Support system and human resource development for Japanese staff working in international organizations
Opinion (or view) concerning support system for Japanese staff working in organizations
Recently, I met a friend who changed his career from government official at Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to an officer at World Trade Organization (WTO). We exchanged a view concerning Japanese staff working in international organizations. While there are wide varieties within the family of international organizations, only few Japanese staff working in international organizations dealing with economy activities. I would like to put out a reason why there are few Japanese staff working in international organizations and how to increase Japanese staff.
Required qualifications include professional skill and English language ability
There are two reasons, why there are few Japanese staff in international organizations dealing with economy activities. One reason is the ability of candidate to show professional skill and English language ability at the time of interview. It means that the candidate who holds high professional skill but poor English language ability will not be selected. The candidate who is fluent in English with poor professional skill will not be selected either. Among Japanese there is the fact that only a few Japanese can fulfil both qualifications. This is one reason.
Private companies pay better than international organizations
Another reason concerns pay system. Japanese who meet the above two qualifications can get more reward by working in private sector dealing with economic matters, not including benefits after retirement such as annual pension. This payment system discourages Japanese to apply for a job in international organizations. There is an obvious fact that the payment system in international organizations is attractive to people in developing nations, but not to qualified Japanese. Educated people in Europe speak multiple languages such as English, French and Spanish without difficulties, thus meet the language qualification. There is a large number of Europeans working in international organizations.
Need to strengthen support system and human resource development program for Japanese staff working in international organization
A problem for Japan is said to be relatively weak support system to Japanese staff for promotion to a top management position, compared with that of other countries. It is pointed out that, when one becomes a candidate to top management position, experiences in his or her native countries are accounted to be an important factor during selection process, on top of experiences at international organizations. It will give positive impact if one gets prestigious experiences such as Ambassador or Minister, to develop human resources to upper management positions in international organizations.
In recent years, support system and human resource development program seem to be weakening. I would like to keep addressing the necessity of strengthening these systems from a strategic view point.