Choosing a Representative in Japan: Expat or Local Hire?

October 18, 2023|Energy Jobs in Japan

As the Japanese energy market evolves, we’re seeing an increase in the number of multinational firms investing in the country, and setting up a local entity and creating a direct presence. Making a move to set up a local office is a big decision, and shows commitment and intent to be active long-term.

Companies need to find the right balance between engagement with local stakeholders and alignment with plans set by global HQ that has made this decision and investment. This often leads to a challenging conundrum on whether to send an expat to Japan or hire a local as the in-country director or representative.

Factors to keep in mind

Some high-level pros and cons for taking the expat route:


  • A known voice is reporting back to HQ, speaks the internal language and understands how to navigate the company, gain approvals and investment, etc.
  • Bringing a true expert from an advanced market can be attractive for business partners, and also for purposes of talent attraction.
  • As a non-Japanese, there’s more room to bend the rules and take a different approach to the busines

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