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Construction work

Adz

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I am a fully qualified carpenter and wish to work in my trade in japan what sort of oportunities are there and does anyone know were I can look to pursue this goal.
 

Adz

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I may be eligble to apply as a skilled labourer will check this out today.
Language skills are conversational at best with no reading ability beyond basic hiragana.
 

Glenski

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Good luck. You might qualify for the visa, but you still need an employer to sponsor you for it, and that will usually mean being able to find the ads (in Japanese) and interview with the employer (in Japanese).

Here is what you are going to need to provide for the visa. Most comes from your proposed employer.
Immigration Services Agency of Japan
 

dballred

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I am a fully qualified carpenter and wish to work in my trade in japan what sort of oportunities are there and does anyone know were I can look to pursue this goal.

Japanese home construction is... ...different. The standards are different and the tools are a little different. For example, all homes even today are built on the old traditional measuring system, but many tools which take direct advantage of that were banned decades ago in a push to go metric. That being said, the home building industry is one of the places where foreigners--mostly unskilled and undocumented workers from the third world--abound.

Assuming you break into the skilled carpentry market, something I would consider to be very challenging because you would be competing against skilled Japanese who would want the work, I think you would have a hard time trying to get the people you meet on the street and at parties to admire your line of work becasue they would connect you mentally to the unskilled foreign workers.

I've lived in Japan twice and visited it over 50 times over the last four decades including my most recent visit two weeks ago. I love the place, but I think visiting it is much better than living in it if you are a foreigner.
 

Mike Cash

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Japanese home construction is... ...different. The standards are different and the tools are a little different. For example, all homes even today are built on the old traditional measuring system, but many tools which take direct advantage of that were banned decades ago in a push to go metric.

Who banned them and under what authority?

That being said, the home building industry is one of the places where foreigners--mostly unskilled and undocumented workers from the third world--abound.

What do you base that on?
 

dballred

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Who banned them and under what authority?
The Japanese government banned the use of the traditional units for official purposes starting Japan Fiscal Year 1966 and included the use of tools calibrated in Shaku and other traditional units of measure. It is not a ministry regulation, but codified in law. This was done to metricify the country. Try to find anything other than metric tools at a local DIY store.
What do you base that on?
Just look around construction sites. As for the undocumented part, it's anecdotal, but an in-law of mine in the business lost his entire staff in a raid a few years back. Japanese businesses hire illegals for pretty much the same reason American businesses do.
In the final analysis, we are not trying to apply political correctness as if we were dealing with Americans, but become aware of Japanese perceptions.
 

Mike Cash

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"A few years back" is the key phrase in your post. It has been a good many years since the country was overrun with overstaying Iranians, Pakistanis, and Bangladeshis. I used to see foreigners on jobsites, but it was more often the unskilled labor of tearing down old buildings rather than putting up new ones. The introduction of the program allowing descendants of Japanese emigrants to come work legally has further curtailed opportunities for illegal workers to work in legit jobs.

I'd like very much to know the Japanese name of that law you mentioned so I can have a look at it.
 

Mike Cash

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Well, I got tired of waiting and went J-Googling for myself. It seems that it isn't only your information regarding foreigners abounding in the home construction industry which is based on erroneous (outdated) information.

Excepts from a carpenter's blog

一般にはほとんど使われなくなった尺貫法ですが、
建築業界では多くのの職人が使っています。


メートル法は明治19年(1886年)にメートル条約に加盟したものの、
実施は70余り間塩漬けにされていました。昭和41年になってメートル法に統一されました。
当時の通産省は尺表記の曲尺・物差しの販売まで禁止しました。
尺標記の曲尺・物差しを商っていた人は店頭には並べられないので、
行商の様に売り歩いていました。
警察による取り締まりもおこなわれていたようです。
尺標記の曲尺・物差しが販売禁止になった事で、
闇で販売して暴力団の資金元になった事もありました。
建築に関わる多くの職人がやみで買っていました。
これを聞いた永六輔さんらの運動によって、販売禁止は解かれましたが公文書には使えません。
私は仕事場では尺貫法、仕事以外ではメートル法と使い分けています。


私は尺は日本の文化と考え、現場では出来る限りメートル法を使わない事にしています。
ほとんどの建築士や現場監督が尺を知らないのが現状です。
建築士や現場監督がメートル法で寸法を言っても、
私が尺で寸法を確認するので彼らはとまどうようです。
時代に逆行している事かもしれませんが、
今後若い人にも尺で仕事を教えていきたいと思っています。
メートル法を強要した政府への抗議の意味もあります。


A search through the 計量法 revealed zero instances of either 道具 工具 or 建築.
 

Navy Guy

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Interesting... I will throw something in this conversation. My Brother-in-law has just had his home built, completion date was Aug 2010. Home was built in Yokohama proper, 10 minute walk to the main station. He visited the work site numerous times with his dad, who is a retired construction steel worker, and noted the number of foreigners at the "development". When he asked about them he was told they were day labor... I am not sure what that means in Japan but in the states it means illegals used for menial/cleanup jobs... basically disposable cheap labor.

Dad said he remembers the days of the illegals, mostly of mideast and western asian decent, being everywhere but that it has dropped due to the gov't cracking down on companies and the fact that there was too much shoddy work going on with the untrained and unskilled workers. Read that as law suits and loss of revinue for the construction companies.

I do not think it is a prevelant today as it was years ago but I am sure the practice of grabbing day laborers is pretty common throughout the world especially for construction.
 

Glenski

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I do not think it is a prevelant today as it was years ago but I am sure the practice of grabbing day laborers is pretty common throughout the world especially for construction.
I can't speak for the construction industry, but there are lots of people working here illegally, and the government doesn't do much about it. In fact, the government often is the reason they come here, work a short while as trainees or interns, then get sent back.

http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country,,IRBC,QUERYRESPONSE,JPN,,3ae6aaf710,0.html
http://www.jil.go.jp/english/JLR/documents/2010/JLR27_yamada.pdf

A little dated, but...
Japan: Chinese Illegal Immigrants and Guestworkers - Migration News | Migration Dialogue
 
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