Tokyo Dev

Developer jobs in Japan Developer Life in Japan

IT Contracting in Japan


#1

Hello Tokyo Devs,
First of all thank you for this forum, I’m a British national and my wife is Japanese. We are thinking to move to Japan next year, I would like to know how you are finding IT contracting market in Japan currently (especially in DevOps/SRE space).

I’m a diehard contractor :slight_smile: in UK IT contracting is very common so I never had any issues finding contracting work here as long as I’m willing to travel through out UK. In terms of take home pay percentage is also good, usually 75% – 80%. For ex if your day rate is £500, your take home pay after taxes monthly is ~£8000.

Could someone please give me brief idea in comparison what is the take home percentage in Japan normally? Also I heard IT contracting is not that common in Japan, most of the companies (including MNC’s) prefer permanent staff, is this still the case?

Visa is not an issue for me, I’m willing to travel any where in Japan and I have over 15 year’s experience in IT. So I’m hoping I can start contracting without much struggle.

The only minus point is my Japanese language skills are nill. I’m hoping I can improve once I started working in Japan through.

I look forward to hear your thoughts, thanks in advance.


#2

I think that you will find it very difficult to get a contract job with a Japanese company.

Japanese companies do use a lot of contract workers, but they tend to be low level positions. I have no idea what the take home percentage is but the hourly rate is a small fraction of the rate you quoted. Also, none of the contract staff we use are freelance they all come via an agency.

Japanese language skills will also be a problem. I think that there are very few companies that will take on someone without Japanese ability, unless they are looking for a very specific skill set which is not available otherwise.

The situation in Tokyo (I am based in Osaka) may be different among some of the foreign companies there.


#3

Among people who relocate to Japan, I’ve found those who don’t have too specific an idea of what they’re life is going to be like to have the most success here. Lifestyle and opportunities are different here, so the more flexible you can be, the better opportunities there are.

I’m not quite sure what your definition of contractor is, but I gather it is working for one client for a multi-month period. If that’s the case, then I think the most analogous term in Japanese is フリーランス (freelance).

Personally, I haven’t done work like that before, but I have worked as a consultant where I charged clients a day rate, but did it on a project basis and often had several clients at once. My clients came through my personal network, which I’d already built up over several years while working as a full time employee.

In Japan, if you’re self employed, you need to enroll in the National Pension system and National Health Insurance. Both will be paid directly by you on a monthly basis. When billing clients, they will do Tax Withholding, at a rate of either 10% or 20%, based on the value of the invoice. In addition, you’ll need to file an income tax return yearly, and may end up paying more (though as someone self employed, it is easy to claim things as expenses). You also need to pay local income tax, which is assed on your previous years income, at a rate of 10%.