- For the last episode of Tokyo Podcast’s Season 1, Anthony introduces Davide Rossi from Go! Go! Nihon who talks about studying in Japan. Davide came to Japan as a language student after a three-week visit and loved it. He explains that studying with people from all over the world was an eye-opener and helped him to grow as a person.
- Those interested in establishing a company in Japan will also find this episode insightful. Davide discusses the process of setting up a company in Japan as a foreigner. He explains his business model and relevant stakeholders. He explains the paperwork involved, the capital required, the benefits of having a business partner, and the difficulties involved with acquiring a business visa.
Doing Business in Japan
What does takes to start and run a business in Japan? Davide Rossi probably has an ideal story to tell as he has gone from tourist to student in Japan and later a successful company owner.
After graduation, Davide went to London as an IT developer. He had a desire to learn an Asian language and had a great trip to Japan with friends. Wanting to live there and have a different experience, he came to Japan as a language student for 6 months. Originally he thought of just learning the language and going back to London to get a better job, but he is now on his 4th year in Japan!
Though he learned Japanese when he was in high school, he went back to school with people from all over the world. In school, he initially practiced Japanese with his Korean classmates who had the same level of grammar and vocabulary. It took him 3-4 months before he hanged out with Japanese people who spoke differently and faster.
When his Japanese studies ended, he accepted a job to teach Italian. This job did not only pay him well but also gave him free time to plan a business. Together with his Swedish classmate John, they came up with the idea for Go! Go! Nihon. Sharing their troubles settling in Japan and doing everything by themselves, they came up with a business plan. They knew the hassle of getting information on visas and schools as well as contacting different people and offices. They then thought of making a service company for people to make their life easier and better at the beginning.
Davide credited their company’s success to his partnership with John. They complimented each other in skills and worked together to put up the service people needed. They talked to different language schools in various cities. Some of their business services include matching students with the right language school. They help set up students in the school’s accommodations. They helped them open bank accounts. They also organize events where they could meet Japanese friends who want to meet foreigners. Their services helped bring western students to good schools and market themselves.
While learning the Japanese language was essential in doing business in Japan, Davide stressed knowing the country’s culture, values and environment could be more important. English is still also needed especially when doing business.
Unlike other companies, their start-up was free for the user and they only invested buying a domain. Opening a company in Japan is can be easy. Just prepare the necessary papers and register at a kabushiki kaisha. A home address and a small capital will be also be required. Other the other hand, obtaining a business visa can be complicated since immigration is strict. One may need to invest at least 5 million yen and have a physical office. They will also check if the company is making profits every year. Davide debunks the myth that 2 Japanese staff must be employed for every 1 foreigner. As an unwritten rule, a certain number of Japanese people must be employed depending on the business. A native Japanese speaker might be helpful when immigration checks and analyzes the company.
Go! Go! Nihon is currently busy with its delivering high-quality service for its students but it also has plans for the future. If the listeners are planning to come to Japan as a student, look into Go! Go! Nihon. Their free services will help determine the right school and ease the transition into Japanese life.
Final Episode for Tokyo Podcast Season 1
It’s now the 50th show for Tokyo Podcast! Due to upcoming projects with GaijinPot in the next few months, Anthony would be too busy to record regular shows for the podcast. The podcast managed to cover a wide range of topics and produced many relevant shows. Now might be the time to take a break. The podcast might be back later this year but for the meantime, this episode wraps up Season 1 of the show. Anthony thanks each of his guests as well as the audience who listened and sent their comments. They can still follow Anthony Joh on his Facebook page where he details his time in Japan.