OFW Guide to Living and Working in Japan

The land of the Rising Sun – this is how Japan is known not just to Filipinos but to the world. The Japanese culture, surroundings, and way of life are just some of the many reasons why Filipinos are flocking to this country. What drives Filipino workers more is the job opportunities offered.

For starters, nurses and caregivers are in demand, thanks to Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement. The agreement covers six-month language and culture training before the actual work. Entertainers are still in demand, but you need to be certified by TESDA and present your Artist Record Book (ARB) before you can work there.

In case you are planning to work in Japan, here are some of the things you need to know:

1. Language can be an issue. 

Unlike Middle Eastern countries where citizens can speak in English, Japanese people speak Japanese language. Believe it or not, many Japanese cannot speak the English language, which could be an issue for you if you don’t know the basics.

Before you aim to work in Japan, make sure you study their language first. TESDA offers free language courses, including Japanese, which you can avail of. You can also watch videos online to help you learn their language.

2. There’s no such thing as late in Japan. 

The Japanese are punctual – a trait Filipinos could hopefully pick up. With their fast-paced life, they value time so much. If you plan to work in Japan, make sure you arrive earlier than expected and leave the concept of Filipino time behind.

Don’t worry about being late too, because Japan’s public transport is always on time. Trains arrive and leave on a strict schedule, and an announcement will be made in case of delay.

3. Cost of living is higher, especially if you’re in the metro. 

Believe it or not, you might even be spending most of your salary on food. Cost of living in Japan is high, so make sure you budget your money accordingly.

4. Discipline is a must. 

Aside from Japanese’s punctuality, you will also notice how disciplined they are. This could be the reason why Japan is so orderly and clean because people not only follows but also respects the rules. You will see how disciplined they are in terms of queueing, going up and down the stairs, and even in dealing with their own trash.

Don’t worry. Once you get there, you can easily adapt to their way of life.

5. Small earthquakes are normal. 

Japan is the Ring of Fire, which means earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are no longer surprising for them. In fact, it is part of their way of life, so don’t panic when you felt some shaking on the ground for a few seconds. Unless you hear a siren telling people to evacuate, just relax and go on with your life.

6. Honesty is the best policy. 

This is another trait that makes Japanese more lovable. Did you know that when Japan was hit by a major earthquake and tsunami few years ago, safety boxes and wallets were returned to their rightful owners? That’s how honest they are. Lost items are given to police stations or Lost and Found centers, so in case you lost something, you know where to find it.

The good thing about Japan is that you don’t have to worry about religion, fashion, and food. Unlike countries in the Arab peninsula, Japan is more inviting and accepting of people from different countries. Learn to enjoy your stay while you’re there. Don’t worry too, because you will find a lot of Filipinos working in the Land of the Rising Sun.

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