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"This position is not available to foreigners"

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  • "This position is not available to foreigners"

    Recently I applied to a position through a recruitment agency that matched my professional background almost entirely, they were looking for someone with my degree and skillset to work as a software engineer at a local company. The job description mentioned "fluent English required" with no mention of preference or requirement for Japanese language proficiency. So of course, I applied. The response I got back was this thread title: This position is not available to foreigners and asking if I am interested in interviewing for an English teaching job at the same client company. I sent the Japanese HR official an email response back asking why this was the case, specifying I already teach English elsewhere.

    I received a very disturbing phone call from an irritated man telling me to not apply for these positions. I asked what language the employees speak at work and he replied it's English and the parent company is based in America. I told him he might want to either not post the job description in English or specify that he wants Japanese nationals to apply and not foreigners. The angry voice responded "I think the job description is fine the way it is. Where exactly do you live?" I told him in Tokyo, and he slammed the phone down.

    Is this common in Japanese IT or are these people just crazy? Is this against labor law here to exclude someone from a job based purely on their ethnicity?

  • #2
    Ask yourself this question: Would you really want to work for a douchebag like that?
    There are companies that hire foreigners. So move on and forget about that turd.

    Is this against labor law here to exclude someone from a job based purely on their ethnicity?
    I don't think it's illegal to discriminate against ethnicity in Japan. However a company giving priority to native citizens is not out of order. In the EU it is almost impossible to get a job if you are not a citizen. That doesn't excuse the guys manners though, of course.
    Last edited by Andun; 2011-12-01, 03:20 PM.

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    • #3
      The foreigner hating nationalist - "why-to pee-gu goh ho-mu!" - type loonies are totally understandable to me.
      @ssholes like that in every country..

      But t@ssers like you describe are worse.
      They learn English, work for/with foreign companies, want the foreign money and/or want foreign customers.. but draw all sorts of lines where they wont deal with/ work with foreigners.

      They are worse than the ignorant nationalists, in my opinion.

      Be grateful you don't have to work with the loser.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by displaced_gaijin View Post
        Recently I applied to a position through a recruitment agency that matched my professional background almost entirely, they were looking for someone with my degree and skillset to work as a software engineer at a local company. ... I sent the Japanese HR official an email response back asking why this was the case, specifying I already teach English elsewhere.

        I received a very disturbing phone call from an irritated man telling me to not apply for these positions. I asked what language the employees speak at work and he replied it's English and the parent company is based in America. I told him he might want to either not post the job description in English or specify that he wants Japanese nationals to apply and not foreigners. The angry voice responded "I think the job description is fine the way it is. Where exactly do you live?" I told him in Tokyo, and he slammed the phone down.

        Is this common in Japanese IT or are these people just crazy? Is this against labor law here to exclude someone from a job based purely on their ethnicity?
        Very strange. It looks like they have already someone in mind for the job and are unhappy that you match the job description more than that person.
        If you REALLY want to ____ them off, send both the Job offer and your resume to the US parent, stating that you want to apply for this interesting job at their Japanese subsidiary, but they refused to even look at your application 'for being American'. No idea whether this might do something but at least you might want to get some revenge...

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        • #5
          Originally posted by displaced_gaijin View Post
          Is this against labor law here to exclude someone from a job based purely on their ethnicity?
          Not if they're a foreigner, no. If you were a naturalised Japanese.............probably no............

          W-T-J

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          • #6
            Below is Article 22, section 4 of the Labor Standards Act of 1947 (Japanese Labor Law)

            4. An employer shall not, in a premeditated plan with
            a third party and with the intent to impede the employment
            of a worker, send any communication concerning the
            nationality, creed, and social status or union activities of the
            worker or include any secret sign in the certificates set forth
            in paragraphs 1 and 2.
            Seems pretty cut and dry to me. Even third parties aren't allowed to impede employment based on nationality or social status, let alone the employer itself. I have multiple email records of this. Is there basis for a lawsuit?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by displaced_gaijin View Post
              ... ... the parent company is based in America. ...
              If you want to invest a bit of time - you might send a polite email to that company's Director of HR in the US, explaining this situation. They might want to change it.

              Also - having gone thru a recruitment agency - they have done you no service, as surely they knew, or should have known. You might want to change agencies.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by displaced_gaijin View Post
                Below is Article 22, section 4 of the Labor Standards Act of 1947 (Japanese Labor Law)

                Seems pretty cut and dry to me. Even third parties aren't allowed to impede employment based on nationality or social status, let alone the employer itself. I have multiple email records of this. Is there basis for a lawsuit?
                Having the law is one thing. Enforcement is something else.

                Would not expect any response from Japan management, but the US parent might do something.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by displaced_gaijin View Post
                  Below is Article 22, section 4 of the Labor Standards Act of 1947 (Japanese Labor Law)



                  Seems pretty cut and dry to me. Even third parties aren't allowed to impede employment based on nationality or social status, let alone the employer itself. I have multiple email records of this. Is there basis for a lawsuit?
                  Doesn't seem cut and dried to me, that law appears to be designed to prevent previous employers blacklisting people to prevent them getting a job. Don't understand the "premeditated plan with a third party" bit either.

                  If you can find a clearer clause I'm all ears.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ttokyo View Post
                    Very strange. It looks like they have already someone in mind for the job and are unhappy that you match the job description more than that person.
                    If you REALLY want to ____ them off, send both the Job offer and your resume to the US parent, stating that you want to apply for this interesting job at their Japanese subsidiary, but they refused to even look at your application 'for being American'. No idea whether this might do something but at least you might want to get some revenge...
                    This is the type of thing that goes on in this country that TOTALLY pisses me off.

                    I would definitely do something like this, though instead of saying I wanted to apply for the job, say you'd never work for them because of this. Make sure you mention the details of the phone call in detail, including the d-bag's name, if you were able to get it. I'm sure they'd love to know what sorts of things go on at their Japan branch. Who knows, you might even be able to get the d-bag fired!
                    Last edited by Wonky; 2011-12-01, 04:44 PM.

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                    • #11
                      if the story is accurate and real as you describe it, i think that a little retribution is definitely in order. i'd make hell for the guy for acting in such a manner and i'd find out if this is a company policy that's endorsed by the parent company as well.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by displaced_gaijin View Post

                        Is this common in Japanese IT or are these people just crazy? Is this against labor law here to exclude someone from a job based purely on their ethnicity?
                        It's the norm, not the exception. We won't hire a black teacher at our university, and it's that simple. I had to talk the Dean into hiring a Chinese-Australian because I thought she was perfect to show the students the obvious benefits of a multicultural policy. She left the post a year later because the staff bullied her due to her ethnicity and "high English ability"

                        It's a bizarro little country taint it?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by displaced_gaijin View Post
                          Recently I applied to a position through a recruitment agency that matched my professional background almost entirely, they were looking for someone with my degree and skillset to work as a software engineer at a local company. The job description mentioned "fluent English required" with no mention of preference or requirement for Japanese language proficiency. So of course, I applied. The response I got back was this thread title: This position is not available to foreigners and asking if I am interested in interviewing for an English teaching job at the same client company. I sent the Japanese HR official an email response back asking why this was the case, specifying I already teach English elsewhere.

                          I received a very disturbing phone call from an irritated man telling me to not apply for these positions. I asked what language the employees speak at work and he replied it's English and the parent company is based in America. I told him he might want to either not post the job description in English or specify that he wants Japanese nationals to apply and not foreigners. The angry voice responded "I think the job description is fine the way it is. Where exactly do you live?" I told him in Tokyo, and he slammed the phone down.

                          Is this common in Japanese IT or are these people just crazy? Is this against labor law here to exclude someone from a job based purely on their ethnicity?
                          You applied through a recruitment company and subsequently got into a dialog with an HR official at the client company? How'd that happen?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by trip_hop View Post
                            Having the law is one thing. Enforcement is something else..
                            Ibid....................................

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by scipio View Post
                              Ibid....................................
                              Japanese judges have been known to hand down polar opposite rulings on similar cases, I know of one case where the were given within days of each other. Rulings are not really based on precedent here (especially on cases of discrimination) but on judges interpretation of the constitution (similar to Supreme Court in US and you can get hung juries) and it can be a really crapshoot as to which way it will go. Looks fine on paper but gets very fuzzy in practice. A few years ago we had people sent from the UN directly by the Secretary General to report on discrimination in Japan. They generally reported that Japan was rife with it (Ainu, Japanese-Koreans, Muslims, foreigners you name it) but the Japanese politicians would just suck their teeth say it was Japanese culture and go on their merry way.


                              Be aware that racial discrimination is not actually illegal in this country, whatever people will tell you. You only need to look at gaijin cards and photographing and fingerprinting tourists (but not Japanese terrorists) at the airport to see that in action.
                              Last edited by KansaiBen; 2011-12-01, 10:29 PM.

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