Photo taken the other day at the Cool Japan Strategy Conference. To my left is Yukio Edano - currently the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and formerly the Chief Cabinet Secretary - if he looks familiar to you then its because he was the one in the blue jacket making all the speeches during the 201103 earthquake.
Other comrades here are the CEO of Nico Nico Douga Kawakami-san, Fashion Journalist Ikoma Yoshiko, Journalist Tsuda Daisuke and Music Composer Sato Go. Today we are all talking at another Cool Japan themed conference (press release) - the topic is how to disseminate Japanese culture around the world.
I want you to know that during the panel I raised the topic of working permits not being issued to folks who have not graduated from university. From your feedback, I know there are many of you who are passionate about Japan, talented and would love to work in Japan - but not necessarily meet the requirements for a work visa - i.e being a university graduate.
After the conference I received a mail from my government contact mentioning that while it may take some time that they are looking into the issue that I raised. I want you to be able to work in Japan while you are still passionate about the culture.
Having said that, you need to always be prepared for opportunities and I urge you all to make time to learn new skills and gain experience. Google Sensei can teach you anything - but only if you ask. When presented with a new opportunity to gain an experience - dont let money be the first thing that enters your mind. An experience is invaluable and you should get into the mind set that it should be *you* that pays for an experience to do something.
I built my company by doing a lot of work for free (and still do) but I care about my future which is why I think long term - I know that the relationships I nurture now will be beneficial for the future me.
The bottom line is that I dont expect you to be given a working visa if you got no skills that would benefit Japan - my argument is that there are many talented folks who would like to work in Japan - but just dont have a university degree. If you make sure you are skilled then you should qualify if the visa hurdle should drop a few notches - but it really is up to you. If you want some tips then read though my Career Category.
I've been working with the Japanese government on various projects for a while now and recently as Creative Director for the Mazer Project. If there is anything at all that you want the government to know about then just leave a comment to start a discussion.
The conference took place inside the NicoNico Chokaigi event that took place in Makuhari Messe over the weekend - separate post on that coming up.
Large turnout for the event and about 50,000 live viewers on NicoNico.
Thats what I love about this job - laughter involved everyday ^o^
And no - that is not my Dell laptop ^^;
Session only lasted for about 45 mins but there will be more in the future!
Ikoma-san was the former chief editor of Vogue Japan and is currently advising me on a separate project.
Sato Go is the music man.
And this fellow is the CEO of NicoNico.
Cool Japan is not just anime, manga, films, fashion, food and travel - its also language too!
Quick get together after the talk.
A snap with my comrade at METI before heading back to my Itasha on display.