Facing labor shortages 7-Elevens, Family Marts in Japan seek Taiwanese employees

Job-seekers from Taiwan seen as perfect choice to fill ranks of country's convenience store workforce

7-Eleven employee in Japan

7-Eleven employee in Japan (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) –Japan faces serious labor shortages across many key domestic industries, with over 30,000 businesses closing down in 2018. In response, Tokyo has begun to adopt new policies that will make it easier for Japanese companies to employ workers from abroad.

In the service and retail sector, well-known convenience chains like 7-11 and Family Mart are also feeling the employment shortages and seeking new employees from abroad.

According to a report from SETN, Taiwanese citizens with Japanese language skills are the most sought after employees by Japan’s 7-11s, Family Marts, and other convenience store chains.

Recently in Taiwan, 7-11 announced that it would cease to offer 24 hour service at over 400 locations across the country. Likewise in Japan, without supplemental labor to keep them open, many of Japan’s 7-11s and Family Marts may be forced to follow suit.

SETN reports that over 260 Family Marts have already been forced to cut back hours, with many in Tokyo, as well as Akita and Nagasaki Prefectures.

To fill make up for the lack of employees, Japan’s convenience store chains are reportedly considering young Taiwanese jobseekers that want to live and work in Japan as a possible source of qualified and reliable labor.

The Japanese companies see Taiwanese recruits as adaptable and hard-working. Both countries also share a similar cultural affinity for convenience store chains.

The number of Taiwanese living in Japan has doubled over the past five years, with a recorded increase of over 10,000 individuals per year. Most Taiwanese residents are also employed in the service industry, reports SETN.

As the number of Taiwanese in Japan looks set to steadily increase in the years ahead, young Taiwanese job seekers with an interest in Japan or the Japanese language, may consider applying for one of their first jobs at a convenience store in Japan, rather than one in Taiwan.