Financial Times seeks a Tokyo correspondent

February 10, 2023

Posted by Chris Roush

The Financial Times is seeking a Tokyo Correspondent to join its three-reporter bureau in the Japanese capital. Despite years of low growth, the country is still a cornerstone of the global economy, home to one of the world’s largest pools of investment capital, leading companies such as Toyota, and colorful entrepreneurs such as Masayoshi Son. Japan sits, as well, on the front line of geopolitical tensions between the US and China.

Corporate coverage is the focus of this job. Japan’s automobile industry is lagging in the race to self-driving and electric vehicles, creating strategic dilemmas for household names such as Nissan and Honda; industrial combines such as Hitachi and Mitsubishi Heavy are wrestling with the shift to green energy; meanwhile, Sony and Nintendo continue to thrive in the electronics industry, but do so under constant threat from new, online business models. While these household names are often in the news, there are scores of lesser-known Japanese companies making world-class products, from Fanuc in robotics to Shin-Etsu Chemical in silicon wafers and Tokyo Electron in semiconductor equipment. They all have tales to tell.

Sharp news coverage is essential, as the FT seeks to break stories in competition with the domestic Japanese media, not just our foreign rivals; we also want the correspondent to write across a range of formats, from incisive analysis to magazine features. There is constant demand from FT editors for good Japan stories so you should expect to write regularly, rather than honing the occasional masterpiece.

You will be working with a first-class team of journalists in a small bureau where everyone pitches in on the big story: you may be called to write on anything from culture to politics. There are opportunities for travel within Japan; you may also be asked to represent the FT at events and in the media. It is a role in which a talented journalist can shine. We want someone who will jump in and enjoy the opportunity.

Who we are looking for:

The core of the job is writing and reporting. You will have solid journalistic experience, ideally working on corporate coverage, with a demonstrated ability to cultivate sources and break news. The FT has a strong reputation in Tokyo but journalism in Japan requires a willingness to put time into building relationships. Simple facts can sometimes be frustratingly hard to confirm, so resilience, determination and a positive attitude will all come in handy.

Good understanding of what makes a corporate story work and the ability to link Japan to the global picture are both vital: Japan should be a platform to cover important industries, not just a story in itself. You should be able to write for all parts of the website and newspaper, from strong spot news to deft analysis on a range of subjects. The successful candidate will be motivated and full of fresh ideas to pitch in a country where you can seldom rely on events to keep you busy.

Communication skills are important. You should regularly propose ideas to editors in Hong Kong and deliver copy when promised. You should also be collegiate; close cooperation with the other reporters in Tokyo is essential to success. Good working knowledge of the Japanese language would be beneficial.

Please submit your application by the end of the day 2nd March, 2023.

To apply, go here.

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