PHP Trends in Japan
PHP Trends in Japan

PHP Trends in Japan

In this article, I’ll talk a little about PHP usage in Japan. 79.1% of the servers on the internet run PHP.

In this article, I’ll talk a little about PHP usage in Japan. 79.1% of the servers on the internet run PHP.

Server-side Programming Languages

Most popular server-side programming languages

© usage change since
1 August 2019
1. PHP 79.1% +0.1%
2. ASP.NET 11.0% -0.2%
3. Java 3.9% -0.1%
4. Ruby 2.6% +0.1%
5. static files 2.0% -0.1%

Source: W3Techs

PHP is also widely adopted in Japan. I was unable to find adoption data specific to the Japanese market, but I would like to share a summary of recruitment ads from Indeed Japan.

Language May 2019 March 2018 Rate of Increase Change in Number Change in Rank
Java 46,750 48,220 97% -1,470
C 39,543 26,675 148% 12,868
PHP 36,700 28,685 128% 8,015
C# 27,760 23,333 119% 4,427
C++ 26,172 22,657 116% 3,515
Python 22,930 9,082 252% 13,848
Ruby 20,228 12,676 160% 7,552
Javascript 17,941 18,561 97% -620
Objective-C 14,193 5,834 243% 8,359

According to the chart above, PHP is the third most popular language after Java and C. Compared to the previous year, as well, the number of recruitment ads has increased 128%. In Japan, Java is often used for business systems, and C for application development. PHP, just like in other countries, is used for Web servers, and has overwhelmingly saturated Japanese web development.

On the other hand, 63.2% of the recruitment ads offer salaries below 4,000,000 yen a year. Since the average salary for programmers in Japan is around 4,000,000 yen, this indicates that the number of engineers has increased along with the spread of PHP, and this has driven down recruitment salaries. This also indicates that there is work for engineers with even just a little PHP experience, so it should be easy for low experience PHP programmers from overseas to find job opportunities on the Japanese market.

Yearly Salary Percent
2 million yen〜3 million yen 34.4%
3 million yen〜4 million yen 28.8%
4 million yen〜5 million yen 19.7%
5 million yen〜6 million yen 10.4%
6 million yen〜 3.4%

I am chairman of a professional organization in Japan, the Engineer Certification Corporation for PHP, which manages the PHP Engineer Qualifying Examination. The PHP Engineer Qualifying Examination satisfies Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry IT Skill Standards (ITSS), and one of its primary goals is promoting the wider acquisition of PHP skills. For that reason, I would recommend searching for companies authorized by the Engineer Certification Corporation for PHP when looking for PHP work. The PHP Engineer Qualifying Examination is held year-round in 200 places all over Japan, in Japanese only. If an overseas programmer passes the PHP Engineer Qualifying Examination, it is proof of both Japanese and PHP skills.

About the Engineer Certification Corporation for PHP:
visit their homepage

The PHP Conference, a Japanese event for PHP engineers, is also quite popular. The PHP conference is held all over Japan, in places like Hokkaido, Sendai, Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, and Okinawa, and is always packed with visitors. The PHP Conference JAPAN, held in Tokyo, is particularly popular, and PHP programmers from all over Japan gather to make it a truly international conference. There are visitors from abroad, as well, so if you’re interested, I recommend timing your visit to Japan to match it.

PHP Conference JAPAN
Visit php for more info
Visit Pcon’s Facebook
The news below offers a look at the PHP Conference Japan 2018. If you’re interested, please take a look.
Check out Gihyo’s website.

There are also any number of study groups for PHP in Japan, and can be found every month all over the country. Mokumoku-kai events are also quite popular. These are meetings where PHP programmers gather on their days off or in the evenings to give presentations on their research topics, study, and share their results. The PHP Benkyokai@Tokyo is a study group that has met well over 100 times, and is especially friendly to newcomers. It’s comfortable to join on your own and the atmosphere makes it easy to fit in, so lots of people come alone. I joined the PHP Benkyokai myself, and learned about PHP Conference Japan from people I met there, and for the last five years I’ve been on the board and in charge of publicity for the Conference. 

I think it’s clear that Japan’s PHP community is open and welcoming to all. If you’re interested, why not join in?

For Information on Japan’s PHP Study Groups, please see:
Connpass’ site

Tadashi Yoshimasa

Interested in how Python is performing on the Japanese market?
Check out our article on Python employment market in Japan.