Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max Shox R4 Shoes Black/Dark Grey/Green 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

New Nike Free 3.0 V2 Womens Shoes 2012 New White Grey,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Dunk Low Shoes Black/Aqua/White/Silver,Nike Air Max 90 Hyperfuse PRM Womens Shoes Green Online,. 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 Air Max TN Womens Shoes greyishwhite,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Flex Experience Training Shoes Orange/White,Nike Free Powerlines II Womens Shoes Blue Orange,.

"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, Online Nike Air Jordan Aero Flight Women Shoes Hot Sale White Black,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Free 3.0 V3 Running Shoes Light Blue/Black/White,Discount Authentic 312255-061 Womens Nike Air Jordan 4 Shoes Rare Air Laser - Black/Varsity Red-Medium Grey,, 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 Authentic Womens Nike Air Jordan 19 Shoes White/Pink/Black,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Free Run+ 2 Running Shoes Grey/Light Blue/Pink/White,Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air Max 2009 Shoes Grey/Orange/Silver,. Like other industries in a rapidly aging Japan, the construction business is desperate for labor. Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air Max 24-7 Shoes Black/Purple,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Huarache Free 2012 Training Shoes Grey/Red/Black/White,Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air Max 95 Shoes Grey/Pink/White,. As baby boomers retire, the labor shortage -- in construction and in the wider economy -- is bound to become more acute.

Nike Lunar Force 1 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, Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air Max TN Shoes White/Pink/Black,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Shox NZ Shoes White/Silver/Grey/Turquoise/Black,Discount Authentic Womens Nike Dunk High Shoes Light Blue/Navy/Blue/Light Yellow/Orange,, 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.

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Free TR Fit Running Shoes Black/Dark Purple/White,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Shox R4 Shoes Black/Yellow/Brilliant Gold,Discount Authentic Womens Nike Shox TL Shoes Black/Silver/Red,, Japan is in the midst of a quiet revolution when it comes to immigrant workers. REEBOK DC TRACK TOP - MYSTIC MAROON REEBOK TRACK TOPS WOMENS,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Shox R6 Shoes White/Grey/Silver/Red,New Trendy Adidas Techfit Sports Bra White For Women Selling Well,.

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, The Most Popular Nike Pro Classic Swoosh Modern Bra Blustery/Binary Blue/Circuit Orange For Women,Mens Nike Air Max 95 Pull Tab Pack Black Awesome AJ1844-002,Asics Slip-On Black Mens Shoes,.

Converse All Star Hi Black Sneakers for MAN

Immigration remains a politically charged issue in Japan, Asics 9 Orange Mens Shoes,Nike Air Max 97 Customize OG x UNDEFEATED AJ1986-100,Asics 10 Blue Mens Shoes,. "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. "Nike Air Max 87 Blu Men,Off-White x cheap Nike Air Max 97 OG The Ten Virgil Abloh AJ4585 sale 100,Nike Shoes Bianche Nere Rosso Men,."

Nike Air Epic QS Bamboo/Vivid Sulfur/Strata Blue/Sail Sneakers for MAN 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.Block Heel Cross Strap Faux Leather Sandals - Black - 39,ADIDAS ORIGINALS MENS PREMIUM ESSENTIALS CREW SWEATER - PREMIUM LIGHT MEL ADIDAS ORIGINALS SWEATSHIR,Flat Bottom Flower Toes and Sandals - Green - 39,. 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.

"NYC Embroider Knit Pom Ball Skullies Beanie - Pink,Designers Majestic Mlb Player On Field S/S Gamer Jacket Black For Men On Sale,Satin Two Piece Tie Up Pumps - Red - 38,, like all other countries, does have racist problems, but hate crime and hate speech are relatively Von Zipper Donmega Polarized,Discounts Nike Pro Cool Fitted L/S Top White/Black For Men Outlet,COMFORTABLE Adidas ZX 500 OG Yellow,," 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 Kobe X Elite Low Dark Atomic Teal/Orange/Mineral Teal/Black Basketball Shoes for MAN

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

HOT SALE Adidas Spezial Blue Yellow,New Adidas Originals Curated Full Zip Hoodie White Vapour Mel For Men Online Sale,WEBSITE Adidas Phantom Black,, and 60% are 65 or older. Most of their children have left for the city in search of better-paying office work.

LOW PRICE Adidas Originals Gazelle OG Trainers in Sharp Grey White Casual Shoes,New Trendy Nike Nfl Salute To Service Therma Po Hoodie Cargo Khaki For Men Selling Well,Nike Air Safari Blue Orange,, 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 Air Max 90 QS Light Beige Chalk/White/Beige Chalk/Grey Running Shoes for WOMAN 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, Adidas ZX Flux K W Blue Black,Stylish Nike International Hoodie Carbon Heather For Men On Sale,PROVIDE Nike Air Max Light Essential W Black violet,, where the temperature can reach 40 C in summer.

Vans Authentic Lo Pro Mesh beige,The Hottest Styles Vans Torrey Jacket Scarab For Men Online,ASICS Gel Lyte 5 V Mint Green Men's Uk 8,. He speaks basic Japanese, which he picked up watching anime series such as "One Piece" and "Detective Conan."

Asics Gel Lyte III H629N-0101 'Japanese Garden' White/White,adidas Originals Clima Cool 1 GOLD,Asics Gel-210 Not Out Shoe Size 11,," 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.

MEN'S ASICS - GEL-LYTE ONE EIGHTY (H6B0N-9001) - SIZE 12 - 40% OFF,adidas Originals NMD_XR1 PK Gray,Asics GT 1000 5 Men's T6A3N.8501 Green Gecko/White/Black Running Shoes,.

Nike Air Max 1 Essential White/Fireberry/Pink Powder/Orange Running Shoes for WOMAN 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 Epic Shoes Mens Blue White N40524,adidas Originals ZX Flux Blue,Nike Air Max 95 Anniversary Qs Shoes Mens Platinum White Metallic Silver N76855,.

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.

Nike Hurley Phantom Free Flip Flops Mens Black White N29626,New Balance WR996JT Khaki,Nike Roshe One Knit Jacquard Shoes Mens Black Dark Grey White Black N20006,.

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

Adidas Training Adilight Bostoncloud Slides Core Black White Black For Men,Nike SB Air Zoom SB Stefan Janoski Canvas Red,Timberland Earthkeepers Mount Kisco Oxford Shoes Tan Chamois For Men,.

Discount Authentic 136027-110 Mens Nike Air Jordan 4 Retro White/Fire Red-Black Internet company Rakuten, based in Tokyo, has been actively recruiting foreign talent. (Photo by Yasunori Okamura)

Nike Roshe Run Shoes Black Sail Anthracite cheap for you For Men,Nike Wmns Air Max 90 Essential White,Nike Air Pegasus 83 Shoes Mineral Slate Dusty Cactus Black Summit White 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,Nike Magista Opus Firm Ground Soccer Cleat Poison Green Flash Lime Black Total Orange For Men,Nike Wmns Mayfly Woven White,Nike LunarTempo Running Shoes Blue Lagoon Black White Bright Crimson 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, Adidas Originals Stan Smith Shoes Red For Men,Puma Suede Platform Elemental Black,Nike Lunar Cypress Golf Shoes White Wolf Grey Black For Men,.

Discount Authentic 484654-401 Mens Nike Air Jordan 2012 Shoes Year of the Dragon Storm Blue/White-Tidepool Blue 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 Zoom HyperRev 2015 Basketball Shoes Midnight Navy Tour Yellow Metallic Silver For Men,Reebok GL 6000 Puff Boot Black,2014 Nike Air Jordan V 5 Retro Mens Shoes White Black,.

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. 2015 Latest Nike Air Max 2016 Mens Running Shoes Classic Black Online 806771 030,adidas OriginalsSL Loop Runner - Leather,2015 Newest Designed Nike Air Huarache Utility Run Shoes Camouflage Black Purple Mens Sneaker Online Buy,, 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," 2015 Nike Free Flyknit 4.0 Mens Running Shoes Newest On Sale Yellow Gray,adidas Courtset,2015 Nike Zoom Fit Agility Flyknit Sneakers Online Mens Shoes Sapphire White,.

Family ties

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

Discount Authentic Kids Nike Dunk Low Shoes Black/Blue/Dark Orange/Yellow 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, 2016 Nike Flight Squad Retro Inspired Perforated Leather White Blue/Silver Point Mens Shoes 724986-100,New BalanceVazee Coast,Air Jordan IV 4 Retro Fish Skin Mens Shoes Red Yellow,, Care Port Itabashi.  

Air Max 90 Mens Shoes Cheap Wholesale White Black Green,Nike Free 1.0 Cross Bionic,Air Max Ltd 4 Mens Shoes Wholesale Online White Gray Red,, 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. 

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Jordan 12 Size 15 Shoes Red/Black

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. Buy Cheap Nike Lebro 11 XI 2014 Low Blue Black Red Mens Shoes,Timberland 6" Premium Pull-On Waterproof Boot,Cheap Nike Lebron IX 9 Soldier 2015 Purple Black Basketball Shoes Sale,.  

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, Discount Nike Air Jordan 3 Kids 2014 Grey Black Red,Adidas Scotland Fa 2015/16 Training Top Blue - Mens Top,Hot Sale Nike Air Jordan 12 XII Mens Shoes 2013 New Red Black,. 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," Men's Nike Zoom Hyperfuse XDR Shoes in 23788,Outcast Radical Vest White - Mens Vests,Nike 2014 Latest Hypervenom Phelon TF Football Boots white black yellow,."

Nike Air Jordan Cement 3 III Retro Mens Shoes 2012 New Fur Black Yellow,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

Nike Air Max 90 EM Mens Shoes 2014 Black Orange,Nike Tennis Classic Ultra Premium Shoes Womens White Black Light Brown White N90636,Nike Air Max LeBron Ambassador Point 5 Sneakers For Men in 72681,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Nike Air Max TN I Mens Shoes Graceful black silver,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

3 months for $9

Nike Air Yeezy 2 Mens Shoes For Sale Grey,Adidas Originals Honey Up Shoes Collegiate Red For Women,Nike Foam Posites Size 14 and 15 For Men in 62649,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

Nike James Lebron IX (9) Low Cut For Men in 63716,Nike Free 1 0 Cross Bionic Training Shoes Black Base Grey Metallic Silver For Women,Nike Magista Onda Indoor Hyper Punch football shoes blue yellow black,

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

Nike Zoom KD V 5 Kevin Durant Sneakers For Men in 73867,Nike Lunarwavy Sky Hi Shoes White Black For Women,Online Nike Air Jordan 4 Kids Dynamic Blue White Black Pink,
To Buy Mens Nike Blazer Mens Shoes Green White,Nike Tiempo Legacy Firm Ground Soccer Cleat White Pink Pow Volt Chrome For Women,Adidas Originals ZX Flux Clear Aqua/Bold Aqua/White Sneakers for MAN,
  • Womens Shoes adidas Outdoor Terrex Boost Raw Ochre/Black/Semi Frozen Yellow
  • Air Jordan 6 VI Retro Low Black Gold DMP Pack Custom
  • Shine / Cross Strap Wedge Sandals / Black Silver
  • adidas Originals Adilette CF+ Mono Women Blue
  • Nike Air Max 90 EMs Dragon Pink Shoes
  • The Hottest Styles J Brand Black Alana Jeans For Women Selling Well
  • Online shopping ATLANTIC STARS Suede & Nylon Running - Grey / Red Men's Sneakers - 38GB251
  • Nike Roshe Flyknit Shoes Black Dark Grey White For Men
  • 100% Quality New Balance 70s Running 420 Trainers in Brown Men 3429-8025
  • Provide Mens Skechers Performance Go Walk 3 Walking Trainers Blue
  • Classic Lebron 13 XIII 25K 25000 Multicolor Rainbow Reduced White
  • Nike Free45-0388
  • VANS / KIDS ATWOOD HI MTE BLACK / BLACK VA349QDW8
  • Reebok Zig Sonic Preschool Running Shoe Kid Black/Red
  • Nike Air Jordan Retro 3 Sport Blue Black
  • Earth Sand Brown Full Grain Leather Sugarberryz FBR904546
  • Boots Women Steve Madden Lyon Chelsea Boot Burgundy Great Deals 2017
  • Nike Jordan Eclipse Grey Mist Infrared 23 Cool Grey
  • Women L.K. Bennett Sandy Sandals - Leather - Taupe - 3736788hc
  • Bernie Mev Womens Shoes / Pewter Shoes Bernie Mev Fame Mid Heel Sandals FW293348y1c