Japan Hopes to Make Permanent Residency Easier for Foreign Anime Talent

People with expertise in animation and illustration may have an easier path to permanent Japanese residency.


According to The Japan Times, the Japanese government is looking to change their immigration policy to attract foreign workers in pushing the “Cool Japan” initiative. The changes can happen as early as this summer.

Japan’s current immigration system assigns points to candidates based on their academic background, Japanese language proficiency, and research accomplishments. Candidates that score over 70 points are given preferential immigration treatment, but a new category will change how foreign talent is scored. According to The Japan Times, graduates from top animation or design schools and winners of prestigious art awards will be fast-tracked to permanent residency.


The new move is to increase and diversify the talent pool that falls under the Cool Japan initiative, which includes anime and video games. Both industries have been suffering from a shrinking talent pool and low wages, but the hope is that new foreign talent will revitalize the industries.

Another goal is for Japanese companies to establish a foothold in foreign countries to further their pop culture exports. For example, the majority of the anime industry’s revenue relies on licensing from North American and Chinese companies. Cool Japan’s primary goal is to promote all aspects of Japan’s pop culture, so the move can potentially bolster their music and fashion industries as well.


Looks like your art degree may be useful after all!

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