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Japan: Recruitment and selection

Original and updating authors: Koki Yanagisawa and Erino Yoneda, Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu

See the legal services provided by the authors of XpertHR International > Japan, including any discounts/offers for subscribers.


  • Discrimination in recruitment and selection is prohibited on grounds of sex, age and disability, except where statutory exemptions apply. (See Discrimination)
  • Job advertisements must clearly indicate the details of the work to be performed, and the wages, working hours and other conditions of employment, and must not be discriminatory on the prohibited grounds. (See Advertising vacancies)
  • Employers are generally free to select employees using their own criteria, although various restrictions apply to the personal information that may be obtained from or about job applicants. (See Selection)
  • There is no specific statutory regulation of job offers. (See Job offers)
  • The minimum age for employment is generally 15 (although children may perform certain light work from the age of 13) and the employment of under-18s is subject to various restrictions. (See Young people and children)
  • In order to work in Japan, foreign nationals must have been granted an official "residency status" that permits them to engage in the specific type of employment concerned, such as "business manager", "highly skilled professional" or "intra-company transferee". (See Foreign nationals)
  • Employers with 43.5 or more employees are required to ensure that 2.3% of their workforce is made up of people with disabilities. (See Employment quota for people with disabilities)
  • There are few statutory formalities that employers must observe when recruiting employees, except informing them of their pay and conditions, organising medical examinations and enrolling them for social security. (See Formalities)