Helping foreigners live in Japan as influencers:
“They” will be back
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic over the world, inbound tourism has stalled, which affects Japanese economy badly. Sightseeing places and facilities as well as metropolitan commercial areas have been staggering with foreigners backing off. Hopefully, Japanese economy will put its power back on its feet.
But the number of COVID-19 cases in Japan can prove Japan is a safe and hygienic country with sense of unity and solidarity. We are getting through the hard time by self-control, not by government strict orders and punishments. I’m sure many foreigners will be back to Japan after COVID-19 is gone. That takes time, but not so long. Tokyo Olympics should be held next summer.
More than that, Japan has other problems such as the low birthrate and the aging society. In order to solve these problems, I suggest we give them an offer to live in Japan as long as possible, not visit or stay for a while. They will come to Japan not just to go sightseeing or shopping, but to talk with us about the future of Japan. We need them desperately.
I know there are many things to get through—laws and customs etc.—but, The SketchBOX Design Office believe there are many foreigners who love Japan, and want to learn Japanese culture, and that they will choose Sendai to live, have a family in Sendai, and inform all over the world of the charm of Sendai. We will support them as influencers playing an important role of guides who give some tips to find a place to live. I’m sure they will be trained well to do some good work to get good economy back to our country.
It is predicted that people will move from Tokyo, whose population affected by the pandemic is still larger than other areas’, to the Tohoku region in particular, which has less victims of the coronavirus.
High technology can make it possible for IT-related companies and foreign-based companies to move to the region. Workers must have found it easier than they had expected to work online during the COVID-19 pandemic. The time has come when people have started to utilise the new online working environment much more.
The accessibility to Tokyo is one of the perks of living in Sendai. After the big earthquake hit this region in 2011, Sendai developed leading-edge disaster prevention measures, which should attract many companies from overseas. Now that we have a chance to make Sendai a new hub of the international economy, we will apply for a grant for the new project.
Housing & Living Consultancy for foreigners
Foreigners are defined here as “those who have residential qualifications of the professional or engineering field or have status of residence”.
(Our service will initially start with English language services)
A. Foreigners give some advice from their point of view about houses (rental or their own), and living tips for other foreigners.
1. Making websites in English which have information on houses available, including video. Sightseeing locations, shopping areas, living tips etc. are shown by skilled foreigners who live in the neighborhood as guides. (This will be done, abiding by the Building Lots and Buildings Transaction Business Act.)
2. Organizing an on-line meeting to deal with contact from overseas.
3. Creating a video-shooting equipped studio.
4. Making brochures and fliers in English.
5. Hiring foreigners on part-time bases.
B. Looking for houses, providing information (virtually showing them if necessary), and helping with their contracts, and starting their lives in their new home.
1. Finding partners―― house owners, real estate agencies etc.
2. Responding to the requests from real estate agencies to deal with foreign clients.
3. Exchanging information with Miyagi prefecture, the City of Sendai, and Sendai Tourism Association.
C. Getting houses or rooms renovated or refurbished for foreigners.
※Suggestions are for house owners and potential tenants.
1. Finding partners―― house owners, real state agencies etc.
2. Partnership with banks to help with mortgages.
I have a friend from UK.
We have known each other for 2 years, and we sometimes talk about various things at a café. He is a kind of a mentor of my improving English abilities.
He came to Japan in 2011, and moved from Tokyo to Sendai 5 years ago on one of his friends’ recommendation. Since then, he became a big fan of Sendai, and he got a job there as an architect in a famous architectural design office. He had so much a talent and skills, working for the first-class architectural design firm, and loved Sendai very much. But, he had much difficulty finding a place to live.
Why did such a problem happen to him?
That’s because—he is a foreigner. That’s all, no other reason.
English Conversation School manager ―― I had learned English conversation there until 3 years ago ―― also had difficulty in purchasing an apartment because of a lot of red tape! I can easily imagine how hard it was for a foreigner.
More than that, there are a lot of problems in a Japanese apartment many foreigners have to tackle with, which come from different ways of living, but I know they have complaints about uncomfortable tatami mats, small rooms and windows, thin doors and walls. There was even a foreigner who refurbished room on his own. I could have helped him, and I don’t like that will happen forever!
I have seen a data which says Japan is a good country to visit, but not to live in. It is not so easy for foreigners to get used to Japanese habits and customs. I’m really sorry to know some foreigners can’t fit in Japanese life style because they don’t know how to solve their problems in a new environment. It takes time, and they recognize Japan as an unsuitable country to settle.
So, taking advantage of my knowledge and experiences through getting involved in the construction industry for 25 years, I know what I can do for them when they need help with finding a comfortable environment to get along with.
Finally, the market of our new project is not large, but we believe our business have a big share by developing small market. We hope to be a role model for other small new business.The SketchBOX Design Office has a vision of expanding our business toward other services by using many kinds of languages so that foreigners, whether their purposes are sightseeing or living in Japan, can be happy with our hospitality.
25th May 2020
SketctBOX Design Office