The Strategist

Japanese government to attract 500,000 foreign workers

05/31/2018 - 12:52

The Government of Japan intends to simplify entry to the country for foreign workers with low and medium qualifications. Until 2025, the authorities hope to attract up to 500,000 workers who are sorely needed in agriculture, construction, shipbuilding and the service sector.

Humanoid one
Humanoid one
The government of Japan can officially announce initiatives to attract foreign workers in mid-June. Several media reported this on Wednesday with reference to their sources in the government. According to the Kyodo agency, by 2025 authorities expect about 500,000 foreign workers with low and medium qualifications to enter the country for up to five years.

The shortage of workers is acutely felt in five Japanese sectors - construction, agriculture, shipbuilding, hotel business and patient care.

As of the end of 2017, about 1.3 million foreign workers were officially registered in the country, which is twice as much as in 2008. 29% of them are Chinese, 19% - Vietnamese, 12% - Filipinos, 9% - Brazilians and 5% - Nepalese. The shortage of labor due to the population aging is often called one of the main problems of the economy: according to official forecasts of the Government of Japan, by 2040 the working-age population (15-64 years) will be reduced by 15 million people.

The Nikkei agency reports that the simplification of immigration policy in the labor market will mainly affect language requirements: requirements for passing the exam will be substantially simplified. In addition, local employers will be encouraged to pay for Japanese language courses for their foreign workers if their level of language skills is low. Small businesses will be able to apply for this in certified public organizations.

If, such a foreign worker successfully passes an additional professional test and language test during his five-year stay in Japan, he will be able to stay in the country for ten years.

"At present, there are two opposing views on the simplification of labor legislation," said Saburo Takizawa, former United Nationals High Commissioner for Refugees. "Business asks for more foreign workers, but the society expresses fears about growth of foreigners. However, the shortage of labor in Japan is becoming more evident now, so I do not think that a change in labor policy will cause too much resistance."


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