For expats living in & relocating to Japan

Japanese Job Titles in English

There are many job titles that are commonly used in Japanese companies. Sometimes even some Japanese people find this system complicated and difficult to understand.

To help understand this confusing topic, we have complied a list of commonly used Japanese job titles along with the rankings of each position in a company.

Although the meanings, roles, and responsibilities of each job title can differ from company to company and job titles do no have any legal provisions, gaining a better understanding of the standard uses of each title along with their rankings with in a company will make it much easier for one to understand the role of each employee within a company.

Japanese Job Titles in English and Japanese

The table below lists Japanese job titles in descending order from higher positions. Please note that the ranking of the Auditor, Senior Advisor, and Advisor may not apply to this order.

Chairman / Chairperson Kaichō 会長
Vice Chairman / Chairperson Fuku-kaichō 副会長
President (Torishimariyaku) Shachō (取締役)社長
(Executive) Vice President (Torishimariyaku) Fuku-shachō (取締役)副社長
Representative Director Daihyō Torishimariyaku 代表取締役
Senior Managing Director Senmu Torishimariyaku 専務取締役
Managing Director Jōmu Torishimariyaku 常務取締役
Managing Director Riji 理事
Director Torishimariyaku 取締役
General Manager Buchō 部長
Auditor Kansayaku 監査役
Senior Advisor Soudan-yaku 相談役
Advisor Komon 顧問
Deputy General Manager Buchō-dairi 部長代理
Assistant General Manager Jichō 次長
Manager Shitsuchō 室長
Manager Kachō 課長
Deputy Manager Kachō-dairi 課長代理
Assistant Manager Kachō-hosa 課長補佐
Chief Clerk / Section Chief Kakarichō 係長
Aassistant section chief Shusa 主査
Supervisor / Chief Shunin 主任

Other important words which are often used in a Japanese office

These words are very commonly used in Japanese work environment.

Employee Jūgyōin 従業員
Boss Jōshi 上司
Team member (Subordinate)  Buka 部下
Senior Senpai 先輩
Junior Kōhai 後輩
Colleague Dōryō 同僚