Monday, 9th May 2016
In General Japan News,
Foreign ski instructors to get more freedom to work in Japan
The ski season may be mainly over in Japan, but instructors from other parts of the world could be flocking to the country once it starts again.
Japan’s government has decided to relax the restrictions on instructors of the sport from abroad in an attempt to raise its popularity once more.
The Justice Ministry hopes that making obtaining visas easier will welcome more professionals in the sport with foreign language skills, which in turn could attract an increased number of skiers to Japan.
It should also mean that no ski instructors are entering Japan as tourists and working illegally on the slopes.
Instructors wishing to work in Japan must have a minimum of three years’ experience teaching skiing or competing in major international events.
Alternatively, they can have a qualification from the International Ski Instructors Association, which is headquartered in Switzerland.
The Japan Tourism Agency looked at the declining popularity of winter sports in Japan for a report last June.
It found that instructors with good foreign language skills was a key issue and it was likely the visa requirements were to blame.
After sending out a questionnaire to ski schools across the country, the agency found that some 25 of the 57 institutions that replied were keen to hire instructors from abroad.
This equates to around 80 vacancies that could be filled by foreign instructors looking for a ski season in a very different culture.
Skiing in Japan peaked in popularity in 1998 at 18 million and by 2013, just 7.7 million people were practicing the sport in the country.
Destinations such as Sapporo, Furano and Hakuba are well-known internationally for their winter sports facilities.
Related news stories:
'Donki' to accept foreign currency (26th February 2015)
Foreign tourist spending increases to record 3.5 trillion yen (14th January 2016)
Japan plans major foreign embassy expansion (19th March 2012)
Airport foreign ownership restrictions to be dropped (29th February 2008)
Monthly foreign visitors to Japan reached record high in March (24th April 2015)