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Many In Japan Are Outsourcing Themselves

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http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/22/business/global/22outsource.html?ref=business

In October 2008, when the world was reeling from the collapse of Lehman Brothers and job markets were freezing up everywhere, Akane Natori waltzed into a new position she liked. “Things went so smoothly after applying online, and before I knew it, I had the job,” said Ms. Natori, who was then a 26-year-old sales assistant at an import-export company in Tokyo.

There was just one catch, one that speaks volumes about the Japanese economy and the challenges younger Japanese face in a country where college graduates used to count on lifetime employment with the company they joined right out of school. Ms. Natori’s new job — working in a call center answering queries from customers in Japan — was in Bangkok.

Under fierce pressure to cut costs, large Japanese companies are increasingly outsourcing and sending white-collar operations to China and Southeast Asia, where doing business costs less than in Japan. But while many American companies have been content to transfer work to, say, an Indian outsourcing company staffed with English-speaking Indians, Japanese companies are taking a different tack. Japanese outsourcers are hiring Japanese workers to do the jobs overseas — and paying them considerably less than if they were working in Japan.

Japanese outsourcers like Transcosmos and Masterpiece have set up call centers, data-entry offices and technical support operations staffed by Japanese workers in cities like Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong and Taipei.

Such outposts cater to Japanese employers who say they cannot do without Japanese workers for reasons of language and culture. Even foreign citizens with a good command of the Japanese language, they say, may not be equipped with a sufficiently nuanced understanding of the manners and politesse that Japanese customers often demand.

“If you used Japanese-speaking Chinese, for example, the service quality does not match up with the expectations of the end customers,” said Tatsuhito Muramatsu, managing director at Ms. Natori’s employer, Transcosmos Thailand, a unit of Transcosmos, which is based in Tokyo.

Statistics on exactly how many Japanese have taken jobs outside the country at lower wages are hard to come by. But according to the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, there was a net outflow of 100,000 Japanese in the year that ended in September 2008, the most recent for which statistics were available. It was the highest number in the past 20 years.

While the number of workers sent overseas by Japanese companies on traditional expatriate packages fell 0.32 percent in the same period, the number of “independent businesspeople” and freelance contractors like Ms. Natori rose 5.69 percent, according to data from the Japanese Foreign Ministry. Many of those workers were headed to cities like Shanghai and Bangkok, where net increases of Japanese residents have been recorded in the past several years, according to the ministry.

Many large Asian cities — including Bangkok, Hong Kong, Jakarta, New Delhi, Shanghai and Singapore — have three to four Japanese job placement agencies each. Four Japanese outsourcing companies run call centers in Bangkok, which is a particularly attractive city for such operations because it has low costs but good amenities, offering a living standard that young Japanese enjoy.

Can we expect UK workers to do the same?

I wonder what taxes these people contribute to the host economy?

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Yep,sounds logical for Brits to work from a beach Thailand and collect a slightly higher salary than the locals.

In the case of Japanese it makes more sense as they communicate by sucking air between teeth and periods of silence.Very few foreignors can do this.There are also greater regional variations. The idea mentioned of Chinese call center staff being used (to speak Japanese)is laughable, the Chinese never understand how rude they sound.

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Once they go to Bangkok they will never get back to Japan let alone be able to afford to live in Japan.

No wonder in the past decade there has been a sudden and huge growth in ladyboys in Japan - unknown before. I suspect given the choice of working in Bangkok or being a ladyboy in Tokyo they opt for the ladyboy option :lol:

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Millions of Brits did the same - they voted Labour.

More symptoms of the great leveling.

Until costs are reduced sufficiently in the developed countries or costs (wages) increase in the developing countries more and more of this weird sh1te will keep happening.

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Once they go to Bangkok they will never get back to Japan let alone be able to afford to live in Japan.

No wonder in the past decade there has been a sudden and huge growth in ladyboys in Japan - unknown before. I suspect given the choice of working in Bangkok or being a ladyboy in Tokyo they opt for the ladyboy option :lol:

But think about it this way.... would you rather live homeless and destitute on the streets of Tokyo (and there are an incredible number of homeless in Tokyo) or would you make a reasonable liveable Thai Salary?

It goes to my question again, servant in heaven or the king of hell..

Hong Kong in January surprised me as Kadokawa shoeten was moving to Hong Kong and moving only it's cheif editors hiring local HK people so they could pay them much less.

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Our futures are this.....

Even though I am losing the battle I constantly have to retrain resharpen my knives to be able to get any sort of job, companies don't want to train you so they don't and ask for experienced hires instead.

Seoul is a good example, the competition for jobs is incredible....so while westerners might have a shave and dress nice for an interview Koreans will borrow a shed load of money and have facial surgery and will generally attempt to out do each other staying late.

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Another nail in the coffin that is Japan

- disastrous demographics with declining birth rate

- deflation, falling wages

- 30% temporary workforce

- crippling national debt

- savings rate about to turn negative

This sort of outsourcing is deflationary - the corporate parasite is killing the host

I blame zombie banks, ZIRP and the culture of subservience

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Guest Noodle

Once they go to Bangkok they will never get back to Japan let alone be able to afford to live in Japan.

No wonder in the past decade there has been a sudden and huge growth in ladyboys in Japan - unknown before. I suspect given the choice of working in Bangkok or being a ladyboy in Tokyo they opt for the ladyboy option :lol:

Yeah, but at least we've got Japanese women now . . . and they are superior.

This is great news.

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Guest Noodle

It's a good job we all have different tastes.....:rolleyes:

I've been married mush. I avoid all of them.

I'd like a nice Honda petrol mower.

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I've been married mush. I avoid all of them.

I'd like a nice Honda petrol mower.

Understood. I had a Honda petrol mower.... and a Honda petrol strimmer.... nice bits of kit. But I'd rather have those "tanks"! (just for a day).

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Understood. I had a Honda petrol mower.... and a Honda petrol strimmer.... nice bits of kit. But I'd rather have those "tanks"! (just for a day).

How much was the mower? I think my electric one hasn't got long to live.

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How much was the mower? I think my electric one hasn't got long to live.

It cost me about 300 quid back in 2001 (thereabouts). I'm sure they're probably about the same today. I couldn't find one when I first got to Canada and bought a Canadian made MTD with a Honda engine..... the engine is fine but the blade assembly has broken already! So much for Canadian "quality".....

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It cost me about 300 quid back in 2001 (thereabouts). I'm sure they're probably about the same today. I couldn't find one when I first got to Canada and bought a Canadian made MTD with a Honda engine..... the engine is fine but the blade assembly has broken already! So much for Canadian "quality".....

About £500 here, no chance right now. My little electric one cost about £60, it's takes a day to do the gardens here.

I quite fancy a push one without motor, you know the type. A spring rake too. Less to go wrong.

See how much more interesting mowers are than group sex with Swedish blondes? ;)

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This topic is straying, isn't it?.... although Honda is Japanese....

Okay back on topic now.

I'd heard Brits were moving to India to work in call centres.

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About £500 here, no chance right now. My little electric one cost about £60, it's takes a day to do the gardens here.

I quite fancy a push one without motor, you know the type. A spring rake too. Less to go wrong.

See how much more interesting mowers are than group sex with Swedish blondes? ;)

Not arf! Those old fashioned manual push rotary mowers are making a bit of a comeback here.... Canadian Tire (they can't spell) have at least 3 different models on display!

http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/2/OutdoorLiving/PowerEquipment/LawnMowers/PRD~0601526P/Yardworks%252B18-in%252BReel%252BLawnmower.jsp?locale=en

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Not arf! Those old fashioned manual push rotary mowers are making a bit of a comeback here.... Canadian Tire (they can't spell) have at least 3 different models on display!

http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/2/OutdoorLiving/PowerEquipment/LawnMowers/PRD~0601526P/Yardworks%252B18-in%252BReel%252BLawnmower.jsp?locale=en

CompostQueen only gave that model 2 stars.

"I have used reel mowers in the past and looked forward to using this one, but it is a chore. It moves easily, but squeaks abominably. It also will not cut tall grass spikes or dandelions, no matter how many passes the mower just flattens them. It will do a passable job to tidy up the lawn, but if you are familiar with reel mowers this machine is not up to standard. The optional grass catcher, which is a separate item, is not something you should spend your money on unless your lawn is golf course smooth it jumps off the mower regularly. Maybe the smaller size mower would have been better."

I never saw beauty in 'stripes' on a lawn. I tend to leave the mower on the highest cut level too, prevents grass dying over repeated hot days and reduces the need for regular watering.

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Mods are slack tonight. We're still on the "real" forum.

To be fair it's 5am over there. Bart needs his beauty sleep.

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To be fair it's 5am over there. Bart needs his beauty sleep.

Yep, me too. See you on the dark side tomorrow.

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About £500 here, no chance right now. My little electric one cost about £60, it's takes a day to do the gardens here.

I quite fancy a push one without motor, you know the type. A spring rake too. Less to go wrong.

See how much more interesting mowers are than group sex with Swedish blondes? ;)

A lawn mower in Thailand. LOL.

What's the matter are the cows on strike?

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