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"I've chosen the construction industry because the work involves lots of communication and helps improve my Japanese," Hoang said, in fluent Japanese. He eventually wants to work as a translator in Japan, and hopes that his fiancee will be able to join him there one day.
His employer, Nike Air Max 90 Mens Squadron Blue/Black/Bright Citrus/Flight Silver Running Shoes V78876,Jimmy Choo Wedges Women Coupon_915,Men's Nike Tiempo Genio II Leather TF Light Crimson/Total Crimson/Metallic Silver UK#N5-9521,, said trainees like Hoang are indispensable for his company of 32. "Foreign trainees learn faster than Japanese," Maeda said. "They are more serious, more hardworking, and take fewer days off. They are keen to learn and work hard for money. Men's Nike SB Portmore Ultralight Mesh Light Retro/White/Black UK#N5-9391,Jimmy Choo Wedges Women Coupon_970,Women's Nike Classic Cortez BR Artisan Teal/Volt/White UK#N5-9395,. Like other industries in a rapidly aging Japan, the construction business is desperate for labor. Hype Speckle Backpack CP63,New Balance Men Coupon_1062,Converse Infant Chuck Taylor All Star High Trainer CP480,. As baby boomers retire, the labor shortage -- in construction and in the wider economy -- is bound to become more acute.
The demand for construction workers is intensifying before the 2020 Olympics, Nike Junior Air Max 90 Trainer CP624,New Balance 574 Men Coupon_1156,Converse Infant Chuck Taylor All Star Trainer CP750,, the program has boomed in recent years -- and is one reason that the number of foreign workers in Japan has nearly quadrupled over the last decade.
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Without fanfare, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has steadily loosened Japan's once tightly controlled visa policy, resulting in an almost doubling of the number of foreign workers in Japan to 1.28 million over the last five years. In its latest move, Abe's government is expected to create a new class of five-year work permits for unskilled workers in hopes of attracting more than 500,000 new overseas workers by 2025. The new guidelines, to be finalized in June, will ease language requirements for foreign workers in construction, Luke 1977 Emersion Reversible Jacket CP1441,New Balance Women Coupon_1375,Hawksworth Faroe Cable Knit Jumper CP1807,.
Immigration remains a politically charged issue in Japan, Jack & Jones Rick Original AT644 Denim Short CP2149,New Balance Women Coupon_1386,Umbro Botafoga Swim Short CP2348,. "My government has no intention of adopting a so-called immigration policy," Abe said in February.
Yet the total number of foreign residents in Japan has grown 20% in the last three years, reaching 2.6 million in 2017, or 2% of the total population. In Tokyo, one in eight residents who came of age this year were foreigners.
"Anyone wandering around Japan, from Hokkaido to Tokyo to Okinawa, knows that there is growing diversity in schools and the workplace," said Jeff Kingston, a professor at Temple University Japan. "Timberland Earthkeepers 2.0 Chukka Boot CP3758,New Balance 996 Women Coupon_1534,The North Face Base Camp Flip Flop CP3869,."
While foreign workers are now part of everyday life in Japan -- making ready-to-eat foods in convenience stores, growing fruits and vegetables on farms and sorting packages for delivery companies -- public debate has been limited.adidas Originals Tubular Runner Trainer CP4028,New Balance 996 Women Coupon_1524,Ah By Android Homme Propulsion Mid 1.5 Trainer CP4187,. As a result, Abe's position -- despite its apparent contradictions -- has faced no strong pushback from the public or politicians yet.
Many Japanese look at the deep divisions in the West over immigration and conclude that a more open policy should be avoided. Yet the steady relaxation of migration rules has not led to the social fissures seen elsewhere.
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With Japan facing its tightest labor market in decades, the business community would like Abe to go further. The unemployment rate stands at 2.5%, the lowest level in 25 years. There are now 1.59 jobs for every job seeker, the highest ratio since 1974.
Given Japan's demographics -- it is the world's oldest advanced economy -- the labor shortage is only going to intensify. The nation's working-age population, defined as those aged between 15 and 64, is expected to decrease more than 40% to 45 million over the next 50 years. By contrast, those aged 75 or older, dubbed the "super-elderly," are projected to make up more than a quarter of the population.
Cabbages and car parts
Puma Suede Classic Trainer CP4915,Nike Kobe Bryant Men Coupon_1827,Supra Hammer Run Trainer CP5025,, and 60% are 65 or older. Most of their children have left for the city in search of better-paying office work.
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Among them is Kota Hirohara, 56, who raises cabbages on his small farm. On a recent May day, two Indonesian trainees were harvesting Hirohara's cabbages by hand with large nakiri, or vegetable knives. Hirohara says his farm is not big enough to need an expensive cabbage harvesting machine.
The two men, Muhamad Irvan Gustian and Farruq Fahlevi, both 21, can pick as many as 4,000 cabbages during their eight-hour workday. They also weed the fields, Womens Boots Aerosoles Make A Wish Dark Brown Leather,Men's Basketball Shoe Nike HyperLive 819663-170,Womens Sandals Aerosoles Wip Free Black,, where the temperature can reach 40 C in summer.
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The workers at Shigeru make instrument panels used in the Outback, Impreza and other models. The company hires Japanese part-timers in response to changes in demand, but Masayoshi Tabata, general manager, says foreign trainees are more dependable. "Part-timers quit when they find better-paying jobs. Trainees stay for three years."
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Trainees are discouraged from going back to their country before finishing the three-year term or from having a child, and they cannot bring their spouse on the visa.
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International pressure and media reports led to a law change in November 2017, allowing only certified organizations to participate in the trainee program. Criminal penalties were introduced for mistreatment of workers while a new government agency has been given a legal mandate to conduct random inspections. A whistleblower system has also been created that allows cases of abuse to be reported via email, a telephone hotline or a dedicated website. Most trainees have smartphones with them and have Wi-Fi access in their dormitories.
Fast-track system for tech workers
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At Rakuten's Japanese headquarters in a Tokyo suburb, a quarter of its roughly 6,000 employees are foreigners. The company hires about 400 engineers every year, of which 70% are non-Japanese, mainly Indians and Chinese.
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Mikitani's revelation came during a lunch session with Indian engineers. Womens Shoes Cole Haan Selma Pump 85 Black Suede,Men's Shoe Nike Air Max Uptempo 2 919831-300,Womens Boots ECCO Touch 55 Ankle Boot Coffee,.
Amit Agrawal, a 35-year-old engineer from India, is one of those who were hired by Rakuten.
"Most Japanese companies don't accept non-Japanese speakers. Rakuten is one of the companies that accept non-Japanese-speaking people," said Agrawal, who works in a massive open room that is almost entirely filled by foreign workers. Womens Shoes ECCO Cayla Tie Navajo Brown/Navajo Brown,Men's Shoe Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 3 GTX 805569-001,Womens Boots GUESS Serene Black Lycra,, via a loyalty point system.
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But IT workers are an exception. Most others, even skilled workers, face significant hurdles to settling in Japan.
One of the biggest difficulties has to do with restrictions on allowing family members to accompany workers -- a move designed to prevent permanent immigration. Though they are starting to loosen for a small number of the most skilled workers, such restrictions may limit Japan's allure as a destination for people with sought-after training.
Among those whose skills are in great demand is Marliezl Abud, Womens Shoes Naturalizer Narlene White Printed Iguana,Men's Shoe Nike Mayfly Woven 833132-002,Womens Shoes New Balance W1260v4 Silver/Blue,, Care Port Itabashi.
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Abud was able to come to Japan through this program, but the hurdles were high. Only those with a four-year-college degree and a Philippine qualification as a caregiver were accepted. Womens Shoes Nike Flex Supreme TR4 Ocean Fog/Blue Grey/Porpoise/Bright Mango,Men's Training Shoe Nike Free Trainer 1.0 807436-003,Womens Sandals PATRIZIA Salome Beige,.
She sends most of her salary to her parents and sisters back in the Philippines. Her younger sister has a daughter who is going on to private school, and Abud's earnings contribute to her niece's education.
Abud felt a crushing homesickness at first. But after she had passed the local exam, Unisex Shoes PUMA Court Star Citi Series NBK Chestnut,Men's Training Shoe Nike Zoom Speed Trainer 3 804401-050,Womens Shoes Reebok Royal Nylon White/Steel,. She likes the shopping, too.
But she and her husband see possible obstacles ahead for their lives in Japan. Her visa allows her husband to work only up to 28 hours a week, which could pose problems if they start a family.
"I want to have a child next year," Womens Shoes Rocket Dog Memories Black Thai Silk,NIKE AIR MAX 2015 Black/Clearwater/Fuchsia Flash/White,Womens Sandals Sam Edelman Dailey Pewter,."