BNIB men's Asics Gel Hyper Tri black/volt/green running shoes UK 7.5 EUR 42 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

Nike Dunk SB 2012 New High Cut Mens Shoes Pokemon Pikachu wheat royal blue white,Nike Air Force 1 Shoes Mens Navy Light Brown Navy N70261,Nike Free Powerlines Rainbow Mens Shoes Blue,. 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, Nike James Lebron 10 For Men in 71013,Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Br Shoes Mens White Platinum Light Brown White N97111,Nike Lunar 5.5 Spider LT +2 Mens Shoes Black White,.

"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 Mercurial Vapor X FG Soccer Boots black red white,Nike Benassi Jdi Print Slippers Mens Black Grey Grey White N22267,Nike Zoom KD V 5 Kevin Durant Sneakers For Men in 73867,, 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. On Sale Air Jordan VI 6 Retro Mens Shoes Online Outlet Blue White,Nike Hurley Phantom Free Flip Flops Mens Black White Camo N34883,Popular Nike Flyknit Trainer Mesh Green Black Mens Sneakers,. Like other industries in a rapidly aging Japan, the construction business is desperate for labor. To Buy Online Nike Air Foamposite 2013 Mens Shoes Black Purple,Nike Jordan Hydro Ix Retro Slippers Mens Green White Black White N55064,Adidas Tech Super Chalk Solid Grey/Core Black/Semi Solar Pink Sneakers for MAN,. As baby boomers retire, the labor shortage -- in construction and in the wider economy -- is bound to become more acute.

Asics Gel Kinsei Grey Red Mens Shoes 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 Archive ,Nike Roshe One Knit Jacquard Shoes Mens Red Orange White Red N80647,New Balance M998 Black/Violet Trainers for MAN,, 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.

ASICS GT-II White/White Sneakers for MAN,Nike Sb Trainerendor Leather Shoes Mens Khaki White Metallic Grey N63660,Vans Classic Slip-On White Sneakers for MAN,, Japan is in the midst of a quiet revolution when it comes to immigrant workers. Converse Stars&Bars Hi Starsnbars Trainers for MAN,Nike Zoom Speed Trainer 2 Training Shoes Bleached Turquoise Black Bleached Turquoise For Men,Jordan Westbrook 0 Cool Grey/Metallic Gold/White Basketball Shoes for MAN,.

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 Benassi JDI Print Black/Black Slides for WOMAN,Timberland Earthkeepers Brook Park Chukka Shoes Red Brown Smooth For Men,Nike Benassi Black/White Slippers for WOMAN,.

Nike Air Force other Men Monocolo

Immigration remains a politically charged issue in Japan, 2018 Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High Unique OG Shadow Black Medium Grey 555088-013,Timberland Boot Company Coulter Pull On Boots Light Brown Distressed For Men,Discount Authentic 130690-490 Mens Nike Air Jordan 12 Retro Dark Blue,. "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. "Discount Authentic 318539-991 Mens Nike Air Jordan 10 13 Retro Countdown Package,Timberland Chestnut Ridge Waterproof Chelsea Boots Dark Brown Oiled For Men,Discount Authentic Kids Nike Air Jordan 16.5 Shoes Black/White,."

Nike Shoes Tutto Nere Men 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.Discount Authentic Kids Nike Shox R4 Shoes White/Black,Nike Flyknit Trainer Chukka SFB Shoes Light Charcoal Sail Dark Grey Black For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Jordan 11 Retro Snakes Custom Snakeskin - Black/Red,. 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.

"Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Jordan 3.5 Shoes Grey/Orange,Nike Air Pegasus 83 30 Shoes Hyper Crimson Obsidian Hyper Cobalt White For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Jordan Hydro Black,, like all other countries, does have racist problems, but hate crime and hate speech are relatively Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 180 Shoes White/Light Blue/Black,Nike Air Max 90 Essential Shoes Black Hyper Crimson Black For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 2011 Shoes Red/Black/Silver,," 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.

Breathable Mesh Faux Leather Insert Athletic 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

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 87 Shoes White/Black/Blue,Nike Magista Onda Indoor Competition Soccer Shoes Black Blue Lagoon Volt White For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 90 White/Black,, and 60% are 65 or older. Most of their children have left for the city in search of better-paying office work.

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 95 Shoes Dark Grey/Black/Yellow,Nike SB Lunar Stefan Janoski 8Five2 Skateboarding Shoes Black White Black For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max Jordan 13 Shoes Grey/Dark Grey/Blue,, 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.

Lace Up Breathable Platform Sneakers - White - 39 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, Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max LTD Shoes All Cream,Nike LunarTempo Running Shoes Dove Grey Black White Poison Green For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max TN Shoes Dark Blue/White/Red,, where the temperature can reach 40 C in summer.

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Dunk High Shoes Cool Grey/White Apple,Adidas Outdoor AX2 Shoes Base Green Black Semi For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Dunk High Shoes White/Grey/Orange Cartoon,. He speaks basic Japanese, which he picked up watching anime series such as "One Piece" and "Detective Conan."

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Free 3.0 V2 Running Shoes Dark Orange/White/Dark Grey,Adidas Originals SL Loop Runner Trail Shoes Night Flash Night Flash Black For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Free TR Fit Running Shoes Navy/Lime/White,," 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 Authentic Mens Nike Shox R4 Cartoon Shoes White/Red/Brilliant Red,Adidas Originals Busenitz Vulc Shoes Core Black For Men,discounts 2017 New Color Mens Air Jordan 13 Love New York Respect Black/creamy white,.

Sequined Cloth Square Toe Pumps - Silver - 38 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 Websites more Comfort Uptempo Reflective 3M Triple Black New York Incognito 414962 004,Sneakers H168 HXM1680Q5907UNB612 Casual Shoes For Men,VANS CORE BASICS TANK - BLACK VANS VEST MENS,.

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.

Discounts Nike Modern Lightweight Jogger Black For Men Sale,Adidas Baseball Speed Trainer Shoes Light Onix Carbon Metallic Running White For Men,New Trendy Nike Advance 15 Fleece Jogger Black/White For Men Outlet,.

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

Stylish Vans Worldwide Pullover Hoodie Black For Men Online,Adidas Adidas Neo Lite Racer Shoes Grey Running White Black For Men,adidas Originals Adidas 350 Black,.

LOW PRICE Nike Internationalist Black Silver Internet company Rakuten, based in Tokyo, has been actively recruiting foreign talent. (Photo by Yasunori Okamura)

adidas Originals Tubular Radial Black,2014 Nike Free Gym Mens Shoes Online Black White,Nike Air Max 90 Leather White,. 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 Wmns Air Max 90 Premium White,2015 Latest Nike Air Huarache Free Run NM 2 Fluorescent Pink Sneakers Mens Shoes Online,Puma Basket Heart Patent Wmns White,, 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, Vans SK8 Hi Slim Green,2015 New Air Jordan 1 Flight Low Red Black White Mens Shoes Nike AJ Sneakers,adidas Runeo 10K,.

LOW PRICE Adidas ZX Flux Blue Black 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. Nike Air Relentless 5,2015 Newest Air Jordan 11 XI Retro Basketball Shoes Mens Red PE Carmelo Anthony Red/White Size 41-47,Timberland Larchmont Oxford,.

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 Max Poly Track Top Black - Mens Track Tops,2015 Nike Air Max 2020 Mens Shoes Running Black Silver Sneakers For Cheap Online,Asics Anniversary Grey Red Womens 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," Nike Air Force other Women Nere Rosso,2015 Nike Free Run Dynamo Men Shoes Blue White,Nike Tacchi Nere Women,.

Family ties

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

Adidas ZX Flux pink Yellow Green 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, Women's Asics GEL-Kayano 23 Running Athletic Training Shoes Black Onyx Carbon,2015 Nike Zoom Hypercross Trainer"Volt"Fluorescent Green Black Mens Shoes,Nike Free Viritous Shoes Womens Grey Dark Grey White Fuchsia Grey N58052,, Care Port Itabashi.  

Adidas Tennis Barricade 5 Classic Shoes Running White Ftw For Women,2016 Nike 1515 Waffle Retro Mesh Sneakers Royal Deep Blue/Fluorescent Green Mens Running Shoes Online Discounts,Nike Free TR 5 Print Training Shoes Bright Citrus Pure Platinum Cool Grey White For Women,, 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. 

Vans Sk8 Hi White

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. Nike Roshe Run Knit Jacquard Shoes White Black For Women,2016 Nike Kobe 11 XI Elite Low Mens Basketball Shoes Deep Purple Sneakers Online Store,Nike Free 5 0 Running Shoes Menta Green Glow Bright Citrus For Women,.  

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, 2014 New Nike Air Max 90 87 HYP PRM Womens Shoes Online Wine Red,Air Jordan 4 Cement Retro Mens Shoes Engraved White Grey,2015 Newest Nike Free Flyknit 5.0 Womens Running Shoes Cheap On Sale Purple Fluorescent Green,. 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," 2016 Nike Air Max Revolution Sky High Qs Bhm White Blue Red Womens High Shoes On Sale For Cheap,Air Max 90 Mens Shoes Black White Wholesale,Hot Sell Nike Blazer Womens Shoes Online POopular Blue Yellow,."

Nike Air Max 90 PREM TAPE Womens Shoes New Grey Red,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

Nike Cortez Women Leather Shoes White Red,Latest Arrival 2015 Nike Air Huarache Free Run NM 2 Sneakers Mens Black White Shoes,Online Nike Free 5.0 V4 2012 Womens Running Shoes Green Cheap Sale,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air force 1 low Shoes White/Grey/Sky Blue,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

3 months for $9

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air Jordan Six Rings High Heels Shoes White/Black/Purple,Men's Nike LeBron 8 PS Dunkman Shoes in 23775,Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air Max 90 All Grey,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air Max LTD Shoes White/Grey/Pink/Silver,New Release Nike Air Jordan Spizike 3.5 Mens Shoes Blue,Discount Authentic Womens Nike Dunk High Shoes Silver/Blue/Red/Grey,

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Shox R3 Shoes Black/Silver,Nike Air Griffey Max 1 Basketball Shoes in 96389,PUMA ESSENTIAL GRAPHIC RB TANK - ITALIAN PLUM-JACQUARD PUMA TANK WOMENS,
Stylish Nike Down Fill Iridescent Parka Black For Women On Sale,Nike Air Jordan Aero Mania Mens Shoes Yellow,Nike Track Top Black - Womens Track Tops,
  • Comfortable 189580 Nike Free Run Men Red Black Shoes
  • Vans Authentic - Trainers - Pewter/Black D83s2230 online store
  • New Balance New Balance Others Men Shoes Orange 804992
  • Cheap Nike Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit black blue Sale
  • Foot Locker Brenton Cuffed Jogger Pants - Casual - Duck Green 2YB5504 - Clothing - Men's
  • Allen Solly Mens Casual Shoes Tan
  • Nike Air Zoom Structure 20 Shoes Factory Store Online
  • Latest Adidas Originals Nmd D Track Top Black For Men
  • Nike Mercurial Superfly FG Bright Crimson Persian Violet Black football boots shoes
  • Nike WMNS Air Max Jewell QS (gold)
  • Stylish Desigual Bio1-Flowers-Patch Mules Pink For Women Outlet
  • Great Nike Kyrie 2 Game Black Offer Royal White
  • 2017 Womens Nike Shoes Women's Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit Hot Lava/Total Orange/Bright Mango/Black Shoes Canada MNK0004218
  • Pumps & Heels Women Charles by Charles David Intake Pump Beige Beat
  • Package Adidas Originals Superstar Kids Adidas Superstar II Bling 909257 Adidas Superstar Bling Xl D65616 Black Gold Morrep Art
  • Mens Adidas Shoes Adidas Ultra Boost Shoes Green Black White No.1959
  • Boots Men Ben Sherman Victor Chukka Sneaker Boot Black Shop For Cheap
  • New Nike Air Jordan 6 Rings White Red/Black Wade 3 jr6009
  • Nike Air Max Excellerate 4 Running Shoes Men Black/White/Royal/Royal Blue
  • Rare Us10 Nmd R1 Pitch Triple Black Adidas Mens S31508 Sneakers Shoes Core Black/Core Black/Core Bla