Tokyo Dev

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I have Japanese citizenship, but do not speak any Japanese


Hi! I’m a half-Japanese half-Filipino (holding both passports) software developer who grew up in the Philippines. I’ve decided I’d like to migrate to Japan and work there in software.

Since I speak very little Japanese (but willing to learn), what do you think is the best way to pursue my career goals?

Based on your blog, I think a good plan of action for myself is to go on a short vacation to Japan, solely to attend the bilingual networking events and hope I can get some interviews from there. My problem is I have less than a year of professional working experience so I’m a little worried I might not get any interested companies and my trip would be wasted. As much as possible, I’d like to be able to secure a job before subjecting myself to Japan’s cost of living.

Would you happen to have any advice for me? Is my plan any good? Thanks!


Participating in dev events won’t guarantee you getting a job, no matter your experience. I see it more as sowing seeds, which as you build up your network, someday you’ll be able to harvest. So rather than coming here just to participate events, it would be something I’d do if you had plans to come here otherwise (such as visiting family).

One way to get more value out of events is to speak at them. Smaller regular events, like the one I hold, Tokyo Rubyist Meetup, are always looking for speakers. Even if you don’t have something deeply technical to talk about, I think you’d still be welcome.

Another path would be to try and work for a Japanese company with offices in the Philippines. Gengo and Rarejob are two startups I know of that are headquartered in Japan, but have development offices in the Philippines. While working for them might not directly lead you to Japan, it would be a step in the right direction.