New Derek Lam Orange Charlotte Sunglasses For Women On Sale 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 Nike Air Max 2011 Running Shoes Grey Moon,New Trendy Bams Pointed Toe Brown Mules For Women Sale,Men's Nike Air Max 2014 Shoes White Yellow,. 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 Nike Air Max 2017 Flyknit Shoes Black/Grey/White,New Trendy Dolce & Gabbana Multicolor Lucia Shoulder Bag For Women Outlet,Men's Nike Air Max 90 Hyperfuse Premium Running Shoes Blue Glow 454446-400,.

"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 Nike Air Max 90 Shoes Black/Deep Gray/Royal Blue,New Trendy Jacob Cohen Blue Jocelyn Slim-Fit Jeans For Women Online,Men's Nike Air Max 95 Dynamic Flywire Shoes Black/White/Light Blue 599300-014,, 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 Nike Air Max BW Premium Running Shoes Navy/Red 819523-066,New Trendy Moncler Black Orophin Padded Coat For Women On Sale,Men's Nike Air Max Tailwind 8 Running Shoes Black/Racer Blue/Volt/Sail 805941-005,. Like other industries in a rapidly aging Japan, the construction business is desperate for labor. Men's Nike Air Pegasus 83/30 Running Shoes Atomic Team Red 599482-616,New Trendy Rag & Bone Audrey Silver Oxford Shoes For Women On Sale,Men's Nike Blazer Low PRM Vintage Suede Shoes Brown Beige 371759-508,. As baby boomers retire, the labor shortage -- in construction and in the wider economy -- is bound to become more acute.

Xti Kids Ballet Pumps Black 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 Nike Dunk High Superman 2 Shoes Darkblue/Red/Yellow,New Trendy Strateas Carlucci Black Tier Dress For Women Online,Men's Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit Shoes Military Blue 631053-104,, 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 Nike Free 5.0 V4 Shoes Black/Deep Gray,New Victoria Beckham Green Round Frame Sunglasses For Women Sale,Men's Nike KD 6 Basketball Shoes Royal Blue/Volt 599424-400,, Japan is in the midst of a quiet revolution when it comes to immigrant workers. Men's Nike Kobe VIII Elite Basketball Shoes Black/Crimson/White 586156,Stella Mccartney Asymmetric Midi Skirt For Women Selling Well,Men's Nike Kyrie 2 "PERFECT GISGUISED" Basketball Shoes White Orange Black,.

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 Nike LeBron XIII "Opening Night" Basketball Shoes Wolf Grey/Team Red/Metallic Silver 823301-060,Stylish Bintthani Grey High Low Top For Women Online,Men's Nike Roshe One Breeze BR Running Shoes Brown/White 724850,.

Popularity Reebok Crossfit Nano 4.0 - Flag Pack Sticker Black / Gravel Footwear

Immigration remains a politically charged issue in Japan, Men's Nike Shox Current Leather Shoes White/Silver/Rose,Stylish Fabiana Filippi Yellow Cropped Trousers For Women,Men's Nike Zoom Winflo 2 Running Shoes Black/Cool Grey/White/Green Strike 807276-003,. "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's Salomon XT Hawk Trail Running Shoes Black,Stylish Huishan Zhang Blue Crochet Lace Dress For Women On Sale,Men's Under Armour UA Stephen Curry One Panthers Low Basketball Shoes Lake Blue/Black,."

Design Adidas Racer Lite - Collegiate Navy / Off White / Light Orchid Footwear 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-Converse CT AS '70 Hi Sneakers Black/Natural/Egret,Stylish Marc Jacobs Painted Flower Print Skirt For Women On Sale,Men-Nike Air Zoom Fly 2 Sports Shoes Game Royal/Black-Blue Light-Orange,. 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.

"Men-Saucony Jazz Original Sneakers Navy/Silver,Stylish Red Valentino Pink Star Detail Shoulder Bag For Women Online Sale,Discount Nike Shoes - 2013 Nike Air Jordan 5 Retro "Fear" size 9 with receipt,, like all other countries, does have racist problems, but hate crime and hate speech are relatively Factory Price - MENS NIKE AIR JORDAN ROY JONES JR. SHOES SIZE 10.5 RETRO STYLE NICE,Stylish Vivetta Black Nicosia Blouse For Women,Latest Products - Nike Air Jordan 1 'Black Toe' UK 14 New Black Red White Chicago Bred,," 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 Turbocharged X 16.1 FG Men Green

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

Low-cost direct - NIKE ZOOM SKYPOSITE BASKETBALL VARSITY ROYAL/BLACK SIZE MEN'S 11 [375505-401],The Hottest Styles Ca&Lou Crystal Adeline Pearl Earrings For Women Outlet,Weekend Discount - Nike Air Jordan 11 Retro Low White Silver Black Cobalt 2011 306008-100 Size 10,, and 60% are 65 or older. Most of their children have left for the city in search of better-paying office work.

Reebok Mens Classic Runner Jacquard Tc Shoes Coal/Black/Solid Grey/Gum G57372,The Hottest Styles Guild Prime Navy Blue Daisy Print Skirt For Women Sale,Reebok Mens Furylite Np Shoes Canopy Green/White/Solar Pink G57559,, 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.

Converse Modern Mesh All Star Low Men Green 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 originals superstar 80s metal toe leather gold/black Mens Casual Sneakers G56210,The Hottest Styles Leather Crown Perforated Crown White Sneakers For Women Sale,Mens Nike Air Force 1 Low Deep Royal Blue/White Sneakers G56518,, where the temperature can reach 40 C in summer.

Nike Air Max 2014 Trainers Mens Sapphire Blue/Silver G56724,The Hottest Styles Pomellato Fuchsia Cat Eye Sunglasses For Women On Sale,Nike Free 5.0 2015 Black/White/White Mens Shoes G56836,. He speaks basic Japanese, which he picked up watching anime series such as "One Piece" and "Detective Conan."

Adidas Originals Court Vantage Adicolor Trainer,The Hottest Styles Stella Mccartney Denim Drop Waist Dress For Women On Sale,Nike Roshe One Print Trainer,," 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.

Beck & Hersey Remis Trainer,The Most Popular Bottega Veneta Eyewear Brown Tortoiseshell Sunglasses For Women Selling Well,Puma Trinomic R698 Casual Trainer,.

Nike Air Force 1 Mid Ultra Flyknit Men's Pink 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."

100% Genuine Nike Lebron 8 South Beach Pre-Heat Authentic Miami VNDS 68522172 for Men,The Most Popular Figue Midnight Navy Goa Trousers For Women Outlet,100% Top Quality Adidas EQT 93 16 Support Ultra CNY'Limited Edition' M 9-11US White Cream SI27473 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.

2018 Latest Reebok FREE SHIPPING - PUMP FURY Grey White 36KS284 for Men,The Most Popular Joseph White/Black Fringe Trim Culottes For Women Sale,Affordable Price Air Jordan 4 11Lab4 52LO290 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

Attractive Adidas NMD R_1 Solar Triple Size9&10US Red UE73519 for Men,The Most Popular Mr & Mrs Italy Green Chain Strap Clutch For Women On Sale,Authentic Nike Hypershift Basketball 91UA-2373 for Men,.

136027-089 Air Jordan 5 Black Laney (Women Men Gs Girls) Internet company Rakuten, based in Tokyo, has been actively recruiting foreign talent. (Photo by Yasunori Okamura)

Base Price Nike DUNK HIGH SB WARMTH SIZE 8US-11US Black 41718096 for Men,The Most Popular Stella Mccartney Wide Leg Jeans For Women Selling Well,Beautiful Nike Court Borough Mid Prem sneakers Multiple sizes Brown Black anthracite Light 43853369 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 price Adidas NMD Human Race PW BB0618 Green 59JK955 for Men,Veronique Leroy Rust Brown Embroidered Jacket For Women Selling Well,Best-selling Nike Lebron Twelve Premium Low - Lebron 12 Lebronald Palmer Size 47HT641 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 Savings Adidas YEEZY BOOST 350 V2 BELUGA Sz 8-11 STEEL SOLAR KANYE Grey Red 16426252 for Men,Womens Boots Black,Buy cheap Air Jordan 1 Retro Low OG 'Gym ' shipped 139 $ Red 37IX-3811 for Men,.

543390-043 Air Jordan 6 Retro Black/Volt Ice-Turbo Green-Black (Women GS Girls) 2014 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 Limited Edition Nike Air KD 7 KD7 VII AUNT PEARL Kay Yow Breast Cancer Kevin Durant DS NEW s 11 Pink 96KJ232 for Men,Born Womens Mid-Calf Boots Black Full Grain,Buy Timberland Field Boots - Everglades Black 17XX535 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. Cheap Adidas Stan Smith Adicolor Scarlet Red 70OW-7310 for Men,Django Juliette Womens Shoes Orange,Cheap Online Ewing Athletics 33 HI TRIPLE LEATHER SZ 5-16 BRAND NEW 1E White 88XN635 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," Cheap Retail Li Ning Way of Wade 1 Warrior 83CR549 for Men,Gardenia Womens Ankle Boots Nude,Classic Nike KD VII 'Global Game' 54206894 for Men,.

Family ties

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

Men's/Women's Adidas Originals Superstar 2 Print Casual Shoes Black/Red 031409 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, Comfortable Air Jordan 12 Retro 12 wool and Grey Black PE52579 for Men,Kiomi Womens Boots Dark Brown,Cool And Classical Adidas Tubular 'New Years Eve' 20532363 for Men,, Care Port Itabashi.  

Cost charm Nike Kobe 9 86TN-9832 for Men,Mizuno Womens Sneakers Pansy/White/Electric,Supply Nike Flyknit Racer Oreo 1.0 526628-101 Size 7-13 LIMITED VOLT 2015 Grey Black FW86752 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. 

Men's/Women's Adidas Questar Flyknit Boost Running Shoes Core Black/White

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. The hottest new trends Converse CHUCK TAYLOR ALL STAR HI SZ 7.5 SUNSET GLOW SJ23696 for Men,Nike Womens Sneakers Black/Cool Grey/White,The lowest prices Nike ROSHE TWO SZ 7 TRIPLE Black 51EB-4824 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, Top fashion Nike 100% Authentic Lebron Christmas V 2 8s size 11.5 34II-7939 for Men,Pier One Womens Boots Taupe,Very cheap Air Jordan 11 RETRO LOW 'CROC' 90SF-2653 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," Vogue Air Jordan 14 Toe 14s Black White 77NY-1649 for Men,Saucony Womens Running Shoes Blue/Purple,Wholesale Adidas PUREBOOST RUNNING PRIMEKNIT AUTHENTIC CORE - FOOTWEAR Black White LJ78014 for Men,."

With good start Nike Air Max Zero Premium 'Dark London' LN79962 for Men,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

ADIDAS YEEZY BOOST 350 V2 BLUE TINT,Jordan Flight 9 Mens Basketball Shoes White Black Varsity Maize A21028,Authentic Air Jordan 13 Low Bred,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Nike Air Foamposite Pro GYM RED,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

3 months for $9

Nike Air Jordan Mens Shoes Black White,Men's Adidas Originals NMD City Sock 2 PK Running Shoes Dark Grey/Black BB2955,Christian Pellet Mens Smart Slip-Ons Dark Blue,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

Fred Perry Mens Casual Shoes Tan Leather,Men's adidas Originals ZX Flux Shoes Black/Grey M34909,Lalo Mens Cross Training Black Ops,

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

New Look Mens Low-Top Trainers White,Men's Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG "Banned" Basketball Shoes Black/Varsity Red-White 555088-001,Nike Performance Kids Trainers Black,
Reebok Mens Running Shoes Flat Grey/Black/White,Men's Air Jordan 13 WHAT IS LOVE Chinese Singles Day Basketball Shoes All Black,Pearl Izumi Mens Running Shoes Black/Shadow Grey,
  • Women's Ultimate 3-Stripes Shorts
  • Puma R698 Filtered Holiday Green / High Risk Red Shoes for Women : NO1896
  • ladies shoes neosens verdil 512rosemary
  • Authentic & Low Price Adidas Hellion Purple Item:201657
  • Popularity Casual Shoes - Mens Nike Air Trainer Huarache Challenge Red/Black
  • Sperry Authentic Original 2 Eye Washable Boat Shoe
  • Discount Sale 2015 New Nike Free 5.0 Running Mens Shoes Green White Green Kumquat Hot In the UK online
  • Nike Zoom Kobe VIII 8 Sneakers For Men in 72653
  • Roark Revival Na Nga Def Board Short Men's 67038
  • Nike Roshe One SE Men Black
  • Lacoste Men's Shoes BOWLINE PAG - Casual lace-ups - braun
  • Puma Fieldsprint - Snorkel blue/spectra yellow Discount
  • Nike Prime Hype DF II Black/Bright Crimson/Bright Mango/Reflect Silver A54r4642
  • Womens Nike Air Max New High Quality Nike Air Max 90 Black Grey Lake Green No.4486
  • Nike Sideline III Insert Women's Shoes White/Pure Platinum/White
  • Fred Perry Turner Slip-On Heavy Canvas - White & Navy - FR993SH22SNL - Women's Sneakers
  • 6193 Best Nike Air Max 2014 Women Black Green Shoes
  • Nike Womens Free 4.0 Flyknit Pink Flash Black
  • UK Outlet Nike SB Zoom Stefan Janoski Nubuck Skateboard for Boys
  • Air Jordan 1 High the Return (C38s7474) - Black/Red/White - Jordan Men Shoes Online