Everything You Need to Know About the Agriculture Industry in Japan

Did you know that they're hiring 36,500 foreign skilled workers in the next 5 years for this industry alone?


Japan’s agriculture industry is arguably highly developed compared to its neighboring countries. It does not only reflect in the technology they use, but also in its high-quality agricultural products.     


They meticulously care for the quality of agricultural products, as seen in their fruits, vegetables, eggs or meat in the supermarket, so much that they brand their produce. Each brand has developed a following because of the difference in taste, texture, and mouthfeel.     


The high demand for these agricultural products is inversely proportional to the number of employees in this sector, making it a field in which specified skilled workers (SSW) are accepted. Japan has been accepting workers in 14 industrial fields to make up for its severe labor shortage in recent years. In this article, we cover topics like the job description, work environment, skill requirements, job prospects, and of course, the salary in the agriculture industry. Basically, everything you need to know if you’re interested in the agriculture industry of Japan.


What are the jobs that fall under the agriculture sector?


There are two types of jobs under the Agriculture Sector:
General Corp Farming, and General Livestock Farming


Horticulture, field crops and vegetables, and fruit farms are included in General Corp Farming jobs. While hogs, chicken farming, and dairy are included in General Livestock Farming.
 


All types of practical and processing work such as harvesting, cultivation and feeding management, packing, and other work related to agricultural work in each type are the main jobs that can be done under the Technical Intern Training  Program (TITP).         



For SSW jobs, the scope is broader than TITP. Not only does involve the practical work and processing, but also distributing and selling agricultural products as well. 


What is the working environment like?


Same as the job description above, almost all of the agriculture workplaces take place outdoors. General crop farming happens around the field and packing place while general livestock farming is done around the animal shed and the processing place.     



Since most of the working environment is out in the open, workers would most likely be affected by the changing seasons, especially the temperature. In the summer, the weather is hot and the sun’s heat is strong. On the other hand, in the winter, the weather is cool and dry. In both cases,  the worker should protect themselves from the harsh rays of the sun or the cold, winter air, depending on the season. 

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What are the skills required?


Agriculture skills and Japanese language skills are required to apply for the Specified Skill Worker program. For Japanese language skills, the level required is A2 for JFT Basic and N4 for JLPT.


In addition, for ex-TITP (proof of finishing the program, or equivalent with 3 years working experience) this requirement is unnecessary if you work in the same industry. 


What is the salary range?


The income varies depending on your gender and age. It also varies 
where you are placed. The SSW yearly income range is around ¥2,000,000 to ¥4,000,000.


What is the likelihood to get a job in this industry?


The Japanese government is set to accommodate 36,500 SSW foreign workers for the agriculture industry alone for five years. It is one of the industries where the Japanese government is pro-actively accepting foreign works to address the shortages in the labor force, which among many other industries has been a prevalent issue. 


 (13 December 2019)

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