Age Requirements and Jobs in Japan

by Michael
(New Zealand)

Hi, I'm a retired (69) English teacher still working full-time, with an ESOL qualification who would like to teach in Japan. Am I too old? Would I qualify? I am fit, healthy, enthusiastic and experienced.

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Dec 25, 2017
Tough Nut to Crack
by: John

Hi Michael,

This is a tough question for a few reasons. Retirement on teaching positions in Japan is shifting because of the shrinking base of the work force. As of now, it is 60 for mandatory retirement.

"The government intends to raise the pensionable retirement age to 65 by 2025 to leave more people in the workforce and reduce pressure on a shriveling tax base and rising social welfare bill." - Source - Reuters

"Based on my recent discussions with 2 headmasters in Japan, the Nagoya International School mandatory retirement is soon changing from 60 to 65." Source - Nagoya International school

To teach and get a job in Japan after 60 years of age is up to school discretion. Source - Seisen International school.

My take on this is if they like you and the trend is moving towards 65 years for the cut off, as it clearly is, and if your foot is already in the door then you have a chance to maintain your job in Japan. But to break into getting a job in Japan at 69 would be very, very tough. Obviously large schools will not consider an ESL instructor of that age. The big 4 caps ESL teacher recruitment at 40.

But this does't stop you from getting a Japanese language study visa or pursuing other visa options. Although it is frowned upon to work on a study visa, many do but a full-time sponsored work visa would be way more than a tough nut to crack.

Hope this helps

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