After selling his recruitment business in England in his early 30s, Matt Nicholls, 46, took a break from the grind. Then, in 2013, he moved to Tokyo to work at one of Japan’s major recruiting firms, Robert Walters, and now runs Cornerstone Recruitment Japan, which has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies of its kind in Tokyo.

1. How does a man from Lytham St Annes end up in Tokyo? After I graduated, I taught English for three years in Nagoya. Then I went back to England, got into recruitment and started a company called Nicholls Lindsay with a friend. When I sold it, I spent a couple years playing rugby and having a good time. But I began thinking, is it possible to work in Japan again without really speaking Japanese? It turned out there were plenty of opportunities in recruitment.

2. Why do you think recruitment is such a popular industry for non-Japanese workers here? I think people like having control over their earning potential. Also, there’s no language barrier, which is a big plus.