The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

Chemical suppliers in Japan are facing the need for expanded sales at a time when their main customers—including automakers, electronics makers, and other manufacturers—are increasingly seeking specialized and value-added chemical materials on the back of improved earnings.

Japan’s competitive edge in the areas of advanced technology and world-leading research and development standards has encouraged foreign-owned chemical companies to invest in Japan operations.

Simultaneously, these chemical companies are benefiting from the recent weakness in oil prices, which allows them to spend less on product manufacture.

With favorable external factors helping to buoy hiring activity in the chemical industry, non-Japanese companies are aggressively seeking bilingual professionals to serve in the areas of technical sales and service.

The individuals being sought require in-depth knowledge of potential employers’ products in order to adequately communicate with industry customers.

“Technical backgrounds, such as a chemistry-related university degree, are a must in many cases,” says Tom Kiley, a nine-year industry veteran and manager of the chemical team at bilingual specialist recruitment firm Robert Walters Japan.

“We have a bilingual chemical-focused team of consultants which includes native speakers of both English and Japanese. With this team, we’re able to identify experienced chemical professionals and offer our clients a broad spread of bilingual candidates, as well as a wide range of career opportunities to our candidates,” says Kiley.

“Through many years’ experience with chemical professionals, we have developed a thoroughly comprehensive database of bilingual Japanese chemical candidates and established strong long-term relationships with an extensive network of chemical clients.”