Blue White Mens Shoes / Nike Free Run 2 Outlet Stores 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

Air Jordan Fusion 8 (AJF 8)-White / Grey / Black Sneakers,Asics Mens Shoes / Aqua White Blue Ribbon Shoes Asics Gel-Cumulus 16 RU11H41eAir Jordan Flight 45 Unisex Black / White-Varsity Royal-Dl Sl,. 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, Air Jordan Cement 3 Black Nike Iii Mens Shoes Blue Orange,Asics Lightning Hot Punch Marigold Gel - Nimbus 15a OOB467656Air Jordan 8 Retro Black/Dark Concord-Anthracite-Aqua Tone For Sale,.

"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, Air Jordan 6-17-23 (Kids) Kid White / College Blue-Black,Asics GT-2000 3 Mens Premium Cushioned Running ShoesAir Jordan 6 (VI) Retro Black/Infrared Cheap Top Sale Online,, 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. Air Jordan 5 (V) Retro LS-Black / University Blue-White Sneakers,Asics GT-2000 2 BR Mens Premium Cushioned Running ShoesAir Jordan 4 (IV) Retro Rare Air Sneakers,. Like other industries in a rapidly aging Japan, the construction business is desperate for labor. Air Jordan 4 - 2013 Black/Green Shoes,Asics Gel-Sendai Mens Premium Cushioned Running ShoesAir Jordan 3 High Quality Black Cement Grey White Shoes,. As baby boomers retire, the labor shortage -- in construction and in the wider economy -- is bound to become more acute.

Acorn Mint Spa Support Mocx IGP466941 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, Air Jordan 2011 New Color Blue White Basketball Shoes,Asics Gel-Lyte V W WhiteAir Jordan 13+James 8 White/Purple/Red Sneakers,, 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.

Air Jordan 13 Last Hyper Royal Buy 414571-117,Asics Gel-Kinsei 4 Mens Premium Cushioned Running ShoesAir Jordan 12 (XII) Original (OG)-Taxi (White / Red-Taxi) Sneakers,, Japan is in the midst of a quiet revolution when it comes to immigrant workers. Air Jordan 10 (X) Retro-Ice Blues (White / Obsidian-Ice Blue) Sneakers,Asics Gel-Kayano 22 Mens Premium Cushioned Running Shoes/SportsAir Jordan 1 (I)-Black / Varsity Red Sneakers,.

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, Air Force 1 Nike Mens I Shoes Black Green,Asics Gel-Defiant Mens Cushioned Running ShoesAF1 Ultra Flynit Mid - K34k6721 all black nikes,.

9297 Good-feeling Nike Air Max 90 Men White Orange Shoes

Immigration remains a politically charged issue in Japan, Adidasi Training Puma Rush Dama Negrii/Albi (741326KBN),Asics Gel Nimbus 16 Mens Running/Sport Shoes (4 E Width Extra Wide)Adidasi Training Nike Free Tr Versatility Amp Barbati Negrii/Albi/Albastri (380508UDV),. "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. "Adidasi Training Adidas Essential Star 2.0 Copii Albastri/Verzi (191571URV),Asics DAdidasi Tenis Asics Gel-solution Speed 3 Clay Dama Albi/Argintii (818176BLD),."

8539 Inexpensive Nike Air Jordan 4 Retro Men Blue Grey Free Shoes 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.Adidasi Skate Nike Sb Zoom Stefan Janoski Canvas Barbati Negrii/Maro Deschis/Aurii/Albi (484851SBF),Ash Carnaby Black Virgin High Topm OUZ934774Adidasi Puma Suede Superman Copii Rosii (417724AKP),. 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.

"Adidasi Puma Mercedes Amg Petronas Future Cat Barbati Albi/Gri/Verzi (864346OLQ),Ariat Palm Brown/Bright Lime Groundbreaker Wide Square Toe H20 KEH989938Adidasi Puma Ferrari Drift Cat 5 Barbati Albi/Negrii (683126JMI),, like all other countries, does have racist problems, but hate crime and hate speech are relatively Adidasi Puma Axis V4 Bebelusi Negrii (649234HJV),AQ8601 BLK Men's adidas ZX Flux Floral Print Casual Shoes Black/FloralAdidasi Nike Tanjun Bebelusi Negrii/Albi (923919IEL),," 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.

7587 Real Nike Air Jordan 6 Men White Black 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

Adidasi Nike Roshe Ld-1000 Barbati Negrii/Gri Inchis (896398FOC),Antoine + Stanley Oliver Tan - Tan - AN166SH44SRZ - Men's Casual ShoesAdidasi Nike Lab Air Max 90 Royal Sp Barbati Maro (963003XCU),, and 60% are 65 or older. Most of their children have left for the city in search of better-paying office work.

Adidasi Nike Free Rn Copii Negrii/Gri Inchis/Argintii (761129PMR),Anti-cold UGG Tassy Marrakech Girls' Raspberry Sorbet 1199925Adidasi Nike Bruin Barbati Albi (665383YBH),, 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.

6793 Nice Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High Men White 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, Adidasi Nike Air Max Siren Dama Negrii/Argintii/Albi (660440PYU),Anti-cold UGG Ascot Suede Men's Sand 1024084Adidasi Nike Air Max 90 Piele Bebelusi Albi (453292ETS),, where the temperature can reach 40 C in summer.

Adidasi Nike Air Huarache Dama Verzi/Negrii/Albi (808782QWM),Anti-cold Nike Mercurial Veloce CR AG Nike Mercurial Veloce Fg Football Boots Nike Mercurial Veloce Superfly IV CR 2018 AG Sky BlueAdidasi Baschet Nike Kobe Mentality 2 Barbati Negrii/Gri/Roz (228622NKY),. He speaks basic Japanese, which he picked up watching anime series such as "One Piece" and "Detective Conan."

Adidasi Asics Gel-fireblast 2 Dama Argintii (508142YTH),Anti-cold Nike Magista Obra Nike Magista Obra SG Pro Soccer Cleats Hyper Grape Add to Cart for Price Nike Magista Obra AG RAdidasi Alergare Puma Ignite Limitless Barbati Rosii (204589ENT),," 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.

Adidasi Alergare Nike Free Rn Motion Flyknit Dama Negrii/Albi (182122NJL),Anti-cold Nike Internationalist JCRD newest nike air max flyknit latest air max flykni Internationalist Mid Qs Nike 696424 600 red clayAdidasi Alergare Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33 Shield Copii Verzi/Rosii (438104IAZ),.

5max AIR Athletic sport Gym shoes sneaker TPU black with green for men 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."

Adidasi Alergare Asics Gt-1000 5 Gs Copii Albastri/Portocalii (138150CFD),Anti-cold Nike Elastico Superfly IC Nike Elastico Superfly IC Black White nike Elastico Superfly Nike Elastico Superfly Ic CleatsAdidasi Alergare Asics Gel-galaxy 9 Gs Copii Roz/Albi/Albastri (209863WCB),.

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.

Adidasi Alergare Adidas Supernova Sequence Boost 8 Dama Roz/Verzi (901425JNV),Anti-cold New Balance 878 Men 1000 images about How to wear Sneakers Slip On on New Balance ML878 Reflective Trainer White Black DromeAdidasi Alergare Adidas Eqt Running Cushion 93 Dama Albi/Negrii/Verzi (544232DCW),.

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

Adidasi Adidas Zx Flux Plus Barbati Negrii/Albi (341864DIO),Anti-cold Kyrie Irving 2 Men Kyrie 1 For Sale Cheap Page 2 Cavs Kicks Nike Kyrie 2 Omega Fear The SwordAdidasi Adidas White Mountaineering Formel 1 Barbati Albi (859622OGM),.

504 Regular Straight Fit Jean The Rich Levi's Men Cheapest Internet company Rakuten, based in Tokyo, has been actively recruiting foreign talent. (Photo by Yasunori Okamura)

Adidasi Adidas Superstar Foundation Dama Albi/Bleumarin/Rosii (719079PAU),Anti-cold Curry Shoes Men steph curry one shoe Cheap Sale Cheap DiscountAdidasi Adidas Stan Smith Dama Albastri/Albi (808947JWR),. 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,Adidasi Adidas Los Angeles Dama Albi (528713CGT),Anti-cold Air Jordan 7 Sneakers Air Jordan VII 7 Retro 20 Real Cheap Jordan Shoes Jordan Retro VII Olympics Foot Locker Blog Retro 7 JordansAdidasi Adidas Els Formotion Barbati Aurii (237686PWM),, 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, Adidasi Adidas Busenitz Vulc Barbati Bleumarin Albastri/Gri/Rosii (227496ZBO),Anti-cold Air Jordan 5 Kids Air Jordan 5 V Retro Oreo New Images and Release Info Air Jordan V 5 Retro white black red Buy Nike Retro Sneakers Nike Retro Sneakers 70 Offadidas ZX 750 WV Mens Shoes Grey,.

414571-006 Air Retail Jordan 13 Store Olive For Black/Gym Red-Light Olive-White 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 Yeezy 550 Boost Gray Green Canada,Anti-cold Air Jordan 3 Jordan Retro 5 Cement Jordan Retro 5 Cement Deals Air Jordan Retro 3 Black Cement Real Cheap Jordan Shoes Jordan Retro 6 Air Jordan 6 On Sales 80 Off In JordanAdidas White/Silver Metallic/Flash Red Barricade Team 4a EGZ506556,.

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. Adidas Tubular Radial Men's Originals Shoes Grey,Anti-cold Air Jordan 12 Sneakers Air Jordan 12 On Sales 70 Off In Jordan Shoes Outlet Jordan Air Shoes Outlet Jordan Air Air Jordan Original 12 Taxis White Black Taxi JordanAdidas Superstar II Shoes Adidas Superstar Slip on Brand adidas Originals Superstar J Sneaker The Adidas Originals Superstar II Trainer,, 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 Stan Store Smith Shoes Adidas Stan Store Smith Skateboarding Amazon Australia Green Shoes Adidas Originals Stan Store Smith Shoes,Anti-cold Air Jordan 10 Men nike air jordan 4 toro bravo for sale ontario nike air JORDAN 10 STEEL ANTHONY'S VAULT Tictail Air Jordan Shoes Cheap Deals for Air Jordan ShoesAdidas STA Fluid 3.0 Boys Training Shoes Blue,.

Family ties

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

3270 Good-feeling Nike Air Max 90 Hyperfuse Prm Men White Gray Shoes 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, Adidas Skateboarding Adi-Ease Athletic Shoes ST Major / Bliss / ST Tan,Anti-cold Adidas Yeezy 350 The Kanye West x adidas Yeezy 950 Boot and More 350 BoostADIDAS PW HUMAN RACE NMD TR Lightest 5-14 BROWN TAN PALE Brand NUDE AC7361 PHARRELL Online TRAIL LEGIT,, Care Port Itabashi.  

Adidas Performance Lk Trainer 7 K Kids Trainers White Rose W75 Outlet,Anti-cold Adidas Originals ZX 750 Adidas Originals ZX Flux 700 750 850 Trainers Sale adidas ZX 8000 Torsion OG Bleu Aqua Adidas Originals Zx 500 Og W blauAdidas Outdoor Clay/Black/Sesame Terrex Fast X W PVA055713,, 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. 

2364 Inexpensive Nike Free 4.0 V3 Men Black Green Shoes

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 Tubular Invader W Blue,Anti-cold Adidas Marathon Men adidas marathon tr 10 m adidasMarathon TR 10 Shopzilla Adidas Running Men's Shoes MARATHON RUNNING SHOES ASICS GEL LYTE33 MENS SHOESAdidas Originals Rod Laver Mens Tennis 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, Adidas Originals Mens Shoes / Mesa Mesa Cream White Shoes Adidas Originals Sl Loop Runner YH16K41a,Annie Silver Limits IFO810767Adidas Originals Los Angeles W Blue,. 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," adidas Originals D,Anne Klein Black Fabric Hooked IOA832844Adidas NMD R1 3 Stripes discount Blackout Mens Australia S76519 Black,."

Adidas Mens Shoes / White Night Shade Solar Blue Shoes Adidas Barricade Team 2.0 UG61F1,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

Adidas Mens Shoes / Solar Green Black Clear Grey Shoes Adidas Pure Boost Reveal ER215237w1u,Air Max 90 Mens Shoes Cheap On Sale White Light Blue CIFW0Adidas Mens Shoes / Earth Green Running White Solar Zest Shoes Adidas Nitrocharge 2.0 Trx Fg Synthetic YH24Fe1f,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Adidas Mens Shoes / Black White University Red Shoes Adidas Adizero 5-Star 3.0 Mid RU65Ed1a,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

3 months for $9

Adidas Mens Shoes / Black Core White Solar Gold Boys Shoes Adidas Nitrocharge 1.0 Fg HH25P65u1c,Air Max 90 Mens Shoe White / Blackadidas LA Trainer OG Mens Shoes Green / Silver,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

Adidas Grey Silver M Ultra Boosta WSQ153296,Air Max 2017 Black White NetAdidas EQT Support ADV CK X Parley Legend Ink Blue Spirit White CQ0299 Authentic,

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

Adidas D Rose 773 Iii Boys Grade School White/Black Basketball Shoes,Air Jordan XX8 SE Gym Red/White-Wolf Grey For Sale OnlineAdidas Crazy Light Boost Men Light Scarlet/Black Basketball Shoes,
Adidas Bold Pink Heather/Solar Pink Ultimate Fleece Crew HZJ432549,Air Jordan Trunner Ko--Do The Right Thing Edition SneakersAdidas Adissage Comfort Fitfoam Slide Men Collegiate Navy/Midnight Indigo/White Slippers,
  • Discount 179046 Nike Shox O Leven Men Black White Shoes
  • Nike Air Jordan 5 Shoes Box Black/Varsity Red Sneakers 3126198
  • Skechers Kids Sandals Multicoloured 791369
  • Air Jordan 5 Men Shoes Black/White /Nike Jordan [ N1572]
  • Men's - adidas Originals Samba - Shoes - Soccer - Solar Blue Clear Grey 2JU9033 White
  • Mustang Mens Low-Top Trainers Dark Blue
  • Authorization MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR Ghost Whisperer Hooded - Royal Blue Men's Down Jackets - 39BS561
  • adidas Originals Superstar 80s PK ASG Black
  • Mens Nike Air Jordan 23 Degrees F Red White Shoe Just Buy It
  • Mens ASICS Wrestling Shoes - JB Elite - Teal/Flash Yellow Item M0343
  • adidas Originals Superstar Rise - Women's - Basketball - Shoes - Zebra Stripes
  • Nike Air Max 270 Midnight Navy Blue Customize White Black Mens Trainers AH8050-400
  • Nike Performance Women's Shoes FREE 4.0 FLYKNIT - Lightweight running shoes - fuchsia flash/clearwater/medium volt/polarized
  • Pour Moi Starlet Suspender Black Purple Women Unique
  • Oxfords & Lace-Ups Men Dockers Suffolk Oxford Brown Super popular
  • Men's - Nike Satire Deep Royal Blue / Black-Hyper Red Shoes
  • BC Footwear Black Lace Stranger RIW312926
  • NIKE Air Jordan 22 XX2 PE White Black
  • Jordan Flight Weight 640453-010 Black/Cool Grey/Cool Grey
  • Luxury Scarpe Uomo Nike Air Max 95 Nere/Arancioni/Scuro Comfort Grigie Clearance
  • Air Jordan Son Of Max Grey Black Basketball Shoes