It isn't very well known, but the staff at "Hello Work" (Public Employment Security Office) provides employment information and consultation for foreigners as well as Japanese. Basically it is for foreigners who are either "spouses of Japanese", "long-term residents", "permanent residents" or have a visa status as professionals or specialists. Students who have permission to work part-time are also eligible for their services. But even persons with a dependent visa can work, although there are some restrictions and it will require a trip to the immigration office. With a dependent visa you are allowed to work up to 28 hours a week. If you are able to find a job, you will need to have the employer fill out a form stating your work duties and hours. You then take this form and your passport, alien registration card and a certificate of Alien registration for the person whose dependent you are and go to the Immigration office to apply for a "permission to engage in activities other than that permitted by present status".
The staff also said that they don't have any jobs that are especially for foreigners like English teacher, translator, researcher etc. Those kinds of jobs are found through recruiting companies. Hello Work basically offers work where you use your body more than your brain.
The nearest Hello Work Office is in Tsuchiura. Consultation in Chinese is available on Mondays 10 am to 3 pm. English is available on Wednesdays & Fridays 10 am to 3 pm. Please bring your passport and alien registration card and a "Certificate of Alien Registration" for the person whose dependent you are.
Last year over 1000 foreigners came for consultation and about 100 found work. The staff said that it isn't easy for a foreigner to find work especially if he/she can't speak Japanese and doesn't have mobility. Most jobs available are in cleaning, manufacturing etc.
Tsuchiura, Manabe 1-18-19 Manabe, 029-822-5124