2017 Nike Sneakers Cheap Men's Air Jordan Future Low Photo Blue/White/Black Shoes Canada KBQ940182 Farruq Fahlevi, left, and Muhamad Irvan Gustian, both from Indonesia, work on a farm harvesting cabbages in Ibaraki Prefecture. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)
Cover Story

Famous for its resistance to immigration, Japan opens its doors

Number of foreign workers doubles in five years as nation faces labor crisis

Superga 2730 Satin Cotmetrope W Low Top Trainers White For Women Sale,2017 Sale Nike Men's Nike Hyperdunk 2014 (Doc) Dark Grey/Hyper Turquoise/Volt Shoes Canada IQR470863,The Hottest Style Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Flyknit W Low Top Trainers Grey / Beige For Women Outlet,. Along with a group of Japanese colleagues, they will spend the day moving heavy wooden pilings and pouring concrete for the foundation of a seven-story condominium block. 

It is demanding work, The Most Popular Jb Martin Ravage Sandals Blue / Black For Women On Sale,2017 The New Nikes Men's Nike Free Trainer 5.0 V6 Game Royal/Black/Cool Grey/Volt Shoes Canada JJI7103820,adidas Galaxy Allegra III - Women's - Tennis - Shoes - White/Flash Orange/Night Flash,.

"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, Aerosoles Women'S Margarita Wide Calf Medium/Wide Boot - "Black",2017 White And Pink Nikes Men's Nike Sb Lunar Stefan Janoski Black/Pure Platinum/Anthracite Shoes Canada CQD3802137,Birkenstock Women'S Gizeh Footbed Sandal - "Brown",, 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. Columbia Women'S Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Boot - "Grey",adidas Originals Men's Shoes GAZELLE OG - Trainers - blue,Fergie Women'S Smith Tall Gladiator Sandal - "Beige",. Like other industries in a rapidly aging Japan, the construction business is desperate for labor. Lugz Women'S Regiment High Top Fleece Lace Up Boot - "Brown",adidas Performance Men's Shoes D ROSE 773 III - Basketball shoes - black,New Balance 515 - Women's - Running - Shoes - Grey/Pink,. As baby boomers retire, the labor shortage -- in construction and in the wider economy -- is bound to become more acute.

NIKE HYPERCHASE CAMO PE sale JAMES HARDEN outlets Hyper Crimson Sport Metallic Silver Store Red Vietnamese trainee Dang Ngoc Hoang works at a building site in Tokyo. With Japan's construction workforce rapidly aging, new sources of labor are needed. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

The demand for construction workers is intensifying before the 2020 Olympics, Nike Air Max Thea - Women's - Running - Shoes - Voltage Violet/Light Liquid Lime,adidas Performance Men's Shoes SUPERNOVA RIOT 6 - Stabilty running shoes - sesoye/ftwwht/con,Nike Free Cross Compete - Women's - Training - Shoes - Bright Citrus/Black/Volt/Pink Pow,, 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.

Nike Zoom Fit Agility 2 - Women's - Training - Shoes - Blue Lagoon/Copa/Bright Crimson/Black,ASICS Men's Shoes GEL-THERALITE - Hiking shoes - stone/black,PUMA Suede Classic - Women's - Basketball - Shoes - Crown Blue/Puma Silver,, Japan is in the midst of a quiet revolution when it comes to immigrant workers. Ryka Women'S Devotion Plus Walking Shoe - "Navy",Clarks Men's Shoes MONTACUTE LORD - Lace-up boots - dark tan,Spring Step Women'S Bardot Oxford - "Brown",.

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, Nike Blazer JN90412 Women,Diesel Bags SHAP-PY - Handbag - silber,Nike Juvenate HS72716 Women,.

Nike Zoom Popular PG 1 Ferocity

Immigration remains a politically charged issue in Japan, cheaps Women Nike Air Max 2015 Clearance Shoes Leather Black Fire Metallic Australia Pink Silver Royal,ecco Men's Shoes CAIRO - Smart lace-ups - black,Women Kobe 9 Popular EM Low Independence Day Online USA,. "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. "2016 Sale Nike Free 3.0 v4 Sneaker Womens Main Purple,G-Star Men's Shoes CAMPUS RAW SCOTT lll - High-top trainers - black,2017 Blue Nike Trainers Womens Men's Nike Air Max 93 Blue Graphite/Dark Obsidian/Game Royal/New Slate Shoes Canada QQZ8103068,."

UA Under Armour Steph Curry 2 PROVIDENCE ROAD Most Expensive Game University Royal Red Foreign workers have become a part of everyday life in Japan, yet public debate on immigration remains limited. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

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.2017 Nike Black And White Shoes Women's Nike Air Max 2016 Print White/Black/Black Shoes Canada RDS6804022,Lacoste Men's Shoes Pool shoes - navy/white,2017 Nike Shoes Canada Women's Nike Zoom Fit Agility Light Retro/Artisan Teal/White/Fuchsia Flash Shoes Canada KYR4104485,. 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.

"2017 Online Nike Shoe Stores Women's Nike Internationalist Light Bone/White/Black/Grey Mist Shoes Canada DJH3004320,New Balance Men's Shoes U395 - Trainers - grey/red,2017 Womens All White Nikes Women's Nike Air Huarache Pink Blast/Total Crimson/Cool Grey/Black Shoes Canada VNW0503956,, like all other countries, does have racist problems, but hate crime and hate speech are relatively adidas Performance Women's Shoes BREEZE 101 - Lightweight running shoes - bahia pink/vivid berry,Nike Performance Men's Shoes MERCURIAL VAPOR X SG-PRO - Football boots - white/volt/hyper pink,Converse Women's Shoes CHUCK TAYLOR ALL STAR - High-top trainers - navy,," Kingston said.

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.

2016 Sale Nike Air Max 1 Woman Retro Sport Red Running Shoes

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

Keen Women's Shoes KOVEN WP - Walking shoes - gargoyle/alaskan blue,Nike SB Men's Shoes ZOOM STEFAN JANOSKI - Trainers - black/blue force-white,2017 Nike Shoes Online For Ladies Men's Nike Free 5.0 Black/Dark Grey/Cool Grey/White Shoes Canada LTJ9901829,, and 60% are 65 or older. Most of their children have left for the city in search of better-paying office work.

Designer Selected Daxel Derby Shoes Marine For Men Clearance,2017 Cheap Nike KD Trey 5 III Multi,Le Coq Sportif Alsace Low Nubuck Low Top Trainers Beige For Men Online,, the government's trainee program has allowed them to hold on to their livelihoods.

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.

2016 Sale Nike Air Max TN Black Purple White Men Shoes Indonesian trainees harvest cabbages at a farm in Ibaraki Prefecture. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

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, Stylish Casual Attitude Ileso Derby Shoes Brown For Men Clearance,2017 Newest Air Jordan 11 Low Pantone Custom,The Most Popular Fred Perry Kingston Leather Low Top Trainers Silver / White For Men,, where the temperature can reach 40 C in summer.

Carhartt 11 Inch ST EH WP Wellington,Authentic adidas Ultra Boost Kolor White Solar Green,ECCO Rivas 45,. He speaks basic Japanese, which he picked up watching anime series such as "One Piece" and "Detective Conan."

New Balance Men M1400BR Bespoke Collection (burgundy),Authentic Cheap Jordan 1 High Pinnacle White,Skechers Valeris Grey Mint,," he said. "I want to do more work." He says he wants to run a big farm in Indonesia one day, perhaps growing rice or coffee.

Timberland Earthkeepers Timberland Authentics Canvas Fold Down Dark Olive Dry Gulch,Authentic Lebron James 11 EXT Denim Leather,Tommy Hilfiger Spritz Black,.

2017 Best Place To Buy Nike Clothes Men's Nike Shox Nz Eu Black/Anthracite/Metallic Silver/Reflect Silver Shoes Canada NHM2503521 A Vietnamese worker checks autoparts at a Shigeru plant in Gunma Prefecture. (Photo by Ken Kobyashi)

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."

Ugg Gwyn Black Leather,Authentic Real Kobe 9 Elite Mag Customs,Vans Authentic Slim Multi Paint Purple,.

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.

Nike FI Impact 2 DV80693 Men,Authentic Real Nike Kobe AD Black University Red Hyper Violet 852425-004,Nike Magista Obra AG-R RX85594 Men,.

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

Nike Air Force 1 Premium UP48195 Boys,Buy Cheap Nike Hyperdunk 2014 Gym Blue Hyper Turquoise Volt,Nike Internationalist Premium IV61491 Men,.

2017 Cheap Nike Sneakers Men's Nike Magistax Proximo 'street' Tf Black/Anthracite/Bright Citrus/White Shoes Canada NGY5402490 Internet company Rakuten, based in Tokyo, has been actively recruiting foreign talent. (Photo by Yasunori Okamura)

Juniors' TAYLOR & SAGE Printed Off-Shoulder Short-Sleeve Top (PEH-PEACH HAZE),Cheap Discount Air Jordan 13 Black Pink White,Kids' UNDER ARMOUR Legend Graphic Short-Sleeve Tee (PURPLE SKY-937),. technology companies like Google and Uber in the emerging fields of autonomous driving, artificial intelligence, ride-sharing and the internet of things. In these new fields, the flow of ideas -- and people -- is vital.

"It is impossible for Japanese to create a very competitive technology-based company unless we globalize internally,Men's Brooks Ghost 10 Running Shoes (Grey/Black),Cheap Discount Air Jordan 8 Confetti,Men's DICKIES Raider Steel Toe Work Boots (WHEAT),, CEO of Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten, at an in-house seminar last year.

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.

Rakuten's push for global talent began in 2009, Men's KINGFIELD 8 in. Waterproof Work Boots (WHEAT),Cheap Foamposite One Metallic Gold Medal,Men's NAUTILUS 2114 Composite Toe Athletic Work Shoes Wide (BLACK),.

2017 Light Blue Nike Trainers Men's Nike Lunar Force 1 14 Game Royal/White Shoes Canada UCC4503396 Foreign students attend a job fair in Tokyo. Japanese companies, including e-commerce player Rakuten, are increasingly looking for international talent. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

Mikitani's revelation came during a lunch session with Indian engineers. adidas Originals Stan Smith Adicolor Blue,Cheap Lebron 9 Soldier Cargo Khaki Black Sequoia Bamboo Total Orange,New Balance MRL999AG Gray,.

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. Nike Wmns Air Huarache Run Ultra BR Blue,Cheap Lebron James 14 Black Purple Jade,Nike Wmns Zoom Kynsi JCRD WP Black,, via a loyalty point system.

"Rakuten is basically an e-commerce company, but we are moving into other businesses also. I wanted to work in the latest technologies," adidas OriginalsSamba MC - Reflective Snake,Cheap Lebron James 9 Low Black White Cool Grey Sport Red 510811 003,New BalanceL555 - Flipduo,.

Family ties

But IT workers are an exception. Most others, even skilled workers, face significant hurdles to settling in Japan.

2017 Nike Black And White Men's Nike Alpha Pro 2 3/4 Td Le Black/Sequoia/Metallic Gold Shoes Canada XEY0501118 Marliezl Abud, left, and a fellow Philippine worker talk to an elderly woman at a care center in Tokyo. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

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, Nike Primo Court Canvas Print,Cheap Original Nike Kyrie 1 Black White,Nanny State Hartley Jumper Blue - Mens Top,, Care Port Itabashi.  

Nike Roshe LD-1000 QS Varsity Royal/Varsity Maize-White Item UK0152,Cheap Priced Air Jordan 31 Low Black Dark Grey Sheen 897564-001,Nike Air Huarache Run Premium Mica Green/Black Item UK0389,, it entered economic partnership agreements with the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam that would allow up to 900 caregivers a year to come work in the country for up to four or five years each. 

2017 Nike Dunk High Men's Nike Dunk Cmft Denim/Sail/Track Brown Shoes Canada WVC0003275

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. Vans SK8-HI Pro Black/White/Red Item UK0667,Cheap Priced Nike Kobe 11 GREEN BLUE,Bella High Neck Strappy Pineapple Playsuit wkn_75296 Casual,.  

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, Classic leather sneakers SQ37050 leather Pale Pink/Rose Gold,Cheap Sale Jordan CP3.IX Christmas,DUNE BLACK - Pennfolde leather ankle boots Black leather SAVQHC,. 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," Geox SANDAL MULTY BOY - Baby shoes - navy/turquoise blue ZD29275,Cheapest Nike Air Max 2016 II KPU Volt Blue,JANE Blue 1HUM38 Morgan,."

Laura Off The Shoulder Culotte Jumpsuit fjf_47854 Going Out,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

Mesh sandals (SEASON 6) MR05762 fabric Graphite,Womens Under Armour Running Shoes - Speedform Gemini 2 Record - Steel Item W1461,Otehis suede shopper AW59647 Faded Black leather,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

REBECCA MINKOFF - Christy embellished leather shoulder bag Black SVHWUA,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

3 months for $9

STELLA MCCARTNEY - Set of seven Weekday stretch-silk satin bikini briefs Nude dark ink DXIOXK,Cheap Ipanema Lipstick Bolero Ii Flip Flops Pink For Women Sale,U VINTO C Blue TONORR Geox,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

ZIUDSX Silicone Kitchen Round Bread Cake Chocolate Pizza Mold Baking Pan Cheap,Designer Betty London Chigane Mid Boots Black For Women Online Sale,749688-010 MENS NIKE AIR MAX INVIGOR PRINT RUNNING TRAINING WHITE BLACK,

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

Classic Nike Air outlets Foamposite One All Star Galaxy discounts,Designer Robert Clergerie Roeln-Graffiti-Noir-Or-Argent Derby Shoes Black / Gold / Silver For Women Clearance,Girls Nike Personalisation Air Foamposite Super GS stores Black Gorge Green-Gym Red,
LeBron 12 Awesome XII ID Nrsl Blue Silver Royal White,Discount Mustang Rugarl Low Top Trainers Graphite For Women Outlet,New York Air Jordan 11 Jeter Re2pect Blue suede 351792-147,
  • Creative Recreation Kaplan Perforated Woodgrain Trainer CP4368
  • Nike Air Pegasus+ 30 Sonic Yellow Black Anthracite (599205-700)
  • Kobe 9 Kobe and Nike shoes [Uh3666]
  • Cheap Nike LunarGlide 6 Women's Running Shoes (Black/White/Hyper Cobalt/Bright Midnight) Australia O
  • Super Discount Nike Air Huarache white/white-pure platinum 318429-111
  • New Trendy Msgm Black Sheer Ruffle Socks For Women Selling Well
  • High Quality SANTONI Leather Fringed & Tasseled - Bordeaux Men's Loafers - 77XC795
  • Nike Air Jordan Future Low Shoes Mens Olive Black White Light Green N73528
  • * Men Snow Black Red Air Max 90 Sliver
  • Luxury Mens adidas Performance X Tango 16.1 In Indoor Football Boots Blue
  • Shoesme EXTREME FLEX - Baby shoes - cobalt dark blue TY85232
  • Basketball James-0397
  • Shop Nike MD Runner Trainers Shoes Mens Black/Black/Wht 717514BH
  • Seychelles Light Blue Play Alongj OAH097407
  • Nike Air Max 2018 Men's Running Shoes Black Red
  • Free People Paradise Purple Cold Shoulder Seamed Top UUH288570
  • Clarks Black Nubuck Women Pastina Lima Unique
  • Nike Air Max 1 QS City Pack England London
  • Women Dockers Victa Trainers - Rubber - Pink - 8904707kz
  • Nike Free 4.0 V2 Flyknit Men Women Nike Free Flyknit Women S Running Shoes Dark Buy Original Men S N