Getting visa and landing will be easier with Certificate of Eligibility (COE) when a non-Japanese wants to enter Japan to live for a while, not as a temporary visitor.
Below are links to HP of Immigration Bureau of JAPAN (as of 2017/04/28).
You can also refer to the Website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.
Additional note for those who live in Japan:
You might want to empoly a non-Japanese living outside Japan, or you might want to invite your spouse from your home country to live together, for example. In these cases, you can help your employee or your family member apply for COE .