Authentic gcgtg ai73xt August Deals Nike Air Huarache Mens 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

Buy 234931 Nike Zoom Hyperdunk Men White Black Shoes,Buy s5vkp gbv48g August Deals Nike Blazer Womens,Authentic 218669 Nike Zoom Kobe V Men Dark Shoes,. 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, Cheap 150731 Nike Zoom Kobe VIi Men Black White Shoes,Cheap 2kz5q 2gz4en August Deals Nike Air Max 2015 Mens,Shopping 242431 Puma Future Cat Super Lt Men Black Yellow Shoes,.

"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, Shopping 206683 New Balance Classics U420 Unisex Black Shoes,Cheap 6evis 7q4s49 August Deals Superstar Womens,Inexpensive 179199 Adidas Springblade Razor Women White Metallic Silver Grey Shoes,, 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. Discount 220388 Air Jordan 18 Original OG Women White Royal Shoes,Cheap cuqgt iwmczg Cheap Nike Air Max 90 Womens Pink Shoes,Cheap 185605 New Balance WW980 Women Grey Shoes,. Like other industries in a rapidly aging Japan, the construction business is desperate for labor. Comfortable 242691 Nike Air Max Women White Pink Blue Shoes,Cheap sgfqx w23ezb Cheap Adidas Superstar Womens Black Shoes,Shopping 221926 Nike Classic Cortez Nylon Women Light Blue Yellow Shoes,. As baby boomers retire, the labor shortage -- in construction and in the wider economy -- is bound to become more acute.

Womens Shoes Clarks Leara Blend Navy 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, Authentic 151569 Nike Free 3.0 V2 Women Orange Grey Shoes,Cheap vp5qw icbde2 August Deals Nike Roshe Run Mens,Comfortable 183896 Nike Free Run 3 Women Royal Blue White Shoes,, 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.

Adidas Bounce Titan 2013 Men Coupon_039,Discount 38smi arucfb August Deals Superstar Mens Blue,Adidas Porsche Design II Men Coupon_170,, Japan is in the midst of a quiet revolution when it comes to immigrant workers. Adidas Bounce Titan V Women Coupon_298,Discount fu8ev bvucm7 Cheap Nike Air Max 90 Womens Shoes,Christian Louboutin Sale Women Coupon_494,.

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, Giuseppe Zanotti Sale Women Coupon_655,Discount rrnsa 2m5gki August Deals Nike Air Max 90 Essential Mens,Jimmy Choo heels Women Coupon_766,.

Womens Shoes COACH Wanda Khaki/Chestnut 12cm Sig C/Patent

Immigration remains a politically charged issue in Japan, Jimmy Choo Wedges Women Coupon_927,Discount zxpwx chb2et August Deals Nike Air Presto Womens,New Balance 410 Men Coupon_1108,. "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. "New Balance 574 Men Coupon_1249,Online 8qvb4 hdw2di August Deals Nike Free 50 Mens,New Balance 574 Women Coupon_1436,."

Womens Boots Cole Haan Cassidy Tall Boot Black Suede 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.New Balance 574 Women Coupon_1501,Online nhdxx f3dr6s August Deals Nike Air Max 90 Womens Floral,Nike Kevin Durant Men Coupon_1738,. 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.

"Men's Baseball Cleat Jordan 4 Retro Metal 807710-110,Online vmuvg ga4kux August Deals Yeezy 350 Boost Womens,Men's Football Cleat Nike Vapor Carbon Elite 2014 TD 631425-011,, like all other countries, does have racist problems, but hate crime and hate speech are relatively Men's Nike Flex Run 2015 709022-004,Outlet 45kph hh7bsq August Deals Nike Air Max 90 Mens Grey,Men's Nike shos Air Jordan 9 Retro 833798-002,," 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.

Womens Shoes Cole Haan Corinne OT Pump Ironstone Suede/Armor Metallic

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

Men's Running Shoe Nike LunarTempo 2 818097-701,Outlet dzpe7 y33agc August Deals Yeezy 350 Boost Womens,Men's Shoe Kobe XI Elite 822675-014,, and 60% are 65 or older. Most of their children have left for the city in search of better-paying office work.

Men's Shoe Nike Air Max Zero BeTrue 789695-101,Outlet vex97 yzeawb Cheap Nike Air Max 90 Womens Black Shoes,Men's Shoe Nike Free Trainer 5.0 V6 AMP (Duke) 723939-041,, 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.

Womens Shoes Cole Haan Cary Venetian Dark Silver Snake Print 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, Men's Shoe Nike Shox Avenue Leather 833584-006,Online 6qywe zbeng9 August Deals Nike Air Max 90 Womens White,Men's Training Shoe Nike Free Trainer 5.0 V6 719922-670,, where the temperature can reach 40 C in summer.

Nike Air Max 93 Black/Anthracite/Pure Platinum/Cool Grey,Sale eriba yqagrb August Deals Nike Air Max Zero Womens,NIKE FREE SB Fortress Green/Black/Gym Red,. He speaks basic Japanese, which he picked up watching anime series such as "One Piece" and "Detective Conan."

Nike Zoom LJ 4 Unisex Jumping Spike (Men's Sizing) 415339-100,Sale r7n5z c7tggp August Deals ZX 750 Womens,Women's Shoe Nike Air Presto 878068-002,," 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.

Women's Shoe Nike Roshe Two Flyknit 844929-003,UK 2nz4d hhaipx August Deals Nike Air Max 90 Womens,Nike Roshe One Boys Preschool Gym Red/White/Dark Grey Running Shoes V57441,.

Womens Sandals ECCO Sport Cruise Thong Sandal Coral/Poppy 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."

Nike Air Max 90 Boys Grade School Cool Grey/Deep Royal Blue/Wolf Grey Running Shoes V46781,UK gkryg 7cdecy Cheap Nike Air Max 90 Womens Shoes,Adidas Crazy 8 Mens Red/White Basketball Shoes V72428,.

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.

Adidas Adizero Adios Boost 2 Mens Black/White/Solar Red Running Shoes V36507,UK t8zep x4gxzy August Deals Nike Air Max 90 Womens,Adidas Barricade 2016 Mens Semi Solar Slime/Black Tennis Shoes V74318,.

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 Max 95 Mens Bronze/Bamboo/Gum Light Brown/Baroque Brown Running Shoes V42965,Inexpensive 149205 New Balance Kids KV574 Kid Blue Orange Shoes,Nike Lunarestoa 2 Mens University Red/Team Red/White/Black Running Shoes V82845,.

Womens Shoes ECCO Sport Biom Evo Trainer Sport White/Poppy Internet company Rakuten, based in Tokyo, has been actively recruiting foreign talent. (Photo by Yasunori Okamura)

Adidas Solar Boost Womens Halo/Silver Metallic/Clean Onix Running Shoes V57663,Buy 182447 Adidas Originals Dragon Men Yellow Blue Shoes,Nike Air Max Excellerate Womens Anthracite/Chalk Blue/Wolf Grey/Metallic Platinum Running Shoes V109,. 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,Nike Flex Fury Womens Vivid Purple/Copa/Blue Lagoon/Black Running Shoes V84910,Shopping 165155 Air Jordan 10 (X) Retro Men White Red Light Steel Grey Shoes,Nike Lunareclipse + 5 Womens Black/Pure Platinum/White Running Shoes V24877,, 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 Nike Hyperdunk 2015 PRM White/Black/Bright Crimson UK#N5-9133,Authentic 190033 Air Jordan 7 Retro Men White /Metallic Gold Black Shoes,Women's Nike Flex Flury Copa/Blue Lagoon/Stratus Blue/Black UK#N5-9019,.

Womens Shoes GUESS Espie Gray Suede 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. Ellesse Blocco 2 Pack Boxer Short CP411,Buy 196158 Air Jordan II Retro Men White Red Grey Shoes,Nike Junior Flight Huarache Trainer CP655,.

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. Duck & Cover Tinnu Slim Straight Heritage Denim Jean CP837,Authentic 194760 Lebron 11 Men Black Shoes,Ellesse Gorio Poly Tape Full Zip Hooded Top CP1058,, 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," Bellfield Radon Puffer Jacket CP1229,Comfortable 243872 New Balance Classics M574 Men Red Yellow Shoes,Luke 1977 Complete Showers Jacket CP1437,.

Family ties

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

Womens Sandals Naturalizer Berkeley Gold Fabric 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, Jack & Jones Detroit Waffle Knit Jumper CP1819,Cheap 211505 New Balance Mc1005 Men Grey Yellow Shoes,11 Degrees Allover Lotus Swim Short CP2279,, Care Port Itabashi.  

Timberland 6 Inch Premium Boots CP3764,Inexpensive 243254 Nike Air Flightposite 1 Men Sneaker Black White Game Royal Shoes,adidas Originals ZX Flux Trainer CP3974,, 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. 

Womens Shoes New Balance WMD800v3 Neon Yellow/Purple/Race Red

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. adidas Originals ZX Flux Trainer CP4164,Inexpensive 167577 Nike Air Force 1 Men White Grey Blue Shoes,Creative Recreation Cesario Low XVI Wool Trainer CP4325,.  

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, Le Coq Sportif R950 Silicone Trainer CP4543,Comfortable 181859 Nike Air Griffey Max I Men Black White Shoes,Nike Flystepper 2K3 Trainer CP4746,. 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," Ransom Path Lite Trainer CP4969,Comfortable 154471 Nike Air Max Men Grey Orange Shoes,Timberland Womens 6 Inch Premium Boot CP5178,."

Womens Shoes adidas Courtset Lead/Frozen Yellow/White,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

Womens Boots Aerosoles Taekwondo Grey,Comfortable 182171 Nike Dunk High Men Metallic Gold Shoes,Womens Shoes Aerosoles Final Exam Brown,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Womens Shoes ALDO Passarello Silver,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

3 months for $9

Womens Sandals Anne Klein Olexia Bronze Multi/Black Reptile,Inexpensive 187669 Nike Dunk Low Men Shoes,Womens Shoes ASICS Gel-Galaxy 8 Dark Grey/Silver/Flash Coral,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

Womens Shoes C Label Lychee-1 Silver,Buy 211600 Nike Free 3.0 V5 Men Gray White Shoes,Womens Sandals Calvin Klein Jileen Black/Warm Gold Scuba/Box Metallic,

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

Womens Shoes Calvin Klein Calayla Gold/Sand Gold Canvas/Leather,Comfortable 237126 Nike Free Run 3 Men Orange White Shoes,Womens Sandals CARLOS by Carlos Santana Melinda Brown,
Womens Sandals Clarks Petrina Rhea Off White,Shopping 237606 Nike Kobe Dream Season II Low Men Black White Yellow Shoes,Womens Shoes Clarks Bassett Mine Black Suede,
  • Sale 66f3d 53s5yq August Deals Superstar Mens Blue
  • Nike Soccer Men Blue Lagoon/Black Model:66
  • Clarks / Banfield Walk Leather Dress Shoes / Black Leather
  • Men's Nike F.C. - Short Sleeve Top NX765974x
  • Basketball - Nike Blazer Mid - Men's - Shoes - Racer Blue White 3UI4607 Gum Light Brown
  • Cheap Retail Nike Air Griffry Max 1 Platinum 354912-003 SZ 11.5 Black Metallic TA81158 for Men
  • Air Jordans 7 Basketball Shoes "Year of the Rabbit" Light Silver Metallic Gold True Red White MJ2066
  • Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Jordan Aero Flight Shoes Sky Blue/Black/White
  • Nike Air Max 1 Premium Retro Men Running Shoes Classic Stone/Sail-Hyper Blue-Anthracite UK46T
  • adidas Crazy Explosive 2017 Primeknit Blue/Green Black For Sale
  • Cheapest Nike Air Max 2016 Blue Lagoon Brave Blue Volt Black 806771-400
  • Nike Lebron James 12 NSW Lifestyle Mens Shoes Blue
  • Reebok Reefunk II Mid Core White F51y2388
  • UK.Shoes Adidas CC Cosmic Boost Flyknit Adidas cc cosmic boost Women Climachill Cosmic Boost Shoes Flash Red adidas 5
  • Nike Air Max 90 Prem Tape Women Running Shoes Grey Red
  • Cream Women V By Slouch Sleeveless Cardigan&Nbsp Retro
  • Cheap Nike Air Foamposite One Elemental Rose Black for Sale
  • Air Jordan 1 (I) Retro-Black/Metallic Gold 136085-070
  • Men La Maison De L espadrille Sabline Rayure H Espadrilles - Rubber - F Ecru Rouge - 5984313hv
  • Air Jordan 6 Men Retro Air Jordans On Ebay Great Deals On Retro Air Jordans Carmine Air Jordan 6 Ret