The Incredibly Useful Hello Work of Japan

When people talk about Japan, there are many things they usually mention.There are people who like talking about how Japan is so progressive in terms of technology because of the major advancements they have made throughout the recent years. Sometimes, their governance is giving attention because of how quickly and efficiently they respond to all kinds of problems the country encounters and a solid proof of their government’s efforts with regards to responding to problems is the existence of their “Hello Work” program.

What Hello Work in Japan and the Types of Jobs You Can Find in their Offices in Sendai

Employment and unemployment is something that occurs not only in Japan but in every single country in this world. It has been like that for centuries now because everybody needs money for something and getting a job or being employed gets you this money that you want and need. Before all the major advancements in technology and global connectivity due to inventions like the internet, these jobs were quite tedious to find because the way wanted ads got spread around to the public before was with the use of the newspapers or bulletin boards designated for providing information about potential employees or employers.

With the evolution brought about by the internet, many things were created to make it easier to disseminate all kinds of information to the public with just a click of the mouse. Search engines like Google and Yahoo became the alternative to looking for books in the library. Friendster, Myspace, Hipster, Facebook, and all other kinds of social media websites became the alternative way of making friends and connections. With these digital alternatives being developed left and right, it was only a matter of time until something came along that would become the alternative for job hunting through several newspapers. In Japan, this was the emergence of Hello Work.

Hello Work isn’t necessarily a website that you log into to look for job openings. It’s actually what you call the Japanese government’s Employment Service Center. They help both locals and foreigners to find jobs as well as manage the unemployment insurance benefits for those who can avail of these benefits. Hello Work may not solely be a website but its success is still heavily related to and dependent on the advancements of the internet because this is the essential tool they use to get and spread the necessary information to people so they can provide the services they were intended to provide to the public.

If you are in the Miyagi Prefecture and looking to try Hello Work, there are two offices in Sendai that you can opt to check out. The first is found in Tsutsujigaoka, Miyagino-ku and this branch is known as the Foreign Residents’ Employment Service Corner. Another branch in Sendai that you can check out is the one located in Chuo, Aoba-ku and this branch is known as the Hello Work Information Plaza. Both these establishments operate from Mondays to Fridays from the hours of 8:30 AM until 5 PM. The branch found in Aoba-ku also operates on Saturdays but for a shorter period which is from 10 AM until 4 PM.

This branches obviously sounds great but unfortunately for those who do not speak Nihongo(Japanese), both the branches in Sendai are the ones that do not offer services in foreign languages despite one of these branches being known as the Foreign Residents’ Employment Service Corner. This is because Japan encourages even their foreign residents to learn their native language and with that in mind, these Hello Work branches push foreigners to comply with their desire for them to learn the native tongue.

The Hello Work Offices in Japan 

As it was mentioned earlier, there are centers that only cater to the Japanese language. This isn’t much of a problem though as long as there are centers that can provide the service needed by those who can only speak a foreign language and there are. They can be found in the cities of Nagoya, Osaka, and Shinjuku. Taking into consideration the efficiency of the bus and train systems in Japan, the fact that the centers that can speak foreign languages like English, Mandarin, Spanish, and Portuguese is never a problem because they are just one or two commutes away from anywhere in Japan.

Like the Sendai branches, there are also two Hello Work offices that can be found in Shinjuku, Tokyo. These establishments are namely the Nishi Shinjuku Center, also known as the Tokyo Employment Service Center for Foreigners, and the Kabukicho Center, also known as the Shinjuku Foreigners’ Employment Assistance and Guidance Center. These offices offer essentially the same services but there are some differences between these two.

The Nishi Shinjuku Center administers services like Job counseling and placement services for non-Japanese specialists and students. This means that those who have freshly graduated and those with occupations in engineering, international services, and in humanities are usually the kinds of people that go here to register. Their immigration advisory services are from 11 AM to 6 PM but you’ll have to set an appointment beforehand to avail of English and Chinese interpreters.

The Kabukicho Center provides the same services but caters to a different demographic. In this center, they offer job counseling and placement services for foreigners who have no restrictions on their occupation like a spouse or a child of Japanese nationality or even permanent and long-term residents. Aside from this, they also offer these services to students who are looking for part-time jobs. Like the Nishi Shinjuku Center, English and Chinese interpreters are available only by appointment so do not forget to set it in advance.

If you are a foreigner looking for work in a company that hires foreigners in Japan, you should head to the Osaka Employment Service Center for Foreigners. This office is run by the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare and it focuses on providing the Hello Work services to students as well as those that fall under the condition mentioned above. Basically, their services are available for foreigners who are already residing in Japan with a status of residence. This excludes those with temporary visitor visas only.

Unlike those of the Hello Work offices discussed earlier, the interpreters here operate during different hours. From Monday through Friday, the interpreters of the English, Chinese, and Portuguese language are there from 1 PM until 6 PM. The Spanish interpreter is available only on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the hours of 1 PM to 6 PM as well. You can also find a residential status advisor in this branch but you will need to set an appointment between the hours of 2 PM to 6 PM on any day of the week excluding weekends. You can reach this office via train on the JR line that has the Osaka station. You can also opt to travel via subway because it is connected to the Tanimachi Line through the Higashiumeda station, the Yotsubashi Line through the Nishiumeda station, and the Midosuji Line through the Umeda station.

The Hello Work branch in Nagoya is also one that serves foreign residents in Japan. Their office hours start at 9:30 AM and end at 6 PM. Their interpreters are available from 10 AM until 6 PM but they do have a lunch break so avoid heading there if lunch in nearing. Like all other Hello Work offices with interpreters, you must book or set an appointment with the interpreter beforehand for you to be entertained when you register or avail of their services.

Japan’s Unemployment Benefits That Hello Work Also Manages

It was mentioned earlier that there is such a thing as unemployment benefits or shitsugyo-hoken. These benefits are given to the unemployed in Japan but there are requirements to be met before you can avail of these benefits. The most important requirement is for the person availing of the benefits to be a resident already. This is because this insurance system deems people with student visas or working holiday visa holders as ineligible. Foreign government employees who are receiving benefits from their country are also ineligible to avail of these benefits from Japan.

The requirements for part-time workers and full-time workers are different. For part-time workers, you must have been employed for at least 31 days with your working hours reaching at least 20 hours per week. Usually, these type of rules and regulations entail different requirements for locals and foreigners. In this case, though, equality between the two can clearly be seen with how the same requirements are applied to both locals and foreigners.

As for the requirements for full-time workers, there are some conditions that have to be met before you can try to obtain these benefits. The first condition is that the unemployed must have exerted great efforts to find a job and must also be ready to take a job at any time. Of course, there are certain conditions like a disease, injury, and the like that leaves the unemployed unable to return to work immediately. If this is the case, you must meet two more conditions to be eligible. The first is to have a total of at least 12 months of employment in the 2-year span prior to you becoming unemployed. The second condition is dependent on the reason why you became unemployed because if you were unemployed due to reasons like bankruptcy or discharge, the requirement you would have to meet is a total of at least 6 full months of employment in the span of 1 year prior to your unemployment.

Throughout the years of its existence, the service provided by this necessary program has gotten better and better each year. With further advancements in communication technology, searching for jobs as well as employees for your company has gotten immensely easier. If you have more queries about Hello Work like how to claim the benefits, their websites you can find online have all the information you could possibly need to prepare you for your trip to any of their offices. Just take note of those branches without the interpreter because you wouldn’t want to waste your time and money just because you can’t communicate well with the people of Hello Work.