries and to come up with anti-cyberattack measures.