This seminar was held for businesses and local government workers by the NPO Aidensha and included a presentation of Mie Prefecture’s ‘Career Guide DVD’. The seminar was presented by Ms. Sakamoto of Aidensha and the theme was promoting diversity, the declining population and how these tie to a multicultural society. It included information on the non-Japanese population in Mie Prefecture and opportunities for Japanese businesses and organizations to turn this diversity into a business advantage.
According to data from 2013, there were 41,811 non-Japanese residents in Mie Prefecture, continuing an overall four year decline. Unemployment and a poor economic climate have fueled this decline and many non-Japanese have made the decision to return to their countries of origin. At the same time, Japan is suffering from an aging population and faces huge pension problems in the future. There are now more and more voices arguing that multiculturalism could help revitalize Japanese society.
It’s viewed as important to support non-Japanese residents in a number of ways but educational support has been shown to be especially effective. Local governments and groups who work with non-Japanese residents also have a variety of outlets to dispense important information.
The ‘Career Guide DVD’ by Mie Prefecture contains several examples of young, non-Japanese people who have achieved their ambitions. It has been used in many seminars and events for non-Japanese residents, and teachers have also used it to show their students and when advising young people. For example, one young Filipino thought that the only job waiting after graduation was to become an interpreter, but after watching the DVD realized that there were more chances waiting out there, and many, many more kinds of jobs available.
Scholarships are also important when talking about educational support. There are several education loans available to families in financial difficulties to help support students continuing their education. There are also many organizations who offer support in the form of scholarships to non-Japanese students studying in Japan.
This seminar also introduced examples of businesses linked to Brazil. From restaurants to supermarkets and food retailers, the lecturers gave many ideas of international business ideas. With both the World Cup and the Olympics due to be held in Brazil, there are new opportunities on the horizon.
Usually seminars introducing the ‘Career Guide DVD’ are given to students and their parents or to school teachers, but this seminar was given to workers in businesses and local administration.
The non-Japanese community may have a vital part to play in Japanese society. Not just by increasing the population and working as laborers, but by helping to build a multicultural society in Japan.
A multicultural society is not one which just supports its foreign residents, but one which works together with them to create a better society. Living together with non-Japanese is the key to building a revitalized Japanese economy and nurturing workers who can help support Japan’s future. It will become more and more important for Japan to work with other countries and find new ways to build its society.