Japanese making Shanghai their home

Japanese making Shanghai their home

The top destinations for Japanese expats are revealed, with Shanghai proving particularly attractive
Japanese expats in Shanghai

The top 10 countries for Japanese expats have been revealed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in their Annual Report of Statistics on Japanese Nationals Overseas

Australia saw the biggest increase with the Japanese expat population rising seven percent to 71,000. The United States still hosts the most Japanese with 384,000, while the United Kingdom saw the biggest drop among the top 10, down 5.7 percent to 59,000. 

Where are all the Japanese? expats shanghaiVisitors walk past the Japanese pavilion at the site of the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai.

Shanghai flood

China meanwhile is home to the second-largest community of expat Japanese, with 127,000 living in the city. According to Asahi, Japanese have been drawn particularly to Shanghai, where most live in the Gubei district. 

One company, Sola Kamome Co., runs a website offering jobs in the city, with 70 percent of its traffic coming from Japanese -- the majority being women in their 30s. 

"80 percent [of postings are] from Japanese companies and the remaining 20 percent from Chinese and foreign companies," reports Asahi. 

Having a prospective employer vouch for someone when applying for a visa makes the transition easier. 

"As a means of keeping personnel expenses down, there are more Japanese companies that are hiring Japanese locally rather than dispatching an employee from within Japan," Sola Kamome vice president Takatoshi Iijima, 37, says.

As well as business opportunities, some Japanese have found creative niches in the city, such as Kenta Torimoto who is an art curator.

The city has also seen the development of an all-Japanese baijiu club where Japanese gather to drink the local liqour.