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You will notice that America, supposedly Japan's friend and ally is not on the list. According to the Japanese consulate in Vancouver, you can secure a working holiday visa in as little as three days! A treaty was negotiated between these countries and Japan that allowed for the creation of this visa. Americans upset that they cannot get such a visa should complain to their government. Americans are hamstrung by this. It really is an impediment to working in Japan. This visa allows Australians, Kiwis and Canadians, to name but three, to work in Japan for 12 months and it can be renewed in some cases or switched to another visa after it expires in many cases. Often this kind of visa is secured for work as an English teacher, or for other work such as working in a hotel or a restaurant to name but a few. Americans who have the yen to come to Japan to work, can only come with a tourist visa or a working visa. Switching from a tourist visa to a working visa happens all the time.
Though you won't catch a Japanese Immigration authority talking about it much. It is one of those open secrets so common to Japan. Certainly, most Americans simply don't tell immigration that their goal is to come to work in Japan. They say they are sightseeing. Getting a working visa can take up to four months. So on the one hand, an Australian can get her visa in a matter of days, but an American has to wait months. Why are Americans given such a raw deal? Perhaps the American government simply doesn't want such an agreement. To this author's knowledge they don't have a working holiday agreement with any nation. It is interesting to note that Japan first chose Australia for the working holiday program, then New Zealand, followed by Canada. The impression it creates was Australia was most desirable to Japanese eyes. Is there a desire to make it more difficult for businesses in Japan to hire Americans? Verily, that is the result. What this leads to is fewer Americans in Japan.
Why would Japan want to create impediments for Americans hoping to live and work here? Could it be that America does the same to Japanese? Perhaps it is simply more difficult for Japanese to get a visa to work in America than it is in New Zealand for example. So to retaliate Americans don't get as good a a Kiwi for example. Perhaps it is because there are already many Americans here. There are American military bases throughout Japan and their personnel number well over 40,000 people. Japan has to deal with all the problems foreign soldiers cause when they mix with the civilians of Japan. There are also many American business people, and of course American English teachers. In spite of the barriers against them, many Americans still manage to come to Japan and work. However, without this bureaucratic obstruction, there would be more Americans in Japan. I assert that (having more Americans in Japan) has traditionally been an idea incongruous with the feelings of many Japanese politicians. Keep the Americans out as much as possible seems to be their goal. But don't make it so obvious that there is a backlash from the American government.
Japan Association of Working Holiday Makers Maybe the Japanese authorities simply want more diversification in who comes to Japan. They want to encourage people from other countries to come. This could simply be the case: restrictions on Americans for diversification of the foreign population here. It would give Japanese a broader exposure to many different nationalities here in Japan, and therefore, a broader view of the world (perhaps it is hoped). The view in Japan by some Japanese, seems to be that America is dangerous: and by association, Americans are more dangerous than people of other nationalities. Pacific and its' influence has been felt. If this is true, it is prejudice, pure and simple! It is interesting that some Japanese feel that Americans are undesirable. America and the unfortunate incidents in Okinawa of the rapes of Japanese women by American military personnel. American protests in Japan's sunniest prefecture. The Japanese media too seems to be a member of this anti-American illuminati. If an American serviceman rapes a Japanese woman, it is national news for days or weeks. So again, American men at least, are portrayed as a dangerous element in Japan.
Not in four months! One good thing about Japan is that the law often bends. The fact is many Americans if not most, come to Japan on tourist visas then switch to working visas. This is simply a fact of working life in Japan, as few teachers quitting their positions in Japan give more than one months notice. You do the math. It doesn't give schools enough time to secure the working visas for Americans. So they either have to hire a citizen of the Commonwealth, or tell a US citizen to come on a tourist visa and switch it over. If I were American, I would complain. Why are you given such a raw deal in Japan? I would come on a tourist visa, and tell the Japanese authorities, how I am so looking forward to sightseeing in Kyoto! He loves to hire Americans incidentally! Editors are free to use this article but cannot change it in any way, and must include all links.