How can I become manager in Japanese company?

How can I be promoted to manager at a Japanese company? In this respect, there may be some differences from US/Western companies. First, for large, in terms of relatively large-sized companies, there are usually exams to promote to manager. In Japan, where the culture of lifetime employment remains, Japanese managers want to carefully screen promoted people.

Regarding the contents of the manager exam, although the policy varies depending on the company, the following exam seems to be common.

Basic ability test It mainly uses a written test to check logical thinking, vocabulary, and English proficiency. The test is about 60 minutes. With this, you may not be able to proceed unless you get a score above a certain standard.

TOEIC This is a case where the TOEIC (English test) is conducted until the above is not implemented. Also ,unless you reached score above a certain level, you are not eligible to promote to manager usually.

The criteria for TOEIC score for promotion to manager, which is a guideline for Japanese companies, are as follows.

SMEs … 470 points
Large companies … 600 points
Multi-national company / overseas division of large company 730 points
Foreign-affiliated companies … 800 points, etc.

Therefore, Japanese employees before being promoted to section chief desperately start studying English.

However, I have to say that the level of English ability to become a manager is still low in the world comparison. Even if you can get 730 points with TOEIC, most people can hardly talk in business.

Paper Some companies impose candidates to write papers. The general theme is "About the company's future strategy".

Interview with Executive officers In fact this will be common practice. However, some personnel departments consider it a problem because it is judged by the likes and dislikes of executive officers.

Depending on the company, it is said that in the past like 20 years ago, about 70% to 80% of candidates passed the managerial position. The meaning of the managerial exam was to shake off the unsuitable.

However, as of 2021, it is said that about 50% will fail the managerial exam. It can be said that the number of managerial positions has decreased, creating fierce competition in Japan.80% of Japanese people no longer want to aim for managerial positions.

80% of Japanese people no longer want to aim for managerial positions.

Furthermore, in the current situation, 80% of Japanese people no longer want to aim for managerial positions.

8割超の一般社員が「管理職になりたくない」と回答。その理由とは? | 人材派遣・人材紹介のマンパワーグループ (

This is for now.
❶ The Salary does not go up that much
❷ Responsibility increases significantly and you become busy
❸ Authority does not increase

Due to the above, recently, the number of employees who are not promoted to managerial positions in the company and work in parallel in side jobs is increasing.

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