JETRO's first Exchange Student/Global Talent and Foreign-Affiliated Company Networking Event

October 2017

On October 18, JETRO held a networking meeting in its Tokyo Headquarters for foreign-affiliated companies in Japan and international students, including both foreign students studying in Japan and Japanese returnee students from overseas, for the first time.

The event was jointly organized with the International Students Support Network with the aim of connecting foreign-affiliated companies and international students following the results of a JETRO survey on the Japanese investment environment in which "difficulty in finding human resources" was ranked first as an obstacle to doing business in Japan by foreign-affiliated companies.

The networking meeting was joined by 117 people from 66 foreign-affiliated companies and 239 international students, including 109 foreign students in Japan, who engaged in lively interaction.

It received praise from both participant companies and international students, including the following comments: "In addition to so many capable international students, we were also able to interact with other foreign-affiliated companies. It was a meaningful occasion for us." "This meeting provided an invaluable opportunity for us as students to directly communicate with foreign-affiliated companies." "I was able to picture myself working at a foreign-affiliated company."

Explanation on key points for hiring international students

In the opening session for foreign-affiliated companies, Tomohiro Takashima, Director-General of the Invest Japan Department of JETRO, referred to the current reality in which companies face major difficulties in securing global human resources while Japan has a low retention rate of international students and emphasized that the solution to both problems is the promotion of exchange between companies and students. Following him, Manabu Kubota, Secretary-General of the International Students Support Network, explained the scheme of support in recruiting international students offered by his association. Naoyuki Maekawa, Division Director of the Foreign Affiliate Support Division of JETRO, gave an explanation regarding support geared toward foreign-affiliated companies provided by JETRO. On the topic of work visas for international students who have been recruited, Tetsuya Iida, an immigration lawyer, gave details on the requirements for visa application and the process of acquisition.

Opening remarks by Director-General Takashima of JETRO

Introducing benefits of foreign-affiliated companies for international students

In the general session, Takeo Nakajima, Deputy Director-General of the Invest Japan Department of JETRO, made a presentation for international students under the theme of "working at a foreign-affiliated company," describing cases of business expansion by foreign-affiliated companies based in Japan and differences in corporate culture, which varies depending on the location of the parent company. After that, in order to hear directly from people with actual experience working in foreign-affiliated companies, a panel discussion was made on the topic of "the appeal of working for a foreign-affiliated company." Panelists deliberated on both the challenges and allures in working at foreign-affiliated companies, the differences seen between Japanese and foreign-affiliated companies in corporate culture and how women work, and ways of utilizing globally-capable personnel. A seminar titled "The Career Seminar for International Students" was presented by Secretary General Manabu Kubota of the International Students Support Network in order to introduce the Japanese system of job hunting and the climate regarding employment of foreign students, while offering his own advice to participants.

Panel discussion

Introduction of foreign-affiliated companies active in Japan

A pitch session was held in the venue featuring short presentations by a total of 43 participant foreign-affiliated companies in which each gave an introduction of their own organization and business operations in Japan to the international students. This was held in parallel with a poster session in another hall to allow all participants to interact on a one-to-one basis at booths set up by the companies. Companies were able to supplement information given during the pitch session with details on the type of personnel they are seeking, while students were able to individually ask questions to the companies in a free manner, providing an opportunity for each side to understand the other.

Poster session


Date and time Wednesday, October 18, 2017, 13:00 – 18:00
Vanue JETRO Tokyo Headquarters, 5th Floor, Exhibition Hall and Meeting Room
Organizer Japan External Trade Organization
Co-organizer International Students Support Network
Participants 239 international students including 109 foreign students in Japan
117 people from 66 foreign-affiliated companies
Outline of the program
Opening session for foreign-affiliated companies
Greeting by organizer
Tomohiro Takashima, Director-General, JETRO Invest Japan Dept.
Greeting by co-organizer    
Manabu Kubota, Secretary-General, International Students Support Network
Naoyuki Maekawa, Director, JETRO Invest Japan Dept., Foreign Affiliate Support Division
Tetsuya Iida, immigration lawyer
General session
Takeo Nakajima, Deputy Director-General, JETRO Invest Japan Department
Panel discussion    
Yuma Hasebe, Cognizant Japan KK (US)
Xinwei Ma, Ctrip Japan KK (China)
Peter Tsai, Google Japan Inc. (US)
Naoko Takebayashi, MHD Moët Hennessy Diageo KK (France)
Matt Stephens, JETRO Invest Japan Dept., Foreign Affiliate Support Division.
Manabu Kubota, Secretary-General, International Students Support Network
Pitch session
Poster session
Free interaction at booths of foreign-affiliated companies