- Diversity Management in Workplaces: Do Japanese Firms Provide Attractive and Fulfilling Working Environment -

February 26, 2016

  1. 1 On February 26, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) held the aforementioned Workshop at Shinagawa City's Curian in cooperation with co-organizers the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Shinagawa City, and with support from the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR).

    2 Mr. Yoji Muto, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Takeshi Hamano, Mayor of Shinagawa City, provided opening remarks at the beginning of the Workshop. Mr. Muto explained that creating an environment that enables foreign nationals to work effectively at Japanese firms is an urgent issue for maintaining the vitality and creativity of Japanese firms and Japan's economy and society as a country faced with an aging population and low birthrates. Mr. Muto also added that ''employment'' forms the foundation to everyday life, and is a key to the acceptance and integration of both newly-arrived foreign nationals and foreign nationals already living in Japan, and that he hoped that the Workshop would serve as a venue for sharing valuable perspectives and opinions and provide an opportunity to consider formats for Japanese firms that are suited to a globalized society.

    3 Following the opening remarks, Amb. William Lacy Swing, Director General of IOM, delivered a keynote speech. After presentations by Japanese and foreign experts on human resource management at global companies, a panel discussion took place among Japanese people and foreign nationals working at Japanese and foreign-capital companies. The panel discussion reviewed from a variety of angles the current situation and challenges that lie ahead for the creation of a workplace environment that is conductive to bringing about the full potential of foreign nationals who are already active in Japan (particularly those foreign nationals employed as highly-skilled human resources) .The discussion cast light on the following points for their significance in realizing such an environment:
    • deliberate efforts made by supervisors, co-workers, etc, to communicate with such foreign nationals,
    • clear explanations on the firm's strategy in terms of the career path and human resources development for its employees,
    • a work environment that is flexible enough for each individual to have his or her individuality respected,,
    • the "inclusion" that would eventually lead to a better workplace environment not only for foreign employees but also for a diverse mix of human resources including the Japanese.