Local Bilingual Talent Supports Growth

カケハシ人材 by JoshKrezaArt.com

Welcome to the Perspectives blog series, which features different points of view on the same topic and how it relates to US/Japan business matters. This time we cover business development in the USA for Japanese companies, Please be sure to also read the other related articles from A-Lex International Marketing, JMNC Solutions and Tri-K here: https://www.ikigaiconnections.com/perspectives/

「ビジネス展望」ブログは、日本及び米国におけるビジネスを展開する上でのトピックを毎回1つずつ選び、それに関する4社それぞれの視点・分析をお送りします。今回のトピックは、日系企業の米国における事業展開です。また、A-Lex International Marketing, JMNC Solutions と Tri-Kよりのブログ記事もご覧ください:https://www.ikigaiconnections.com/perspectives/

Support Your Business Development With Local Bilingual Talent


Japanese companies looking to enter or develop their business in the US need bilingual human resources that speak both Japanese and English. These companies typically utilize the following types of human resources:

  1. visa-carrying expats from their Japan headquarters,
  2. professional interpreters/translators,
  3. local English-speaking Japanese people, and/or
  4. Japanese-speaking local people.

Use Japanese-Speaking Local Candidates More 

The fourth option isn’t utilized enough. The reasons for this include:

  • employers assume the candidate should be mid-career and “fluent” in Japanese, and
  • Japanese-speaking job seekers don’t see too many applicable job ads and assume few bilingual jobs exist.

Introducing Kakehashi Employees

In fact, I’m going to add that employers are completely missing out on a group of candidates that I have labeled as “kakehashi,” which means “bridge” in Japanese. 

These local kakehashi are: 

  • candidates that underutilize their Japanese skills, and are
  • entry-level (interns/students/graduates), JET returnees, and mid-career job seekers.

Company Benefits of Kakehashi

These Japan-loving job seekers are passionate about using their Japanese language and/or cultural skills in a career, and they just need an opportunity and training. An employee that has the opportunity to pursue these skills in a career setting is a motivated and happy employee.

My company currently has over 3,000 followers, and these are people who specifically want to use their Japanese language/cultural skills in a career

I have made it my mission to connect these bilingual professionals with globally-minded employers.

More Than Just Language Support

Most candidates are or will graduate with double majors in fields outside of just the language. These people are gifted in areas such as IT, engineering, journalism, business, art, administration, etc

JET returnees have learned how to work in a 100% Japanese setting with Japanese customs and business manners

Mid-career job seekers may not have had the opportunity to use their Japanese skills in the past, but they have decided they want to try again now.

Consider Kakehashi During Covid

With the current pandemic, travel is restricted and visas remain unprocessed. 

It might be the perfect time to consider bringing on a local employee that has working knowledge of Japanese language and culture.

Start small with a 3-month internship and see the potential a kakehashi can offer you and your company. 

Of course, I would be happy to help you with placing your job ad, as well as provide on-boarding training support.

In Conclusion

By providing an internship or employment opportunity to local Japanese-speaking job seekers, employers may be surprised at how beneficial these kakehashi can become.

If any employers are interested in learning more about the benefits of kakehashi, please visit this page where I also share a Japanese presentation and J/E bilingual slides: https://www.ikigaiconnections.com/global-employers/

(I have also written passionately about why you don’t need to be “fluent” to be a good employee: https://www.ikigaiconnections.com/do-i-need-to-be-fluent/).



  1. 日本本社からビザを取得している駐在員
  2. プロの通訳・翻訳者
  3. 現地の英語が流暢な日本人、または
  4. 日本語が流暢な現地の人です。



  • 雇用者は候補者が中途採用で「日本語が流暢」であることを前提としていることが多くあります。
  • 日本語が話せる求職者は当てはまる求人広告が発見できず、求人が少ないと思い込んでいます。




  • 日本語のスキルを十分に活用できていない候補者です。
  • エントリー層(インターン・学生・卒業生)、JET帰国者、中途採用の方が含まれています。

















  • 和訳は投稿者本人の言語力を表しますので、ご了承ください。
  • Graphic by Josh Kreza.

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