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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Hello Work

Hello Work - two words I have probably never uttered. 

Hello Work is Japan’s federal Employment Service Center.

That’s it’s name… Hello Work…

How typically Japanese to toss in a word with two “L’s” in it… a letter that does not exist in any of the three Japanese alphabets and is also very difficult (but not impossible) for most Japanese to say clearly.

Great… unemployed and you can’t even say the name of the place that will help you get unemployment insurance or help pone find a new job.

As such, the Hello Work name is written out as ハローワーク in the Katakana alphabet - used mostly for foreign words, and is pronounced “harōwāku”.

Not JUST for the Japanese, Hello Work can also be used by foreigners seeking employment… but you better have some jozu Japanese-language skills.

If you don’t know what jozu means, you have some brushing up to do.   

The agency examines ones work skills and tries and find a good match for you.

Contrary to popular belief, Japan no longer can guarantee any of its Japanese employees a lifetime position… it happens… but so too do layoffs.

There is no charge to those who visit Hello Work looking for a job.  Services include: 
  1. Information service of job types / Employment consultation;
  2. Face-to-face information service of employment opportunities;
  3. Unemployment benefit application (must have a fixed address, by the way);
  4. Job training information.
There are multiple locations spread across Japan, with larger cities offering Hello Work branch offices.

I had never heard of this Japanese government agency until I read the book True Crime Japan by Paul Murphy and published by Tuttle Publishing. You can read my review HERE.

I’m unsure if I gave it enough credit - but it’s a fantastic book… Murphy provides lots of side details into the life and hidden life of modern day Japan, not commenting on right or wrong - just presenting facts like a good journalist should, allowing the reader to come to their own conclusions.

If you spot a copy of True Crime Japan at your local bookshop or feel like going online to, let me highly recommend that book to you.

Not only did I learn about Japan’s unemployment segment, but I also learned a heck of a lot about its judicial system and its prisons, its laws and its people. True Crime Japan is a fantastic book.

By the way... my son just graduated from his school (it goes up to Grade 5), and he was awarded with the Most Improved Student award. Whew! Maybe he won't have be a poorly-paid writer like       

Andrew Joseph
PS: Image above shows: Hello Work facility in Gamagori-shi, Aichi-ken, Japan - from


  1. Congrats to Hudson for graduating and for his achievement. Must be one proud dad.