Men's Nike Free OG 2014 BR Mesh Shoes Black/Electric Pink/Gray 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

Black Friday - NIKE AIR VICTOR CRUZ TRAINER SZ 14 LIGHT BONE WHITE IN HAND 777535 003,Men's Nike Free TR FIT 3 Training Shoes Red/Royal Blue,Discount Nike Shoes - 2015 VNDS Nike Air Jordan 4 IV Retro LS Oreo Black White Size 10,. 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, Factory Price - DS NEW Men's Size 9.5 Nike Air Jordan 5 Retro Low Model ID 819171-135,Men's Nike Huarache Free Run QS Trainers Running Shoes White/Blue/Emerald,Factory Price - New DS Nike Air Jordan V 5 Retro Supreme Bamboo Black Stone Camo men sz 13,.

"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, Hot Cakes - Mens light grar Nike sneakers sz;10.5 Dual fusion run Fitsole athletic,Men's Nike Free TR FIT 5 Brthe Training Shoes Clearwater Navy Blue 704698-006,Latest Products - Nike Air Jordan 1 Banned Bred Retro OG 2016 Size 15 Brand New In box,, 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. Latest Products - Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro HI PREM HC GG Heiress Pack Velvet 832596-640 Sz 8 Mens,Men's Nike KD 6 Basketball Shoes Black/Jade Green 653743-991,Low-cost direct - Nike Air Footscape Woven Chukka SE Dark "Grey/Sail Vachetta" Sz. 9.5 857874 002,. Like other industries in a rapidly aging Japan, the construction business is desperate for labor. Weekend Discount - (806771-001) MEN'S NIKE AIR MAX 2016 BLACK/WHITE/DARK GREY,Men's Nike Kaishi 2.0 BR Running Shoes Black/White,Weekend Discount - GENUINE MENS NIKE AIR MAX 90 ESSENTIAL ULTRA TRAINERS VARIOUS COLOURS UK 6 - 12,. As baby boomers retire, the labor shortage -- in construction and in the wider economy -- is bound to become more acute.

Air Jordan 5 Low Alternate 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, Weekend Discount - NIKE AIR JORDAN 11 XI RETRO LEGEND BLUE SIZE 12 378037-117 7.5/10 Condition.,Men's Nike KD 6 Mint Speckle Basketball Shoes Black/Mint/Orange 599424-002,Reebok Mens Work N Cushion 2.0 Shoes Black G57254,, 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.

Reebok Mens Classic Leather Re Clip Shoes Tin Grey/White/Steel G57349,Men's Nike KD 7 All-Star Basketball Shoes Pure Platinum/Multicolor-Black 742548-090,Reebok Mens Classic Leather Is Shoes Red/White G57392,, Japan is in the midst of a quiet revolution when it comes to immigrant workers. Reebok Mens All Terrain Thrill Shoes Black/White/Yellow Spark/Tin Grey G57499,Men's Nike KD 7 Bruce Lee Basketball Shoes Yellow/Black 653996-064,Reebok Mens Crossfit Lite Tr Shoes Green/Black/White G57536,.

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, Reebok Mens Insta Pump Fury Tech Shoes Navy/Solar Orange/White G57643,Men's Nike KD 7 Lightning Basketball Shoes Black/White/Burgundy,Men's Adidas Hamburg Suede Core Black/White Casual Sneakers G56254,.

Authentic Air Jordan 4 Columbia new version

Immigration remains a politically charged issue in Japan, New Balance 574 Mens Black/Green Shoes G56370,Men's Nike KD 8 Basketball Shoes Royal Blue/White,Mens Nike Air Force 1 Low Black/Black/Gum Medium Brown Shoes G56512,. "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. "Mens Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit Trainers White Black Orange G56608,Men's Nike Kobe IX Elite Low Basketball Shoes Fade Blue/Heat Yellow/Black 677992-998,Nike Air Max 2014 Shoes Mens Black and silver G56695,."

Nike Air MAG Back To The Future 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.Nike Air Max 90 Mens Sports Shoes Bronze/Baroque Brown/Bamboo/Bronze G56782,Men's Nike Kobe IX Elite Low Basketball Shoes Moon/Blue/Black/Fluorescent Green 698595,Nike Roshe One Hyperfuse Black/Anthracite/Venom Green Running Shoes Mens G56858,. 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.

"Adidas Originals Los Angeles Trainer,Men's Nike Kobe IX EM "Philippines" Low Basketball Shoes Laser Crimson/Reflective Silver/Obsidian 669630-604,Adidas Originals Court Vantage Adicolor Trainer,, like all other countries, does have racist problems, but hate crime and hate speech are relatively Cruyff Santi Mesh Cobra Trainer,Men's Nike Kobe VIII Basketball Shoes Black Flash/Lime Grey/Green 613959-003,Nike Tennis Classic CS Trainer,," 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.

Adidas Kids High Top Shoes 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

Nike Kobe X 'Liberty' Trainer,Men's Nike Kobe VIII Elite "Superhero" Basketball Shoes Poison Green/Hyper Blue 586156-300,Armani Jeans Classic Jacquard Trainer,, and 60% are 65 or older. Most of their children have left for the city in search of better-paying office work.

Under Armour SpeedForm Apollo Vent Trainers,Men's Nike Kobe X Basketball Shoes Black/Bright Crimson/Metallic Gold 705317-060,Ralph Lauren Polo Hanford Trainer,, 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.

Ariat Mens Hiking Boots Copper 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, Vans SK8-Hi Reissue Checkerboard Trainer,Men's Nike Kobe XI Elite Basketball Shoes Bright Crimson/Black,100% original Adidas jeremy scott foil gold 27NX496 for Men,, where the temperature can reach 40 C in summer.

100% Satisfaction guaranteed high top suede boots lace up OQ03531 for Men,Men's Nike Kobe XI Elite Basketball Shoes Black/Purple/Yellow,100% Top Quality Nike NEW Air Max 95 Sneakerboot TRIPLE 806809-002 sz 7 Black 19CG-8385 for Men,. He speaks basic Japanese, which he picked up watching anime series such as "One Piece" and "Detective Conan."

2018 Latest Nike Hyperdunk 2016 basketball NEW 844359-008 Black anthracite 88OD954 for Men,Men's Nike Kyrie 1 Basketball Shoes Bright Crimson/Yellow/Hyper Red 705277-676,Affordabl Adidas Oyster Holdings Samoa Vntg Vintage Nude 72258672 for Men,," 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.

Affordable Price Air Jordan 3 FEAR 84RM222 for Men,Men's Nike Kyrie 2 Basketball Shoes Black Yellow,Amazing Nike Dunk Denim 32HS591 for Men,.

Chaco Mens Hiking Pepper Flakes 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."

Attractive Adidas OPENING CEREMONY STAN SMITH SIZE 10.5 US Black 13JJ877 for Men,Men's Nike Kyrie 2 Basketball Shoes Black/Red,Authentic Air Jordan 9 Air Jordan Retro 9 Motorboat Jones Size 10 67KQ286 for Men,.

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.

Authentic Saucony PB AND J JJ01422 for Men,Men's Nike Kyrie 2 Basketball Shoes Yellow/White/Navy,Base Price Adidas Seeley - SZ 8 Black White 67JJ-8748 for 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

Be fashionable Hugoboss Arkansas_lowp_lt Style : PO81266 for Men,Men's Nike LeBron ST Low Basketball Shoes Navy/Black/White/Red 534846-400,Beautiful Nike Air Jordan 5 Retro Low 'Knicks' size 10 59JX131 for Men,.

Dr. Martens Girls Ankle Boots Wild Aqua Internet company Rakuten, based in Tokyo, has been actively recruiting foreign talent. (Photo by Yasunori Okamura)

Best lace to buy New Hi-Tec Altitude V i WP sz 8 Chocolate Waterproof Hiking Boots SC Black dark Taupe DY66751 for Men,Men's Nike LeBron XI Basketball Shoes Black/Jade Green/Yellow 616175-085,Best price NEW BROOKS ADRENALINE GTS 17 RUNNING TRAINERS ELECTRIC Blue Silver anthracite 40291057 for Men,. 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,Best Selling Under Armour UA Clutchfit Low sz 11.5 71454582 for Men,Men's Nike LeBron XII Low Basketball Shoes Blue/White 724557-617,Big Discount Air Jordan 13 2018 Retro 'Chicago Cherry' 67RM-0515 for Men,, 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, Big Discount Nike ROSHE NM FLYKNIT PREMIUM SIZE 13.0 NEW RARE LEGIT MD43393 for Men,Men's Nike LeBron XIII "The Akronite Philosophy" Basketball Shoes Black/Hyper Orange/Blue Lagoon 807219-008,Brilliant Air Jordan 4 Legend Blue 80RE-6551 for Men,.

Hoka One Mens Running Shoes Grey/Citrus/Cayan 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. Buy cheap Air Jordan 13 Jordan 13 Retro 3M Reflective Silver 10UR339 for Men,Men's Nike Lunar Flyknit HTM NRG Running Shoes Yellow/Black/Light Blue,Buy cheap Nike Lunarglide 7 Running Size 10 86HY-4340 for Men,.

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. Buy now Adidas Tubular Moc Runner Suede Running Size 11 ( Black 70539513 for Men,Men's Nike Lunarestoa 2 Essential Shoes Black/White 811372-007,Buying New Air Jordan 7 Retro 20HJ561 for Men,, 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," Carries Vans Tesella (3D Aloha) Classic SIZE 7.5 Black 93CV031 for Men,Men's Nike LunarGlide 6 Running Shoes Action Red/Black/Reflect Silver 683651-600,Cheap And Fine Air Jordan 7 Nike Hare YOTR 74XS770 for Men,.

Family ties

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

Lacoste Mens Sneakers Black/Grey 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 Online Adidas New Springblade Running Trainer Sneaker -All Colors and Sizes 43101042 for Men,Men's Nike Roshe One Camouflage Print Shoes Anthracite/White,Cheap Online Saucony G9 MASTER CONTROL 'STEVEN ALLEN' SAMPLES IT41971 for Men,, Care Port Itabashi.  

Cheap Retail Converse [CT LEATHER OX-107348] CHUCK TAYLOR LEAHTER OX SNEAKERS Black 25TD-4743 for Men,Men's Nike Roshe One Flyknit Shoes Black/Fireberry/Orange 677243-004,Classic Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 - Moonrock 26CH994 for Men,, 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. 

New Balance Girls Sneakers Peach

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. Classic-fit Vans Costa Mesa (Stars) Classic Casual SIZE 10.5 Black White 62JB156 for Men,Men's Nike SB Paul Rodriguez 9 Elite Skateboarding Shoes Grey/Black/Green 749563-031,Comfortable Nike Air Jordan Year Of The Snake Pack Retro 1 High Melo M9 597829-901 10.5-11.5 68474949 for Men,.  

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, Competitive Price Converse CONS One Star Canvas OX Suede Casual White Navy 87QV711 for Men,Men's Nike Shox Current Leather Shoes White/Black/Silver,Cool And Classical Nike Air max penny JJ13931 for Men,. 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," Cost charm Nike Kobe 9 86TN-9832 for Men,Men's Nike Tri Fusion Run MSL Running Shoes Black/White,Superior Quality Nike CORTEZ ULTRA SZ 8.5 COOL Grey Black White RE14911 for Men,."

Sweetheart New Balance 997 SZ 9 BASEBALL PACK MADE IN USA M997CHP Blue White 88XG-6590 for Men,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

The hottest new trends Adidas 57086415 for Men,Men's Under Armour UA Stephen Curry One "Bolt Orange" Low Basketball Shoes Orange Black Lime,The latest model Nike Air Penny IV 4 Medium 302582-001 SZ 7.5 Grey White KN57843 for Men,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

They sold very well Jordan Ultra Fly 2 X Basketball Sneakers Air 914479-111 Black White 45647297 for Men,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

3 months for $9

Top fashion Asics X KITH GEL SAGA 'NEPTUNE' - Item 11-77 - IG SOLEDOUTJC 13UV689 for Men,Men's Under Armour UA Stephen Curry Three Mid Basketball Shoes Red Blue Gold,Various Sizes Nike Air Max 95 (3M Reflective) 89015310 for Men,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

Very cheap Nike JORDAN ECLIPSE FRNCH BL -OBSDN-PR PLTNM MNS ZS: 7.5~11 White 32QB-5483 for Men,Men's Under Armour UA Stephen Curry Two Mid Basketball Shoes Lime/Black,Vogue Air Jordan 14 Toe 14s Black White 77NY-1649 for Men,

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

Welcomed Air Jordan 12 Wings edition 82RK526 for Men,Men-Converse JP LTT Ox Sneakers Black/White,Wholesale Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Canvas Classic Unisex Plimsoll Yellow White Beige 16909663 for Men,
With good start Vans SK8 Hi Zip CA (Leather Nubuck) Coffee Bean Classic Skate SIZE 10 Brown 32362786 for Men,Men-Converse CT AS Hi Sneakers Chili Paste/Atlantic/Egret,Adidas Ultra Boost 3.0 Triple Black BA8842 white sole,
  • Cheap 160140 Nike Free Trainer 5.0 Men Black White Shoes
  • Nike Kids Jordan 1 Black Green White Sneakers 3125543
  • Sparx Men Running Shoes Blue 855969
  • Cheap Nike Mercurial Vapor Flyknit Ultra FG All Black Sale
  • Gum Light Brown Shoes - Casual - Nike Lunar Force 1 Duckboots - Med Olive Cargo Khaki Med Olive 6YS2287 - Men's
  • Bass Mens Casual Lace-Ups Dark Brown
  • Nike Kobe 12 Shoes Good Quality
  • New Mitchell & Ness Mlb Away Game Henley Navy For Men On Sale
  • Nike Mercurial X 10 Superfly FG Leather AG Black Black Hyper Pink Pink 0520 football boots shoes
  • adidas FLB_Runner W (pink / white)
  • Stylish Nine West Orlega Heels Black / White For Women Clearance
  • KD 7 Used Weatherman Emerald 653996 303 Metallic Offer Silver Green AU
  • adidas Performance Women's Shoes ADIZERO TEMPAIA III - Multi-court tennis shoes - running white/black
  • Pumps & Heels Women Bandolino Transpose Wedge Pump Green Online Sale
  • Oxfords Men George Cleverley Leather Oxford Shoes Black To Buy
  • Mens Adidas Shoes Adidas Pure Boost Zero Gravity Shoes Green White No.1827
  • Boat Shoe Lacoste L.Andsailing Lacoste Black Black Men Optative
  • Nike Air Force 1 Holiday mens in Light blue/White
  • Nike Air Zoom Vomero 10 Running Shoes Men Grey/Black/Dark Grey/Blue
  • Mens Adidas Cc Sonic Bounce Grey Running Athletic Sport Shoes S78240 Sizes 9-11 Gray [Zm1252]