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2020/04/24 Update

Survey on foreigners in Japan about COVID-19

Background and objective

The coronavirus crisis weighs heavily on the global workforce and Japan is not an exception. In light of the fact that cases of the novel coronavirus are still on the rise, the Jellyfish group wanted to see how it has impacted on foreigners living in Japan specifically. As part of our on-going project to created a special column in our website that provides comprehensive information about coronavirus to foreigners in Japan, we recently conducted an anonymous survey distributed to our subscribers via email and SNS, and received 342 respondents by April 20.

Participants were asked to answer questions about what information they are worried about and want to know the most, whether they are still interested in working in Japan as well as what activities they will likely to do when the epidemic is over.

1. What are the most common worries of foreigners in Japan at the height of the pandemic?

A large proportion of people surveyed replied that work-related matters such as temporary layoff or withdrawal of job offer (63.3%) are now their most concerned issues since many companies are struggling to keep their business afloat, resulting in an uncertainty of future career among foreign employees.

List of hospitals that are approved to conduct coronavirus tests and personal finance had a similar percentage at 55% and 54.7% respectively. Meanwhile, only 25.7% of foreigners felt uneasy about the immigration restriction.

2. What information do foreigners in Japan want to know the most?

Overall, all respondents were interested in information that is related to medical care, employment and financial aid. Of 342 people who were questioned, more than a half replied that they want know information about emergency assistance such as multilingual hotline services while the percentages of those who sought answers about financial aid and employment rights were 50% and 46% respectively. PCR test and supports in case of having symptoms also received high votes among the respondents.

3. Do foreigners still want to work in Japan after the pandemic is over?

It is obvious that a very large number of people will be likely to continue working in Japan in the future while only 5% of respondents chose to leave Japan. This indicates that Japan is still an ideal work place and will still have opportunities to attract foreign talents.
Meanwhile, 3% of respondents were not determined whether they stay or leave Japan because they were not sure about the availability of job vacancies in the future.

4. What people want to do the most after the coronavirus crisis get resolved?

After long time of the lockdown, there is no wonder that the first thing we all want to do is leaving house for a while, which would benefit businesses in industries such as food, transportation and supply chain. According to the survey’s results, almost a half of people (49%) answered that they would go out if the outbreak is well alleviated. Meanwhile, many foreign employees planned to start looking for a new job when the coronavirus situation gets better with the proportion of 36.7% of the survey’ respondents. Stay in the same place (avoid traveling) and return to home country were also popular choices among foreigners in Japan.