This page displays current job openings for speakers of Japanese language looking for open positions in the United States. While Japanese is not a widely spoken second language in the United States, there are international companies that operate in the US that look for speakers of Japanese language who are knowledgeable about the culture and able to travel to Japan when needed. Several current positions are listed below.
[NOTE: We are updating our job links–check back soon!]
US Industries Requiring Japanese Language Speakers
Japanese jobs are available in several industries in the United States. Many companies that do business with Japanese partners may express a preference for candidates who, if not fluent in Japanese, at least be familiar with the formal business culture in Japan. Tokyo is the business center of the region and the one most foreigners tend to visit. A candidate with experience visiting and working on any of the four islands (Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu), as well as outer-lying business center of Okinawa, benefits American companies that depend on Japanese business partners. The culture is almost as intricate as the language, and making mistakes at formal meetings or even events that seem less formal–like dinners or getting drinks with colleagues–can be offensive to natives of Japan even though they recognize that foreigners have a difficult time learning their intricate routines and customs.
Jobs for Japanese speakers in the United States are not as widely advertised as Western languages like
Spanish, but native English speakers who know Japanese, plus Japanese permanent residents in the USA, can definitely utilize their language skills in job searches. There are many American joint ventures with companies in Tokyo and other cities of Japan; plus, there are sizable Japanese-speaking communities in the United States where the demand for workers who speak the language.
As of the census taken in the year 2000, the largest Japanese American communities were as follows:
- California with 394,896
- Hawaii with 296,674
- Washington with 56,210
- New York with 45,237
- Illinois with 27,702
While these numbers may seem large, Japanese immigrants make up only about 4% of immigrants from Asia. (Source: Wikipedia)
Japanese Jobs in US States
The state with the highest concentration of Japanese job opportunities is in Hawaii. There, Japanese speakers make up about 20% of the population, so the language is spoken and studied by many of the state’s residents–including non-Japanese citizens. Because a large number of tourists visit from Japan, signs, public transportation, and civic facilities often include Japanese as well as English. The Hawaiian media prints Japanese language newspapers and magazines, but they are losing popularity among the local Japanese population. Stores that cater to the tourist industry often have Japanese-speaking personnel. In hospital, a native or fluent speaker would have an edge in securing nursing or other health care positions. While historically the trend was to embrace English to demonstrate allegiance to the US, the new trend is to embrace and learn Japanese to hold onto one’s home culture and ethnic roots. These areas offer jobs for fluent candidates in journalism, teaching, case workers, pharmacists, engineers, and occasionally art and animation among other fields.
US Education Jobs in Japanese
School systems in the United States also offer teaching jobs for native and fluent speakers for bilingual programs. Several states have schools with bilingual Enlgish-Japanese programs. Teachers must have certification and most often a Master’s degree, though Bachelor’s degree is also sometimes accepted.
Animation Jobs in Japanese
Occasionally Sony in Tokyo offers 3D jobs where the language is used. At the Sony Imageworks office in Culver City, English is used. However, 2D and 3D manga style animation is gaining in popularity. Artists in the US who know Japanese may have an edge when communicating with teams producing shows or films using this style of animation (assuming the producer is Japanese, rather than American).
Find Japanese job opportunities in these industries and many others here. Or post a job if you are recruiting native or fluent speakers. If you have fluency in Japanese language and English, bookmark this page so you can check new jobs on a regular basis; the jobs here are updated daily. If your organization is looking to hire speakers of Japanese, click the logo at the bottom of the page to post a job.