Mens Adidas Shoes Adidas Primeknit Pure Boost Sneakers Gray Red No.1805 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

Men's - Air Jordan CMFT Air Max 10 Ltr Varsity Royal / Varsity Royal-Black-White Shoes,Men's - Nike SB Zoom Stefan Janoski Black / Metallic Gold-White Shoes,Men's - Air Jordan Aero Flight Preschool White / Black-Gym Red 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, Men's - Air Jordan 12.5 Team Black / Metallic Silver / University Blue Shoes,Men's - Nike SB Dunk Mid Pro Black / Light Graphite-White Shoes,Men's - Adidas ZXZ 123 550 Run White / Lgtsca / Fairwa 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, Men's - Adidas Superstar II White / Blue Shoes,Men's - Nike Roshe Run Trail Black / Black-Anthracite-Voltage Shoes,Men's - Adidas Seeley Navy / Tan 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. Men's - Adidas Porsche Design S 2 Track / Bone / Neobei Shoes,Men's - Nike Pepper Low White / White-Varsity Red-Pine Green Shoes,Men's - Adidas Jeremy Scott Instinct High Black / White / Black Shoes,. Like other industries in a rapidly aging Japan, the construction business is desperate for labor. Men's - Adidas Duramo 3 Trail Solid Grey / Infrared Shoes,Men's - Nike Mach Force Mid Black / Anthracite-Voltage-Court Pruple Shoes,Men's - Adidas Campus II Black / Black / Black Shoes,. As baby boomers retire, the labor shortage -- in construction and in the wider economy -- is bound to become more acute.

Keep warm New Balance 515 Men Women New Balance Classic Sale Up To 70 Off New Balance Classic New Balance Classics Women's WL515 Canada WJ5306550 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, Men Skopes Bilbau Pale Blue Mens Blazer Check Eye-Catching,Men's - Nike Lunar Rejuven8 Mid+ Wicked Purple / Wicked Purple-Metallic Summit Shoes,Men Adidas ZX FLUX & Core White,, 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.

Men Adidas Stan Smith & Core Grey,Men's - Nike Lunar Edge 13 Black / Wolf Grey Shoes,Men Adidas Gazelle 70s & Core Brown,, Japan is in the midst of a quiet revolution when it comes to immigrant workers. Men Adidas adizero Afterburner 2.0 & Core Red,Men's - Nike Kobe 5 Preschool Black / White-Del Sol Shoes,Marc Jacobs Black MJ24117 WDV006826,.

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, Lobo Solo Brown Leather Lukas RGE999316,Men's - Nike Hybred Boot Black / Photo Blue-Black-White Shoes,Loafers & Slip-Ons Men Sperry Top-Sider Halyard Boat Shoe NavyBlue Wholesale,.

Kardashian Kollection Reece - Black Microsuede - KA573SH87HMY - Women's Sandals

Immigration remains a politically charged issue in Japan, Loafers & Slip-Ons Men Mercanti Fiorentini Monk Strap Slip-On Black Order,Men's - Nike Free Trainer 5.0 V3 Black / Reflect Silver-Blue Glow-Voltage Shoes,Loafers & Slip-Ons Men Deer Stags Sphere Slip-On Black Top Quality,. "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. "Limited Edition Men Luxurious Comfort Customized 2010 Pro Bowl White Jersey BOXING DAY Reebok New York Jets Easy Sport,Men's - Nike Free 5.0+ Night Factor / Pure Platinum-Base Grey Shoes,Le Coq Sportif White R900 Silicone Print Sneakersm VAF426677,."

Jane Debster Illusion - BLACK SNAKE PRINT - JA421SH60ETV - Women's Flats 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.Latest Shoe The Bear Comfortable Ox Lace Ups Brown for Men On Sale,Men's - Nike Fingertrap Max NRG LSA Pack Turbo Green / Black-Obsidian-Electric Green Shoes,Latest Kappa Fashion Faster Ii Sports Shoes Black/Grey for Men Sale,. 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.

"Latest Boxfresh Classic Swich High Top Trainers Dark Gray for Men Sale Online,Men's - Nike Dunk High Premium Mighty Crown Black / Black-Varsity Red Shoes,Lacoste Auvergne Men's Casual Shoe Men Black/Grey,, like all other countries, does have racist problems, but hate crime and hate speech are relatively Kids Nike Upcoming Air Jordan 12 XII Retro Wool 852626-003 Websites bred black grey Basketball Shoes,Men's - Nike Court Official Velvet Brown / Velvet Brown-Metallic Silver Shoes,Kids - Nike Zoom KD V Anthracite / Pure Pltnm-Sport Grey Shoes,," 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.

Hush Puppies Vesper Womens Leather Comfort Sandals

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

Kids - Nike Lunar Hyperdunk 2012 Court Purple / Atomic Green-Black Shoes,Men's - Nike Blazer SP Mid Medium Grey / Medium Grey Shoes,Kids - Nike Dual Fusion St 2 Black / Volt-Photo Blue-White Shoes,, and 60% are 65 or older. Most of their children have left for the city in search of better-paying office work.

Kids - Nike Air Max 90 White/Flame Red-Pink-Metallic Silver Shoes,Men's - Nike Backboard II Black / Summit White-Game Royal Shoes,Kids - Nike ACG Woodside Classic Olive / Classic Olive-Brown Shoes,, 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.

Gym Men Nike Hyperfeel Cross Elite Women's Training Shoes - FA14 Black Get Cheap 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, Kids - Air Jordan VI 6 Retro White / Midnight Navy-Varsity Red Shoes,Men's - Nike Air Twilight Mid Metallic Silver / Electric Green-Dark Charcoal Shoes,Kids - Air Jordan Jumpman Elite I Big Blck / Mtllc Slvr-Stlth-Vrsty Rd Shoes,, where the temperature can reach 40 C in summer.

Kids - Air Jordan CP3.VI Black / Gym Red-Cement Grey-white Shoes,Men's - Nike Air Royaltna Mid VT Velvet Brown / Velvet Brown Shoes,Kids - Air Jordan 1 Mid White / White-White Shoes,. He speaks basic Japanese, which he picked up watching anime series such as "One Piece" and "Detective Conan."

Kevin Durant KD 9 Men Nike Premier 9 Millions Store of options one Wize Choice at nike kd 9 eBay Nike KD 9 Oreo Black The Sole get Supplier,Men's - Nike Air Max+ 2013 Hyper Blue / White-Black Shoes,Keep warm Nike Internationalist Casual Nike Air Pegasus '83 Gold Suede Complex Nike Internationalist Light Crimson Sail,," 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.

Keep warm Air Jordan 4 Men Air Jordan 11 Retro 'Legend Blue' Release Date Retro Jordans Jordan Retro 3 Now Jordans Shoes Deals,Men's - Nike Air Max SQ Uptempo Zoom Anthracite / Anthracite-Volt Black Shoes,Keep warm Adidas Marathon Men 2018 Adidas marathon tr Adidas Marathon Special offer Adidas Running Marathon Trail TR 10 Men Adidas Marathon TR 13 Adidas Scarpe,.

Good-Looking Tan Miss Kg Frenchy&Nbsp Caged Sandal Women 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."

Julius Marlow Abort - Black - JU381SH50KBT - Men's Boots,Men's - Nike Air Max LeBron X Low Easter Crystal Mint / Fiberglass-Psn Green Shoes,Joie Fatigue Alcala PSG303900,.

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.

Jersey Customized Youth Game White Hot Sell Famous Brand Best Price Nike New York Giants Unique designing,Men's - Nike Air Max Dominate XD Cool Grey / Candy-New Green-Black Shoes,IT Adidas Authentic Originals By NIGO Shoes adidas Men Originals by Best NIGO Shoes x Stormzy News Adidas Authentic Originals Superstar 80s by Best NIGO sneakers,.

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

Hush Puppies Taupe Zendal TP Strapa VTS599529,Men's - Nike Air Max 95 OG White / Neon Yellow-Black-Anthracite Shoes,High Grade Reebok Buffalo Bills Jersey Durable Customized Youth Premier White Clearance Big Discount,.

Glamour Adidas Originals Women Navy Originals Adidas Pharrell Kauwela Beachb Joy Internet company Rakuten, based in Tokyo, has been actively recruiting foreign talent. (Photo by Yasunori Okamura)

Gym Men Inov8 Bare-XF 210 Training Shoes - AW15 Black Shopping Online,Men's - Nike Air Max 90 Essential White / Cool Grey-Deep Royal Blue-Anthracite Shoes,Google Adidas cheap Superstar Kids FREE PSD Mockup Adidas cheap Superstar on Behance Kids Baskets Adidas cheap Superstar Kids,. 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,Giuseppe Zanotti Navy E50251 DQB567770,Men's - Nike Air Max 1 Premium QS Hypervenom Pure Platinum / Metallic Gold-Black Shoes,Ghete Fotbal Nike Tiempo Legacy Ii Fg Barbati Negrii (176464NVP),, 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, Ghete Fotbal Nike Jr. Mercurial Victory Vi Dynamic Fit Cr7 Ag Copii Albi (299539GNA),Men's - Nike Air Force 180 Mid Glow In The Dark Anthracite / Vibrant Yellow-Black Shoes,Ghete Fotbal Adidas X 15.4 Flexible Ground Barbati Aurii/Negrii/Roz (116094SJX),.

Fred Perry Turner Slip-On Heavy Canvas - White & Navy - FR993SH22SNL - Women's Sneakers 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. Funky Men Khaki Short Bellfield Bellfield Cargo Cozy,Men's - Nike Air Force 1 Low Premium XXX Black / Black Shoes,Fred Perry Hopman Nubuck 1935 - Black & 1964 Gold - FR993SH42WQJ - Men's Sneakers,.

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. Flip Flops Men Quiksilver Money Abyss Flip Flops Black/Black/Gry Fashion Style,Men's - Nike Air Force 1 Comfort GP SIG White / Black Shoes,Festive Men Adidas Black Adidas Essential Star 2 Exclusive,, 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," Famous Brand The Most Classic Elite Stitched New Arrival Customized Nike Men San Diego Chargers High-quality Materials Jersey White Dark Blue Two Tone,Men's - Nike Air Flytop Dark Grey / Dark Grey Shoes,Eric Michael Black Balzano DRI283478,.

Family ties

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

Flats Women Sperry Top-Sider Laguna Sparkle Boat Shoe Black Hot 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, Eastland Black Leather Newportn JMT033211,Men's - Nike AF1 Downtown High LW QS Space Pack White / White Shoes,Dr. Scholl'S Black Harmonu CTP776973,, Care Port Itabashi.  

Discount Vans Gorgeous Old Skool Trainers Ivy Green for Men Online Sale,Men's - New Balance 999 Burgandy / White Shoes,Discount Nike Magista Obra Order 641322 858 Nike Magista Obra FG Total Orange Persian Magista Nike Cheap See Savings for Magista Nike Nike Magista Obra AG blue orange,, 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. 

Flats Women Naturalizer Ginger Flat Black Wholesale Trade

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. Discount Kobe XI Shoes Kobe Basketball Shoe Shop For Kobe Basketball Shoe,Men's - New Balance 574 Navy / Yellow-Grey Shoes,Discount Air Jordan Lastest 10 Black Grey White Basketball 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, Discount Adidas Superstar Marble Men Originals adidas adidas Originals Superstar Rize S75069 Core Black Adidas Superstar Shop Adidas sneakers,Men's - New Balance 1600 Grey / Black-White Shoes,Diesel Black Kallien Boots GAP652973,. 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," Dark Blue White Adidas Mens Men Tiro 15 Hooded Valuable,Men's - Native Corrado Gossip Purple Shoes,Customized CHRISTMAS DAY Fashionista Jersey Discount Reebok Philadelphia Eagles Sport Suit Youth Camouflage Camouflage Authentic,."

Creative Recreation Cesario Unisex WT Turq H Pnk Hilit,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

Converse Pro Blaze Strap Hi Kids Trainers Parchment Storm Wind E55 Outlet,Men's - Converse Boot Mid Black Shoes,Converse CONS Star Player Unisex Shoes blue jay/antiqued/egret,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Ox K Kids Trainers Charcoal I42 Outlet,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

3 months for $9

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Easy Slip Baby Shoes powder purple,Men's - Asics Onitsuka Tiger Runspark LE Yellow / Blue Shoes,Converse All Star Dainty Canvas Ox Black,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

Cobb Hill Black Sydney UKH406608,Men's - Asics GEL-Blur33 Storm / Lightning / Neon Orange Shoes,Mediocre Women Black Mariemeili Mariemeili 2 Pack Betsy Push Up Bra Animal Fashionable,

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

Loafers & Slip-Ons Women Luxury Rebel Prep 2 Loafer Bronze Buy Best,Men's - Air Jordan XIII 13 Retro White / Black-Varsity Red Shoes,Lipsy Women Embellished Swing Top&Nbsp Nude Well-Known,
Latest Puma Casual Ignite Dual Trainers Red Blast/Royal Blue for Women Sale Online,Men's - Air Jordan V 5 Retro Preschool Tropical Teal / White-Digital Pink-Court Purple Shoes,Kobe 11 4kb Red Horse promotion Women Low Price on Nike Kobe XI Elite Low 4KB 11 Red Horse promotion Images Nike Kobe 11 Elite Low SneakerWhorez,
  • Discount 173790 Nike Air Max 90 Men White Blue Shoes
  • Wholesale Price Adidas Originals Los Angeles - Trainers - Core Black/Offwhite/Granite N52u4849
  • Puma Trinomic R698 Knit Speckle W Black
  • Men's Nike SFB Mountain - Boot ID55837e
  • Clothing - Men's - Nike College Sideline GridIron Full-Zip Hoodie - Navy 8CR8899 - Uconn Huskies
  • Welcomed Nike Air Force 1s size 6 White 67205519 for Men
  • Nike Cortez Yoth Gray Gold Shoes
  • Discount Authentic Mens Nike Free Run+ 3 Running Shoes Grey/White
  • NIKE AIR JORDAN 1 Retro High Private custom silver 626970 030 Mens basketball shoes
  • Asics GEL-LYTE V (purple 7 white)
  • Discount Gabor Supa Slip Ons Beige For Women
  • Adidas Crazy Explosive Xeno Panske Basketbalov
  • 2016 Sale Nike Air Max 90 Hyperfuse Trainers Women's Solar Red Red
  • Purse Lipsy White Women Showy
  • Miss KG Adele - Pink Comb - MI073SH56KNJ - Women's Heels
  • Mens Nike Air Max 2016 Grey Green
  • Brando Salvo - Tan - BR616SH81JUC - Men's Boots
  • Men's Nike Dunk High Premium Notebook Edition
  • Nike Hyperdunk 2015 Basketball Shoes Men White/Black/Grey
  • Nike Roshe Run Flyknit Men Nike Mens Shoes Low Prices High Savings Roshe Run Flyknit Categor As De L