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Japan immigration

Japan misses foreign talent as companies seek strong linguists

Facing dearth of IT experts, recruiters call for focus on specialist skills

Foreign students learn about job hunting at a vocational school in Tokyo: Experts say Japanese companies' "club" approach to hiring leads them to overemphasize language skills.

TOKYO -- Many Japanese companies are missing out on opportunities to employ highly qualified foreign nationals with valuable skills because of their insistence that recruits have advanced Japanese language skills.

According to a survey of data from two job placement services in Japan, more than 70% of specialist positions open to foreigners require full fluency in Japanese, while fewer than 40% of job seekers have that qualification.

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