How to Set Up Business in JapanSection 4. Human Resource Management
4.2 Recruitment

4.2.1 Recruiting methods

Japan has a government-run employment agency known as "Hello Work" with offices throughout Japan. Hello Work offers free support for people looking for work and companies looking for workers; all industries are covered by the agency. Similarly, some regional public organizations and education institutions such as universities provide employment services for free. There are also many privately-run employment agencies; these come in several types, including executive search-type agencies, as well as those which build up a database of registered potential employees and employers, and where the agency collects fees on a contingency basis (i.e., when someone from their database is successfully employed with a company). Japan also has a wide range of newspapers, magazines (e.g., job-transfer magazines, industry-specific magazines, etc.), and Internet websites through which companies can advertise their job opportunities and vacancies.

4.2.2 Legislation on recruitment

As far as labor contracts are concerned, the principle of freedom of contract applies to the hiring of workers, and allows an employer to decide what kinds of workers and how many to hire. There are, however, some restrictions. For instance, under the Equal Employment Opportunities Act, employers must afford equal opportunities regardless of sex when recruiting and hiring workers. For that reason, employers may not specify male or female employees when advertising situations vacant, with the exception of a few specific positions.

Under the Employment Measures Act, employers must also afford equal opportunities regardless of the age when recruiting and hiring workers, and employers are, with some exceptions, prohibited from specifying the age limit in their recruitment and hiring.
Selection criteria should be based on whether the applicant has the aptitude and ability necessary for performing the job in question. Personal matters unrelated to aptitude and ability (such as an applicant’s nationality, family, personal beliefs and other matters) should not be used as application conditions or hiring standards.

4.2.3 Indication of working condition

Companies must indicate the working conditions when recruiting workers through newspapers, magazines or the internet or when posting job offerings to “Hello Work” or private employment agencies. At that time, the companies must indicate the following conditions in writing .

  • Job description
  • The period of the agreement (or where there are no provisions pertaining to period, the fact that there areno provisions pertaining to term).
  • Workplace
  • Matters pertaining to start and finish times, work in excess of regular working hours, breaks, days off and leaves.
  • Wages
  • Matter pertaining to an employee’s health insurance, an employee’s pension, Industrial accident compensation insurance and Employment insurance

The amendment of the Employment Security Act will enter into force in January 1st, 2018. Thence after, if the working conditions of the labor contract are different from the conditions indicated in the initial job-offering, the employer must indicate the difference. The difference should be indicated by a document through which a jobseeker can compare the difference, or by highlighting or underlining the changes in working conditions made in the document when concluding a labor contract (see also 4.3.1). Also, the following working conditions must be indicated in writing from January 1, 2018.

  • Probation period (see also 4.3.3)
  • Name of the person that offered the job
  • If the employer recruits employees for worker dispatching undertakings, the fact that the employer does so (see also 4.3.9 (1))

Section4: Table of Contents


Section4: Samples of documents businesses are required to submit to authorities

No. Section Documents Japanese The competent authorities relating to the document
21 4-3a Notice of EmploymentPDF file(742KB) JapanesePDF file(742KB) Ministry of Health, Labour and WelfareExternal site: a new window will open
(Japanese only)
22 4-3b Employment Agreement (sample)PDF file(227KB) JapanesePDF file(171KB)
23 4-5 Notification of Agreement on Overtime work Working on HolidaysPDF file(893KB)
ExamplePDF file(712KB)
JapanesePDF file(817KB)
ExamplePDF file(911KB)
Ministry of Health, Labour and WelfareExternal site: a new window will open
(Japanese only)
24 4-6 Rules of Employment (sample)PDF file(1.9MB) JapanesePDF file(2.0MB) Ministry of Health, Labour and WelfareExternal site: a new window will open
25 4-9a Notification of Acquisition of Employment Insurance QualificationPDF file(1.1MB) JapanesePDF file(614KB)
ExamplePDF file(402KB)
Ministry of Health, Labour and WelfareExternal site: a new window will open
(Japanese only)
26 4-9b Notification of the Acquisition of Health insurance Qualification Employees' Pension Insurance QualificationPDF file(245KB)
ExamplePDF file(1.1MB)
JapanesePDF file(606KB)
ExamplePDF file(1.1MB)
Japan Pension ServiceExternal site: a new window will open
27 4-9c Labor insurance Estimated insurance premiums / Increased estimated insurance premiums / Final insurance premiums DeclarationPDF file(919KB)
ExamplePDF file(639KB)
JapanesePDF file(1.0MB)
ExamplePDF file(1.6KB)
Ministry of Health, Labour and WelfareExternal site: a new window will open
(Japanese only)
For Electronic application, please click here.External site: a new window will open
(Japanese only)
28 4-9d Basic amount for calculation of monthly remuneration of person insured Health insurance Employees' pension insurancePDF file(216KB)
ExamplePDF file(486KB)
JapanesePDF file(564KB)
ExamplePDF file(784KB)
Japan Pension ServiceExternal site: a new window will open
(Japanese only)
29 4-9e Notification of Dependent Under Health Insurance (Change)PDF file(731KB)
ExamplePDF file(751KB)
JapanesePDF file(570KB)
ExamplePDF file(661KB)
Japan Pension ServiceExternal site: a new window will open
(Japanese only)
30 4-9f Notification of the Establishment of a Labor Insurance RelationshipPDF file(1.1MB)
ExamplePDF file(793KB)
JapanesePDF file(1.0MB)
ExamplePDF file(1.1MB)
Ministry of Health, Labour and WelfareExternal site: a new window will open
(Japanese only)
For Electronic application, please click here.External site: a new window will open
(Japanese only)
31 4-9g Notice of establishment of the business place to which employment insurance is appliedPDF file(520KB) JapanesePDF file(523KB)
ExamplePDF file(401KB)
Ministry of Health, Labour and WelfareExternal site: a new window will open
(Japanese only)
For Electronic application, please click here.External site: a new window will open
(Japanese only)
32 4-9h Notice of New Application Health insurance Welfare pension insurancePDF file(273KB)
ExamplePDF file(320KB)
JapanesePDF file(542KB)
ExamplePDF file(637KB)
Japan Pension ServiceExternal site: a new window will open
(Japanese only)
33 4-9i Declaration of Tax Exemption for Salaried Employees (Change)PDF file(230KB)
ExamplePDF file(262KB)
JapanesePDF file(591KB)
ExamplePDF file(2.7MB)
National Tax AgencyExternal site: a new window will open
(Japanese only)
34 4-10 Income Tax Withholding CertificatePDF file(309KB) JapanesePDF file(718KB) National Tax AgencyExternal site: a new window will open
(Japanese only)

These materials contain samples of documents regarding registration, visa, taxation, personnel and labor matters that are necessary when a foreign company establishes a corporation or other entity in Japan as well as descriptive examples of how to fill them out. A portion of the English content has been updated through a provisional translation. These documents are not published by competent authorities and therefore are not official. For those who are going through the official procedures, please download the latest official documents from the competent authorities and related bodies or consult a person who specializes in advising on such information and procedures.

The information contained in this documents should be used at the reader’s independent discretion. While JETRO makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information it provides, no responsibility is accepted by JETRO for any loss or damage incurred as a result of actions based on the information provided in these documents or provided by the external links listed on these pages.