Mens Nike Air Max White Nike Air Max 90 Mid NO SEW New Zealand Hot Sale No.2745 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 - Converse All Star Light Ox Black / White Plaid Shoes,Mens Nike Air Max Green Black White Nike Air Max 90 Honeycomb New Zealand Hot Sale No.2708,Men's - Asics Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 Aisen Navy 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 - AJF 3 White / Fire Red-Cmnt Grey-Blck Shoes,Mens Nike Air Max 95 Navy Blue Black,Men's - Air Jordan VIII 8 Retro Preschool Black / Bright Citrus-Cool Grey-Deep Royal Blue 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 - Air Jordan Super.Fly Dark Grey / White-Photo Blue-Black Shoes,Mens Nike Air Max 2018.5 Shoes Red Black,Men's - Air Jordan SC-1 Black / Gym Red-Stealth 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 - Air Jordan Phly Legend Low White / Varsity Purple-Black-Grey Shoes,Mens Nike Air Max 2015 Grey Blue Green,Men's - Air Jordan Jumpman Elite I White / Varsity Red-Black Shoes,. Like other industries in a rapidly aging Japan, the construction business is desperate for labor. Men's - Air Jordan Flight School Light Graphite / White-Black Shoes,Mens Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Moire CH Print Shoes Beige/Green 724390-021,Men's - Air Jordan Dominate Pro 2 Gym Red / White-Black Shoes,. As baby boomers retire, the labor shortage -- in construction and in the wider economy -- is bound to become more acute.

Loafers & Slip-Ons Women Nine West Lavalu Loafer Black To Buy 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's - Air Jordan Camp Slide 3 Black / Varsity Red-White Shoes,Men's Nike Air Force 1 Low Brown Shoes,Men's - Air Jordan 6 Rings Black / Varsity Red-Dark Concord-Classic Shoes,, 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's - Air Jordan 1 Retro 89 Black / Fire Red-Cement Grey Shoes,Men's Dark Blue/Orange Adidas Springblade 4 Running Shoes Cheap,Men's - Adidas Top Ten Sleek Bow Black Shoes,, Japan is in the midst of a quiet revolution when it comes to immigrant workers. Men's - Adidas Stan Smith 2 Grey / Metallic Silver / White Shoes,Men's Asics GEL-Kayano 19 Wide Running Shoes Men Grey/Blue,Men's - Adidas Pro Model Run Wht / Run Wht Shoes,.

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, Men's - Adidas Jeremy Scott Instinct High Black / Purple / Yellow / Blue Shoes,Mens Air Jordan Air Jordan Retro 4 Toro Bravo Fire Red/White-Black No.2424,Men's - Adidas Doley DB David Beckham Black / White Shoes,.

Loafers & Slip-Ons Women Aravon Whitney Loafer Brown Beat

Immigration remains a politically charged issue in Japan, Men's - Adidas Boston Super Red / Gold Shoes,Mens Air Jordan Air Jordan 14 Retro Varsity Red/Vibrant Yellow-Black No.2433,Men Jersey High-Grade Cheap Sale Customized High-quality Materials Premier Green Reebok Jacksonville Jaguars Online,. "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. "Men Adidas Tubular Runner Multicolor,Mens Adidas SUPERSTAR METAL Coolest Black Golden,Men Adidas Pure Boost & Core Blue,."

Latest Tamaris Fashion Ankle Boots Black for Women 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.Men Adidas Campus 80s Japan Pack Vintage & Core Grey,Mens Adidas Shoes Adidas ZX 750 Shoes Gray Khaki Black No.2130,Medium Grey Adidas Originals Men Open Hem Jogging Bottoms Heather Joy,. 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.

"Lowa Anthracite/Denim Renegade GTX Mid ZGG732932,Mens Adidas Shoes Adidas Yeezy Boost 550 Black No.2019,Loafers & Slip-Ons Men Stacy Adams Beau Slip-On Black Beat,, like all other countries, does have racist problems, but hate crime and hate speech are relatively Loafers & Slip-Ons Men Mercanti Fiorentini Nubuk Bit Loafer NavyBlue/Cognac Brand new,Mens Adidas Shoes Adidas Superstar 80s Sneakers Black White No.1885,Loafers & Slip-Ons Men DC Shoes Villain TX Slip-On Sneaker - Mens Black/White Fashion Style,," 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.

Latest Adidas Performance Gorgeous Niraya Sports Shoes Black/Silver Metallic/Super Pop for Women Sale Online

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

Limit Offer Fashionista Game Blue Deal Customized Finest Materials Men Chicago Bears Jersey Nike,Mens Adidas Shoes Adidas Nmd II Shoes Black Blue Red No.1756,Le Coq Sportif Deauville Plus Canvas - Black - LE451SH09RSS - unisex's Sneakers,, and 60% are 65 or older. Most of their children have left for the city in search of better-paying office work.

Latest Nike SB Dunk Low Varsity Royal/Lightning/White Skate Shoes for Men Online,Mens Adidas Shoes Adidas Climachill Cosmic Boost Shoes Lemon Yellow Blue No.1680,Latest Etnies Barge LS Dark Navy Skate Shoes for Men Outlet,, 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.

Keep warm New Balance 996 Men Women Buy Cheap New Balance 996 Footwear Stockist Sale New Balance 996 Sneaker Urban Outfitters 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, Lamo Chestnut Aussie Moc FQB125739,Mens Adidas Originals Upcoming ZX 750 Flyknit Shoes new Bold Clearance Blue/Black/Melon,Kyrie 1 Authentic LTD Offer Men Nike Kyrie 1 Authentic Christmas Nike Nike Kyrie 1 Authentic Double Nickel KickBackz Nike Kyrie 1 Authentic Dream IcySole Where to buy,, where the temperature can reach 40 C in summer.

Kids Air Jordan Fly Wade All Black White Red Shoes,Men's - Nike SB Zoom Stefan Janoski Military Blue / White-Anthracite-Black Shoes,Kids - Nike Paul Rodriguez 2.5 Jr Black / Varsity Red Shoes,. He speaks basic Japanese, which he picked up watching anime series such as "One Piece" and "Detective Conan."

Kids - Nike Dunk Low White / Lt Chclt-Brry-Slr Orng Shoes,Men's - Nike SB Eric Koston 2 Wolf Grey / White-Gum Med Brown Shoes,Kids - Nike Air Max 95 Cool Grey / Cool Grey-Voltage-Black Shoes,," 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.

Kids - Nike ACG Woodside GG Black / Laser Pink-Wolf Grey-Dark Grey Shoes,Men's - Nike Roshe Run Suede Velvet Brown / Sand Dune-Volt-Metallic Gold Shoes,Kids - Air Jordan V.2 Grown Stealth / White-Varsity Red Shoes,.

KE Mens Womens AIR VAPORMAX FK MOC 2 / Customize ACRONYM LIGHT BONE/VOLT-LIGHT BONE sales AQ0996-001 New York 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."

Kids - Air Jordan IV 4 Retro Black / Safety Orange-Game Royal Shoes,Men's - Nike Navaro Low Anthracite / Anthracite-Black-White Shoes,Kids - Air Jordan Big Fund VIZ Black / Dark Grey Shoes,.

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.

Kids - Adidas Superstar II Wht / Diva / Violet Shoes,Men's - Nike Lunarglide 3 Preschool City Grey / Metallic Silver Shoes,Kenneth Cole New York White Olivia Perf IZO201550,.

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

Keep warm Kobe XI Shoes Kobe Shoes For Sale New Kobe Bryant Basketball Shoe,Men's - Nike Lunar Force 1 Fuse NRG XXX Black / Black-Anthracite Shoes,Keep warm Adidas ZX 10000 EQT Buy Adidas ZX 750 Flyknit Cheap Mens Shoes Black White Adidas ZX 5000 adidas zx 10000 running shoes b25295 all black,.

Jane Womens Leather Sandal by Polly Shoes Internet company Rakuten, based in Tokyo, has been actively recruiting foreign talent. (Photo by Yasunori Okamura)

Karrimor Mens Excel 2 Support Running Shoes Padded Ankle Lace Up Sports Trainers,Men's - Nike Kobe 5 Preschool Black / White-Del Sol Shoes,Jordan Dark Magnet Grey Metallic Gold Black Court Purple Melo M10m RRJ919247,. 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,Jersey Limited Customized Budget Noble For Sale Blue Youth Stitched Green Bay Packers Easy Sport Nike,Men's - Nike Huarache Basketball 2012 Red Mahogany / Scarlet Fire-Black-White Shoes,Izod Brown Bridge Classicx VLM495868,, 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, H-WOOD Conor - Black - HW686SH00GDV - Men's Dress Shoes,Men's - Nike Free Run+ 2 Bright Blue / Pure Platinum-Royal Blue Shoes,High Quality Nike Lebron James 9 Low grey white Basketball Shoes,.

Hush Puppies Ursula Womens Leather Boots Made In Brazil 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. Gym Men Inov8 Bare-XF 210 Cross Training Shoes (Standard Fit) - AW14 Black Shop For,Men's - Nike Flex Run 2014 Black / Metallic Silver-Cool Grey-White Shoes,Good-Looking Men Polo Ralph Lauren Polo Ralph Lauren Hugh Plimsoll Grey Canvas,.

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. Girls Nike KD 6 GS “Seat Pleasant” Yellow/Teal For Sale Online,Men's - Nike Dunk High Pro SB Black / Light British-Tan Shoes,Ghete Fotbal Nike Mercurial Victory Vi Sg Barbati Violet/Rosii (784393WGZ),, 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," Ghete Fotbal Nike Jr. Magista Opus Ii Tf Copii Portocalii/Negrii (712515PDM),Men's - Nike Cortez Basic Nylon '06 Velvet Brown / Metallic Bronze Shoes,Ghete Fotbal Adidas Gloro 16.2 Firm Ground Barbati Rosii/Albi/Negrii (208352WVP),.

Family ties

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

Gym Men Nike Free 5.0 TR Fit 5 Women's Training Shoes - SP15 Blue Outlet On Sale 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, Frye Black Leather Carson Ballet KGM939236,Men's - Nike Blazer Mid Preschool Black / Black-Medium Grey Shoes,For Sale Nike Air Max LeBron 11 Low Turbo Green/Nightshield-Glacier Ice-Laser Crimson,, Care Port Itabashi.  

First & I Black Lace Crop Top With High Neck JRA886475,Men's - Nike Air Zoom Flight The Glove SL White / Black-Poison Green Shoes,Fashionable High-quality Materials In stock Jersey Customized Free Exchange Nba Blue Men Denver Nuggets,, 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. 

Good-Looking Blue Purple Asics Gel-Fit Tempo 2 Women

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. Eve & Kane St. Tropez - Canary Leather - EV165SH21HJA - Men's Loafers,Men's - Nike Air Trainer 1 Mid Premium Mid Navy / Wolf Grey-Obsidian-Trail Yellow Shoes,Ecco Denim Blue/Dried Tobacco Eldon Marinaf BVL431307,.  

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, Driving Shoes Men Horsebit Grained-Leather Driving Shoes Black Shop For Cheap,Men's - Nike Air Pegasus 83 Black / Medium Grey-Neutral Grey-Sail Shoes,DiscountAir Jordan 23 Fly Spiderman Black Basketball Shoes,. 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," Discount Nike Performance Exquisite Hypervenom Phelon Ii Ic Indoor Football Boots Pure Platinum/Black/Ghost Green/Cool Grey/Metallic Silver/Clear Jade for Men Sale,Men's - Nike Air Max Skyline White / Lucky Green Shoes,Discount Kyrie Irving 2 Men 2018 Nike Kyrie 2 Sneakers BHM Multi Color Array On The,."

Discount Air Jordan Lastest 10 White Black Red Basketball Shoes,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

Discount Adidas Superstar 80s Primeknit Adidas x Pharrell Superstar Supercolor Clear Sky Blau Adidas Superstar Pride Pack Scopri le Goedkope Adidas Superstar 80s W,Men's - Nike ACG Kingman Leather Light Charcoal / Light Charcoal Shoes,Diadora Game L Low Camo - Zelen,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Cycleur De Luxe Taupe Crashz XTY052403,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

3 months for $9

Cushe Grey/Light Grey Cushe M Slipperj LVE818209,Men's - New Balance 574 Windbreaker Black / Purple Shoes,Crazy Explosive 7 start Men Adidas Crazy Explosive 7 start Primeknit Red Bouncewear adidas Crazy Explosive 7 start Low Black Teal Adidas la Authentic Crazy Explosive 7 start va aussi avoir une version wholesale basse,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

Converse Mens Shoes / Black Shoes Converse All Star Hi RY31O96b16,Men's - New Balance 420 Black / Red Shoes,Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Woven Suede Unisex Shoes black,

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star II Reflective Camo Unisex Shoes charcoal,Men's - K-Swiss Clean Laguna Black / Black / Charcoal Shoes,Converse Black White Chuck 2 Oxx IYG224927,
Comfort Men adidas Superstar 3G Slide Sandal Black/Silver 2017 New,Men's - Jordan Jumpman Jeter Vital Black/Metallic Silver-Varsity Maize Shoes,Men/Women NIKE EPIC REACT FLYKNIT AQ0067-001 Famous BLACK UK DARK GREY,
  • Sale n8dxp 4ez9pt August Deals Nike Air Max 90 Womens Floral
  • Adidas Adizero Unisex Black Blue Shoes Model:A59
  • Dorothy Perkins / Black Sydney Cross-over Mules / Black
  • Men's Nike Tech Fleece 2.0 - Shorts WL653826n
  • Black Basketball - adidas Originals Tubular Invader Strap - Shoes - Black White 2EZ7139 - Men's
  • Classic Nike AIR FORCE 1 PRM WHT - DEAD STOCK & ING SZ 8 ONLY Red Yellow Orange 38GC371 for Men
  • UK Asics Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 White Pink Shoes J98b2851 Designed
  • Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 180 Shoes White/Black
  • Nike Lunar Fly 306 Men Running Shoes Military Blue/Black-White-Metallic Silver KS47F
  • Air Jordan 1 Pinnacle Black/Metallic Gold-Metallic Summit White For Sale
  • Discount adidas Crazylight Boost 2015 Black Purple Yellow
  • Nike Shox 2016 Mens Shoes White Light Gray
  • 2018 Class quality - Adidas La Trainer White Black Shoes
  • Thick New Balance 996 Men Women New Balance Women Sneaker wr996 green mint 7 Fashion V9N3G New Balance 996 Men's Shoes Navy New New Balance M996 RevLite HYPEBEAST
  • Nike Air Max 90 Flag Nba Women Running Shoes All Red
  • Converse Navy Women Fleece Pant Slim Eye-Catching
  • Cheap Jordan CP3.X AE Black/Green for Sale
  • Air Jordan 16 (XVI) Original (OG)-Gingers (Light Ginger/Dark Charcoal-White) 136080-701
  • Men Neosens Cotton Club S723 Boots Wellies - Leather - Brown - 3954556uf
  • Air Jordan 9 Sneakers Buy Original Air Jordan 9 Jordan Barons 9S Retro For Sale Cheap Price On Birmi