In a move to increase the number of Japanese working at senior levels at international organizations, the government is soliciting recruits from the private sector, including middle-aged and older workers, and shouldering their travel expenses and salaries.
Under the new scheme recently announced by the Foreign Ministry, the government seeks those with experience of supporting developing countries as candidates to work at the United Nations and other international entities, with an eye on nurturing them to become senior officials.
Unlike the current junior professional officer system which targets people aged 35 or younger, the new recruitment scheme sets no age limit.
The government hopes to strengthen Japan’s presence in the international community by demonstrating that more Japanese will be involved in international organizations.
While Japan has been the second largest donor to the United Nations after the United States, only a limited number of Japanese work at U.N.-related organizations.
For the first round of recruitment, the government is soliciting applicants to work at the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration.
Applicants must have from five to nine years working experience in relevant areas as well as English proficiency. The deadline to apply is Jan. 3.
The Foreign Ministry will make an initial screening, but the final selection will be made by the relevant organizations.
According to Foreign Ministry data, 820 Japanese nationals worked for U.N.-related organizations as international public servants as of the end of 2016. Of these, only 77 served as senior officials.