Adidas Supernova Boost Glide 6 Womens Neon Pink/Zero Metallic/Black Running Shoes V66152 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

Womens Shoes ECCO Golf Biom Golf at,Nike Zoom Structure 18 Womens Lyon Blue/Black/Pink Pow/Clearwater Running Shoes V62596,Womens Shoes GUESS Beccy Black Lace,. 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, Womens Boots Naturalizer Lamont Wide Shaft Truffle Taupe Suede,Men's Nike Air Pegasus 83 Leather Red Clay/Gym Red/Team Red/Deep Burgundy UK#N5-8728,Womens Sandals Naturalizer Leona Nickel Alloy Metallic Leather,.

"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, Womens Shoes Naturalizer Joyce British Burgundy Suede,Nike Kids Son of Force Black/Black UK#N5-9625,Womens Shoes New Balance WXC700v3 Blue/Pink,, 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. Womens Shoes Nike Revolution 2 Anthracite/Light Magenta/Black/Hyper Jade,Women's Nike Air Max Siren Print Pure Platinum/White/Metallic Silver UK#N5-9293,Womens Shoes Nike Acorra Suede Dark Storm/Black/Gum Light Brown/Sail,. Like other industries in a rapidly aging Japan, the construction business is desperate for labor. Womens Shoes Nike Tri Fusion Run Chalk Blue/Concord/Blue Tint/White,Vans Old Skool Backpack CP100,Womens Sandals PATRIZIA Paraiso Gold,. As baby boomers retire, the labor shortage -- in construction and in the wider economy -- is bound to become more acute.

Men's Shoe Nike Air Max Uptempo 2 919831-300 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, Womens Shoes PUMA Roma Black/Grape Juice,Converse Infant Chuck Taylor All Star Party Trainer CP492,Womens Shoes Reebok SubLite Train 4.0 L MT Lilac Metallic/Steel/Celestial Orchid/White/Black,, 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.

Womens Sandals Rocket Dog Padley Gold Trunk,Nike Junior Air Trainer 3 CP654,Womens Sandals Sam Edelman Keith Black,, Japan is in the midst of a quiet revolution when it comes to immigrant workers. Womens Shoes Sam Edelman Hurlie Pewter Rasputin Leather,Creative Recreation Nursery Kaplan Holographic Trainer CP759,Womens Shoes Saucony Originals Jazz Original Charcoal/Lime,.

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, Womens Boots UGG Bailey Button Triplet Grey Sheepskin,Levi's 522 Tapered Jean CP898,Womens Boots UGG Oregon Black Twinface/Leather,.

Men's Shoe Nike Internationalist Premium 828043-401

Immigration remains a politically charged issue in Japan, Womens Sandals UGG Vessa Black Suede,Ellesse Minoria Full Zip Hooded Top CP1054,Womens Boots Vaneli Rasha Black Nival Suede/Mtch Elastic,. "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. "Womens Sandals Vaneli Kelsa Black Naif Print,The North Face Open Gate Overhead Hooded Top CP1158,Womens Shoes Vaneli Treise Black Dixan Kid/Gunmetal Ring,."

Men's Training Shoe Nike Air Max Full Ride TR 1.5 869633-011 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.Womens Shoes Vaneli Marret Tmoro Suede/Tmoro Kenco Print,Condemned Nation Reno Varsity Jacket CP1305,Hurley Sunset Palms Strap,. 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.

"Hurley Icon Pullover,Glorious Gangsta Mars Bomber Jacket CP1391,Men's Battle Pocket Tee,, like all other countries, does have racist problems, but hate crime and hate speech are relatively Golf Tailored Platform Polo,Selected Notive Mac Jacket CP1517,Basic Boxer Shorts 2 Pack,," 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.

NIKE AIR ZOOM PEGASUS 31 Vapor Green/White/Flash Lime/Black

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

2016 FFF Stadium Away,adidas Originals Vintage Block Short CP2066,Nike 9" Gladiator,, and 60% are 65 or older. Most of their children have left for the city in search of better-paying office work.

Nike Zoned Sculpt,Nike SB Short CP2182,Wholesale Trade 2017/18 Nike Womens Basketball Sneakers Lebron 13 Navy Blue Silver 2VdRxbI7,, 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.

NIKE SB STEFAN JANOSKI MAX White/Black 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, Authentic 6cfs7 guaafa August Deals Ultra Boost Mens,Ellesse Evani Shell Top CP3550,Authentic trefx us9pg5 August Deals Nike Air Max 90 Womens Leopard Print,, where the temperature can reach 40 C in summer.

Buy cnckc es695i August Deals Nike Air Max 2015 Mens,Timberland 6 Inch Premium Boot CP3768,Buy y3icu 4rauiu August Deals Superstar Womens,. He speaks basic Japanese, which he picked up watching anime series such as "One Piece" and "Detective Conan."

Cheap gbmyn 959fi6 August Deals Nike Air Max 90 Essential Womens,Timberland Hayes Valley Loafer CP3937,Discount 2fz77 p9w39n August Deals ZX Flux Mens,," 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.

Discount sgrrx zg7ffn August Deals Nike Air Max 90 Mens,adidas Originals Gazelle OG Trainer CP4043,Online c63sf xbcuxg August Deals Nike Air Max Tavas Mens,.

Women's Shoe Nike Flyknit Air Max 620659-104 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."

Online wy33p hhvkph Cheap Nike Air Max 90 Womens Black Shoes,adidas Originals Topanga Trainer CP4181,Outlet ivq4g bu59ub August Deals Nike Air Max 1 Womens,.

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.

Sale egt8x vmihyr August Deals Nike Air Max 1 Womens,Creative Recreation Santos Trainer CP4328,UK 2niae 2p7vxa Cheap Adidas Superstar Womens Shoes,.

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

UK wghvf nirh23 August Deals Superstar Womens,Cruyff Vanenburg X-LITE Cobra Trainer CP4425,Cheap 174505 Adidas Skate Men Red White Shoes,.

Adidas Samba Classic Boys Preschool White/Black Soccer Shoes V86314 Internet company Rakuten, based in Tokyo, has been actively recruiting foreign talent. (Photo by Yasunori Okamura)

Comfortable 189562 Air Jordan 6 Retro Men Black Speckled Shoes,Nike Zoom Stefan Janoski Trainer CP4611,Cheap 178150 Jordan Flight Team Men White Black Red Shoes,. 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,Discount 196460 Nike Air Classic BW Si Men White Blue Shoes,Nike Air Max Thea Trainer CP4720,Shopping 232032 Nike Air Force 1 Men White Shoes,, 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, Cheap 173460 Nike Air Max Men White Blue Shoes,Puma Star Trainer CP4900,Shopping 153660 Nike Air Max 1 Hyperfuse Men Grey Pink Shoes,.

Nike Huarache Run Boys Grade School Cool Grey/Cool Grey/Wolf Grey/White Running Shoes V46711 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. Discount 239560 Nike Air Max 90 Men White Blue Shoes,Supra Owen Reflective Trainer CP5020,Discount 210447 Nike Air Max Tailwind Men Black Red Shoes,.

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. Authentic 193904 Nike Dunk High Men White Yellow Pink Shoes,Moon Boot Womens WE Quilted Boot CP5166,Inexpensive 198934 Nike Dunk Low Men Shoes,, 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," Shopping 213532 Nike Free 3.0 V3 Men Red White Shoes,Womens Shoes adidas Barricade Team 4 White/Night Sky/Flash Orange,Shopping 198708 Nike Hyperdunk Men Grey Black Shoes,.

Family ties

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

Adidas J Wall Mens Fairway/Reflective Silver/Black Basketball Shoes V53247 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, Cheap 219070 Nike Lunarfly Men White Fluorescence Green Shoes,Womens Shoes adidas Outdoor AX 2 W Flash Pink/Black/Night Sky,Authentic 180545 Nike SB Dunk High Men Matt Boom Shoes,, Care Port Itabashi.  

Cheap 233016 Nike Shox Nz 2.0 Men Black Green Shoes,Womens Boots Aerosoles Money Role Black Lizard,Discount 184556 Nike Shox Rivalry Men White Black Shoes,, 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. 

Adidas X 15.1 Leather Fg/Ag Mens Solar Yellow/Frozen Yellow/Black Soccer Shoes V78233

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. Cheap 187156 Nike Zoom Kobe VI Men Yellow Shoes,Womens Sandals Aerosoles World Traveler Leopard Tan,Cheap 197717 Onitsuka Tiger By Asics Mexico 66 Men Black Grey Gold Shoes,.  

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, Shopping 241068 Adidas Originals Superstar 2.0 Women Purple Orange Shoes,Womens Boots ALDO Yolandah Black Leather,Buy 212863 New Balance M890V4 Women Silver Blue Shoes,. 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," Inexpensive 158565 Nike Air Max Women White Pink Shoes,Womens Shoes ALDO Musigliano Black,Authentic 158354 Nike Dunk Low Women Olive Khaki White Shoes,."

Inexpensive 156351 Nike Free Tr Fit 4 Women Green White _ Shoes,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

Adidas Originals JS Men Coupon_154,Womens Boots Clarks Merrian Betsy Black,Asics Gel-Quik 33 Women Coupon_388,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Giuseppe Zanotti Sale Women Coupon_656,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

3 months for $9

Adidas Clima Cool 5th Women Coupon_311,Womens Sandals Clarks Brinkley Jazz Navy,New Balance 501 Men Coupon_1124,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

New Balance Women Coupon_1359,Womens Shoes Clarks Ciera Sea Burgundy Leather,Nike Derrick Rose Men Coupon_1645,

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

KD7 Emerald Green/Dark Emerald/Total Orange/Metallic Silver,Womens Shoes Clarks Pravana Claire Nude Pink Leather,Men's Football Cleat Nike Vapor Untouchable Pro 833385-002,
Men's Nike Shoe Kobe XI 836183-154,Womens Sandals COACH Janine Khaki/Chalk Sig Embossed PVC/Calf,Men's Shoe Air Jordan 5 Retro Low 819171-135,
  • Bellfield Nimrod Fishtail Parka CP1235
  • Nike Air Force 1 07 LE Patent Toe Pack Team Red
  • Cheap Nike Hyperrev 2016 Draymond Green Finals PE DG23 Size US 40-47
  • Nike Sportswear Womens Jacket Velour Red 1757S
  • Men Trainers Lacoste Sevrin Suede Mid Chukka Boots
  • Latest Blugirl Black Striped Wide-Leg Trousers For Women Sale
  • Designed GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI DESIGN Micro Studded Suede - Black men's Loafers - 19PQ654
  • REAL Adidas Originals Tubular Runner Trainers in Ink White Running Shoes
  • * Adidas Men Blue Black Green Football Beckham Adipower Predator Xi Trx Fg
  • Discount Price For Mens Inov-8 X-Claw 275 Chill Trail Running Shoes Silver
  • Gioseppo Sandals - beige beige VY40331
  • Nike Free45-0578
  • Shopping Cheap Kobe 8 System Blue White 555035 200
  • Thick Air Jordan 12 Sneakers Air Jordan 12 Low Retro Taxi For Sale jordansneakersm12 Buy Air Jordan 12 90 Deals On Buy Air Jordan 12
  • Nike Air Max 90 Premium EM Orange Yellow Black Sport Shoes - Q10g2248 nike training clothes
  • H by Hudson Dylan - Drum Dye Tan - HB935SH60XVJ - Men's Dress Shoes
  • Page Not Found
  • Nike Longball 578536-052 Team Blue Grey/Team Black
  • Womens Jordan 4 IV "3LAB5" Cement Grey/Black-White-Black
  • Air Jordan 4 Men Women Retro 4 Air Jordan Nike Air Nike Retro Air Jordans Compare Choices And Prices