On January 15, Yokohama City held a seminar "Working and Living in Yokohama City, Japan" at the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) in Cambodia to introduce the city's living and working environment to Cambodian university students with the aim of attracting highly skilled human resources. The city is promoting the use of foreign human resources for the development of companies in the city, and is strengthening the provision of information not only to foreign students in Japan but also to university students living in ASEAN and Southwest Asia.
At the seminar, Mr. Yasuro Furunishi, Director of the International Relations Division, International Policy Department, International Bureau, City of Yokohama, explained about the living and working environment in Yokohama. He explained that Yokohama is a global city with more than 70,000 companies, or about 2% of all Japanese companies, located in the city and 100,000 foreign residents. He emphasized the city's accessibility to both domestic and international destinations, multilingual administrative services, relatively inexpensive rent compared to Tokyo, and city-wide cultural events as its attractions.
Yasuko Otaki, Coordinator for Promotion of Highly Skilled Foreign Workers at JETRO's International Business Human Resources Division, explained the employment situation of highly skilled foreign human resources in Japanese companies, Japan's work system, and visa and residence status procedures. According to a JETRO survey (FY2019), 23% of companies are considering hiring foreign personnel as part of their policy to secure human resources for overseas business expansion, and the number of foreign workers in Japan is on the rise. Furthermore, he indicated that even in the face of the new coronavirus disaster, 82.8% of Japanese companies were willing to expand exports in 2021, suggesting that not only large companies but also small and medium-sized enterprises that are actively expanding overseas could be a place for high-level foreign human resources to play an active role.
A Cambodian woman working for a construction-related company in Tokyo also took the stage online, introducing her background and current work. Using Japanese, English, and Khmer, she presented how she was involved in the establishment of the company's new Cambodian base, attracting much attention from the students.
More than 90 students from RUPP's Japanese language department and the Cambodian Institute of Technology registered for the seminar, and during the Q&A session, they asked a number of specific questions about the impact of the weak yen, the withholding system, the costs involved in obtaining visas and residence status, and daily work hours, all of which were based on the assumption that they would work in Japan.
Students who participated in the seminar said, "I was able to have a concrete image of working in Yokohama. I would like to continue to gather information on what kind of jobs are available as the next step.
The city plans to hold similar seminars in Hanoi, Vietnam in February and Vientiane, Laos in May.