Although Japan is known as one of the most advanced countries in the world, the country’s bureaucrats still handle data manually, where all important documents are usually printed, stamped with hanko, a Japanese style signature stamp, and sent by mail. The method worked fine until the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country, but people started looking for online services after the government implemented the COVID-19 stay-at-home measures.
The outdated systems were the main causes of Japan’s failure in distributing stimulus payouts to households in timely manner this spring, and it also caused Japan to drop in the United Nation’s e-government development ranking to 14th place this year.
The new Prime Minister of Japan, Yoshihide Suga, promised to propose a national budget to advance the digitization of government services for fiscal 2021, which amount sets to top 105 trillion yen. He appointed Takuya Hirai, the Liberal Democratic Party’s top IT expert to become the minister of digital reform, and plans to announce a new digital agency next year.
In addition to the new digital agency, Suga also publicly stated that Japanese mobile phone charges should be cut by 40%, and he granted e-commerce company Rakuten a license to become the fourth mobile telecommunication carrier in the country.
So, how did the new system influence the society?
Ever since Prime Minister Suga announced his digitization plan, many Japanese companies and institutions plan to abolish hanko seals for internal documents and cut paper usage to save time and money.
Hitachi, the infrastructure and information technology giant, said that it will abolish the use of hanko seals by making internal decision procedures accessible online, and also to see whether it can use the online system with its business partners to reduce the face-to-face interaction that risks spreading the coronavirus. The company’s initiative is in line with the government’s efforts to digitize Japan, and as part of the measures, Hitachi plans to cut paper usage by 70% in the future.
The governor of Gunma Prefecture, Ichita Yamamoto, announced that all hanko seals will be banished from administrative procedures in the prefecture, and the change will take effect in principle by the end of the fiscal year in March. From April 2021, residents and businesses will no longer be required to stamp applications to obtain permits or authorizations from the Prefecture. He also announced that electronic approval of documents will be promoted within the Gunma Prefectural Government. Yamamoto decided to make this change after Taro Kono, the central government’s administrative reform minister, requested each ministry and agency to abolish unnecessary seal-based procedures, and also to support Suda’s efforts to digitize Japan by 2021.
How is this beneficial to IT engineers?
After Prime Minister Suda announced his plan to digitize Japan by 2021, many Japanese companies started to minimize the use of hanko seals in their companies by utilizing cloud systems that support digital contract / signature and data or document management. Therefore, IT companies that offer cloud technologies for digital contract, signature, and data management are on the rise as the cloud spending is increasing rapidly this year, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the whole world. Such companies will give you a promising career path as an IT Engineer; you’ll be able to brush up your engineering skills while obtaining sufficient amount of annual income, and today we will introduce some of those companies that have positions for you to apply for.
Some available positions you can apply from our website
1. Server side engineer position for an electronic contract management service
Work with the first legal tech startup in Japan that offers cloud-based contract management system. This company's sales have increased rapidly after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country since with the remote work requirement, the need for paperless, cloud based contracts are rising dramatically and the demand for it will keep growing from now on. The future of the company is also guaranteed since Prime Minister Suga decided to digitize Japan by 2021, so working as an IT engineer in this company will benefit you in many ways.
- Conversational Japanese (advanced level of JLPT N3 or JLPT N2)
- Programming language skills (Java, Kotlin, Scala, etc)
- 3 years experience as server side engineer
- 2 years experience as object-oriented web application builder
- Basic understanding of cloud infrastructure (AWS, GVP, Azure, etc)
Salary : 6-8 million yen / year
2. IT engineer position for encrypted data management service
Data encryption is becoming more important these days, and this company offers technologies that allow you to conveniently access and use your data securely. Their secure computing technology allows data to be computed and processed in an encrypted format without decryption, so there is zero risk of data leaks and there is no need to anonymize the data for security matters. The demand of encrypted data computing system is increasing rapidly now, and working as an IT engineer in this company will be good for your career portfolio.
- JLPT N2
- 5 years experience as back-end system engineer (C++)
- 5 years experience as back-end system engineer, or infra-engineer in building API or database
- Cloud engineering skills (infrastructure building & management)
- Experience in B2B IT services
- Business level English or Japanese proficiency
Salary: 6-15 million yen / year
3. IT Engineer for cloud-based employee management service
The demand of cloud-based employee management service is increasing in Japan, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country. Employees and employers started to work remotely from home after the stay-at-home measures were taken by the Japanese government, and some companies have shifted their employment system to a full-time remote work due to the unpredictable future of the pandemic. These days, employees and employers have fewer opportunities to see each other in person, so many companies started using cloud-based employee management platform to manage employees’ attendance, contracts, and salaries. There is an open position for an IT Engineer at a Japanese company offering that service.
- JLPT N2
- 3 years experience as web application engineer
- 3 years experience as web developer and operator using Ruby on Rails
- Engineering experience using GitHub
- Professional experience in Japan
Salary: 5-10 million yen / year