Talent Shortage Looms as Japan Tops NY, London as Most Innovative City

Tech Communities Key in Closing Talent Gap

According to The Japan Times labour statistics, Japan is projected to lose one-third of its workforce by 2065.

This brings in to focus a critical shortage of workers especially within "frontier IT" -- big data, AI and IoT – that is expected to reach about 48,000 by 2020, and a shortfall of nearly 200,000 information security workers.


Japan titled ‘World’s Most Innovative City’

Despite the challenges, Tokyo currently tops the list of the world’s most technologically innovative city, leapfrogging London and New York. Reported by Thomson Reuters, the country, after embracing the globe-shaking trends of robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI), is now a front-runner in the tech scene across Asia.

Japan holds the reputation for being an early adopter of new technologies. With its recent launch on facial recognition technology, the country is preparing itself to meet the needs of the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, investing heavily especially in artificial intelligence for vehicles, hospitals and financial services, reported by Thomson Reuters.

Yet, labour shortages threaten the pace of development in key tech sectors such as AI and IoT.

“Computer scientists and engineers are in extremely high demand. As a result, start-up tech companies in Japan are revising hiring approaches and retention strategies to sustain the growth of their firms,” reported by Wall Street Journal.

Highlighting the demand for talent, Director of Computer Futures Tokyo, Christopher Reilly, says, “Japan is home to some of Asia’s most exciting start-ups, but whether they are in fintech, blockchain, AI or IoT, almost every business owner we meet at these events tell us the same thing: that their biggest challenge is finding great people to build, market and sell their products here in Japan.”


Supporting Tech Community  

Successful tech innovation relies on the ability of start-ups to work together as a ‘hub’. Japan, in particular, is capitalising on its strengths in fostering a strong community for tech.

This includes initiatives such as building innovation labs like Accenture Labs, holding conferences like Slush and Tech in Asia. But it does not stop there, these tech communities have been partnering with market-leading recruitment firms like Computer Futures Tokyo to identify global tech talent.

Toshiki Kitagawa, of Tech in Asia, values the place of recruitment firms like CF in partnering with the tech community in a bid to alleviating Tokyo’s tech labor shortages in coming years.

“To the start-up ecosystem, it is essential that highly skilled “global IT talents” flow actively. This is a big challenge that Japan faces. However, Computer Futures has played a significant role in that aspect, and thus is our long-term powerful partner to shape the start-up/technology ecosystem in Japan,” Kitagawa asserts.

If you are interested in partnering with Computer Futures for your talent strategy, please contact Christopher Reilly at [email protected].

For press related enquiries, do reach out to Felicia Ng, Regional Marketing Manager APAC MENA at f.[email protected].

Computer Futures is part of the larger SThree Group.