Nike Air Base II Retro Men Running Shoes Cool Grey/Team Orange-Black-Atomic Teal EA74S 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

Low-cost direct - Converse Rare Ladies Girls Canvas Animal Print Trainers Womens Size 3 / 35 C66z9,Nike Dual Fusion TR 5 Premium Men Training Shoes Bamboo/Black-Gorge Green-Cargo Khaki NV07X,Hot Sale - Turquoise Converse Chucks Men'S 5 Women'S 7 Low Top N77j5150,. 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, * 2011 Running Shoes Air Max Crimson Black Gray Netty-breathable Womens,Onitsuka Tiger Rio Runner Men Black/Lime PD80G,* Adidas Womens White Red White Blue Jeremy Scott Ladies,.

"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, * Nike 2013 Air Max Version New Women,Men Wholesale Best Quality Ralph Lauren Madrid Blue White Big Pony Polo,* White Pink Skyblue Women Air Max 87,, 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. Asics Gel-Fujitrabuco 4 Neutral Trail Running Shoes Black Mint Womens,Men Collect Ralph Lauren Strap Black Short Sleeved Polo Sweaters,Asics White Pink Running Shoes Gel-Havoc 2 Hot Womens,. Like other industries in a rapidly aging Japan, the construction business is desperate for labor. Asics Women Trail Running Shoes Gel-Kahana Coral 7 Colour Onyx Beach Glass Flash,Men Buy Perfect Latest Style New Balance 1400 All Beige Running Shoes,Adidas UK Shop - Adidas Gazelle Shoes (Blue) for Women,. As baby boomers retire, the labor shortage -- in construction and in the wider economy -- is bound to become more acute.

Nike Kobe X Elite Men Basketball Shoes Black Wolf Grey Pink Flash 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, Adidas UK Shop - Adidas Sport ID Mesh Hoodie (White) for Women,Men Get Comfortable Latest Style Nike Zvezdochka 1St I First Unisex White Green Shoes,Adidas UK Shop - Adidas Wanderflow Crop Tee (Blue) for Women,, 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.

Nike Blazer Mid Jacquard Womens Lifestyle Shoes Mulberry Fuchsia Flash Venice Black,Men Buy New Style Nike Total Air Foamposite Max All Black Basketball Shoes,Nike Flyknit Lunar 3 Womens Running Shoes Ghost Green Pink Foil Fuchsia Glow Black,, Japan is in the midst of a quiet revolution when it comes to immigrant workers. Caldo Converse Red 'CT' flat lace up low top trainer-Women Le Vendite Online,Men Cheapest Latest Series Nike Zoom Kd Vi Yellow Black War Boots,Ufficiale Converse Converse white 'ct ballerina' flat low-top trainers-Women Le Vendite Online,.

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, Latest Lacoste Women Tamora Lace Up 2 Leather White,Men Sale Comfortable Nike Air Max 2015 Red Black Gradual Change Running Shoes,Discount Reebok Women Npc 11 Transform Court Chalk/Desert Stone,.

Nike Waffle Racer Men Casual Shoes Midnight Navy Anthracite Orange Blaze Sail

Immigration remains a politically charged issue in Japan, Puma Kitara Women Lifestyle Shoes White Swan UE49U,Men Choose Comfortable Popular Nike Airce First 1St I Black Beige Running Shoes,Nike 1.0 Cross Bionic Women Training Shoes Light Base Grey/Black-White UL54F,. "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. "Women Find Comfortable New Style Ralph Lauren Stickup Long Sleeved Mesh Polo,Men Sale Perfect Best Quality Puma Lifestyle 75 Low Blue White Shoes,Women Amazing Adidas Amberlight Up W Blue Black Casual Shoes,."

Nike Lunartempo Men Running Shoes Black White White 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.Women Big Savings On Nike Airce First 1St I Unisex White Purple Running Shoes,New Arrived Ralph Lauren White Black Strap Toe Polo Handbags,asics ? bodega GEL LYTE V GET WET H44GK 4880 Womens Mens Running Shoes Sneakers,. 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.

"Nike Air Huarache Run Pure Platinum White Mens Womens Running Shoes,Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG 6 Rings Pack 555088-112 555088-109,Nike Air Max 1 MC SP Print Pink White Womens Running Shoes 607401 013,, like all other countries, does have racist problems, but hate crime and hate speech are relatively Nike Air Max 95 LJ QS lebron james 822829 444 Womens Mens Running Shoes Sneakers,Nike Air Foamposite Pro University Red 624041 604 Mens basketball sports shoes sneakers,Nike Flyknit Racer Oreo Black White Mens Womens Running 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.

Affari Converse Wine 'All Star' hi-top trainers-Men Salva

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 Roshe Run Hyperfuse Violet Shade Laser Crimson Volt Womens Running Shoes 642233 500,Nike Air Jordan 11 Future PRM Bred 652141 601 Mens basketball sport shoes sneaker,Nike Zoom Speed Trainer 3 black green 804401 womens Running Shoes Sneakers,, and 60% are 65 or older. Most of their children have left for the city in search of better-paying office work.

Womens Nike Air Jordan I 1 Retro Red Black Shoe Shop For The Best,Nike Air Jordan 8 VIII Retro Chrome 305381 003 Mens basketball sport shoes,Balance - Advanced Reflective Trainer : Fresh and cool Fashionable Style,, 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.

Ultimo Men 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, Salomon Instinct Travel Walking Shoes (Men's) - Dark Brown Leather / Absolute Brown X / Quick hearty,Nike Air Max 2015 Dark Obsidian Poison Green Mens Running Shoes 698902 401,Vans - Classic Style Vulcanised Trainer : Casual Shoes Buy Popular,, where the temperature can reach 40 C in summer.

Shellys London,Nike Air Max 90 Obsidian Wolf Grey Photo Blue Mens Running Shoes 325018 419,Seeland Allround 18 Inch Wellington Boots (Unisex) - Dark Green Colorful Designer For Sale,. He speaks basic Japanese, which he picked up watching anime series such as "One Piece" and "Detective Conan."

Illusive,Nike Air Max Tavas Midnight Navy Cool Grey Obsidian Mens Running Shoes 705149 400,Harkila Nite Pullover - Dark Navy Marked New Authentic,," 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.

Vans - Youth -Hi Reissue Leather Trainer : Crystal Clear Discount,Nike Flyknit Lunar 3 Black Bright Crimson University Red White Mens Running Shoes 698181 006,Asolo Avalon Walking Boots (Men's) - Grey / Gun Metal Humor Fashionable Patterns,.

Latest Converse Men Star Player LP White 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."

Le Chameau Country Vibram Wellingtons (Unisex) Decorative Original brand,Nike Hypervenom Phantom 2 Premium FG Radiant Reveal GREEN black bule ACC Mens football boots Soccer shoes,Rocky Mountain Stalker Ear Flap - Realtree AP Antique Western style,.

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 - Youth 90 Ultra Breathe Trainer : Color Brilliancy Deals,Nike Kobe 9 EM XDR Hyper Cobalt 646701 414 Men basketball sports shoes sneakers,Sebago Docksides Shoe (Men's) - Wine Fashion Factory Outlet,.

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

Puma - Trend Suede Classic Trainer : Refined Sale,Nike Lunarglide 6 Red Grey Black Mens Running Shoes 654433 600,On Sale - Converse Slim Lilac 7 Y90o2201,.

Latest PUMA Men Blaze Blue Internet company Rakuten, based in Tokyo, has been actively recruiting foreign talent. (Photo by Yasunori Okamura)

On Sale - Converse Allstar Highrise Satin Japanese Design Material Trainers Size 4 B54k8773,Nike Nikelab Air Max 97 Mid x Riccardo Tisci Black Red,UK - Converse New Adults Unisex Classic All Star Chuck Taylor Ox Low White (#621) G26n4838,. 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,UK - Converse 152659C Ctas Fresh Hi Men Walking Shoes 9 E41p4989,NIKELAB ACG.07.KMTR KOMYUTER BLACK WHITE 902776-001,Low-cost direct - Converse Lederchucks Ct As Hi 555966C Schwarz U18c6988,, 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, Low-cost direct - Converse All Star Monochrome All White With Swarovski Crystals Wedding Bride Y41,Top Quality Nike Air Foamposite Pro Metallic Gold Eggplant Island 624041-701,Hot Sale - Converse Fresh Hi All Stars Black Gum Beige Leather Sneakers Men'S Size 8 9 New J57a3743,.

Vans Men Old Skool On Sale White 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. Hot Sale - Nude Converse Size 7 J58e3209,Mens Adidas Predator Absolion Lz Trx Ag Green Black Electricity Shoe Order Online,* 2011 Men Black White Air Max,.

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. * Adidas Men White Blue Yellow Soccer Shoes Nitro Charge 10 Trx Fg Firm Ground,Mens Nike Air Jordan 1 I Fur Inside Green Leopard Shoe Fast Shipping,* Adidas Superstar 2 Men Blue White Lite Md Sole Of,, 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," * Air Max Bw White Red Men,Mens Nike Air Jordan 4 Iv Glowing Black Shoe Cheap Retail,* Black Gray Red Mens Shoes Air Max Bw,.

Family ties

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

Mountain Hardwear  Graphic FullZip Hoodie  Men's 643 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, * Blue Adidas Men Sandal Shoes,Mens Nike Air Jordan 6 Vi Retro White Blue Shoe Shop For The Best,* For Mens White Skyblue Air Max 90,, Care Port Itabashi.  

* Nike 2014 Air Max 90 Black Shoes Em Men's,Mens Nike Air Jordan Iv 4 Retro Black Grey Shoe Save 40%-70%,* Nike Air Max Tn I Shoes Goldsilver-white Men's,, 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. 

Gramicci  Freedom G Pant  Men's 65012

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. * White Black Men's Air Max Ltd 1 Azure,Mens Nike Air Jordan Vii 7 Retro White Shoe Cheap 100%,Authentic Tommy Hilfiger Russel Leather Loafers Men 2741-2601,.  

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, Cheap River Island Trainers In Burgundy Men 4510-6929,Mens Nike Air Max 180 Em Black Shoe For Sale,New Style Le Coq Sportif Racerone Trainers Men 4854-5617,. 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," High-quality Dr Martens Kamar Suede Hi Top Trainers Men 7678-3622,Mens Nike Air Max 90 Camo Light Grey Shoe For Sale,Authentic Asics Gel-Kayano Suede Trainers Men 9617-5766,."

Asics Gel-Fortius 2 Tr Training Shoes Blue Indigo Lime Mens,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

Asics Trail Running Shoes Gel-Scram 2 Grey Silver Mens,Mens Nike Dunk Sb Low Cut Spurs Black White Shoe Happy Shopping,Men Asics Burner Baseball Shoes Colour Tiger Black Silver,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Men Polo Ralph Lauren Shoes Jack Vaughn Canvas,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

3 months for $9

Ralph Lauren Match Polo Pony Men Black Paint Neon Big,Mens Nike Free Run 3.0 V6 Ext Black Blue White Shoe Shop For The Best,Adidas UK Shop - Adidas Cloudfoam Race Shoes (Blue) for Kids,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

Adidas UK Shop - Adidas Matchcourt Remix High Shoes (Grey) for Men,Mens Nike Free Run+ 2 Light Grey Black Shoe Official Website,Adidas UK Shop - Adidas adizero Adios 3 Shoes (Blue) for Men,

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

Adidas UK Shop - Adidas Pacesetter Printed Skort (Multicolor) for Kids,Mens Nike Lunar Force 1 Fuse Prm Qs Black Shoe Online Sale,Adidas UK Shop - Adidas Photo Artist Two Tee (White) for Men,
Adidas UK Shop - Adidas LA AUTH H JSY WHITE/CONAVY (White) for Men,Mens Nike Solarsoft Moccasin Breathable Grey Green Shoe Best Price,LA645 Nike KD6 Kevin Durant Yellow Black Basketball Shoes,
  • Womens Boots ALDO Willa Black Leather
  • Swarovski Crystal Nike Air Max 90's Black Diamond Gym
  • Sperry / Crest Vibe Linen Sneakers / Gold Metallic
  • Women's Hurley Supersuede Solid 5" Beachrider - Boardshorts TW596869u
  • Nike Dunk SB Cuts Low All Pink White Shoes
  • The Most Popular Common Projects White Classic Card Holder For Women Online
  • Professional GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI DESIGN Zip-Up Patent & Leather - White Men's Sneakers - 79SY964
  • Nike Zoom SB Stefan Janoski SE Skateboarding Shoes Cool Grey Obsidian White Cool Grey For Men
  • Authentic Clarks Original Trigenic Nubuck Trainers Men 3541-2945
  • Real Mens Lloyd Dagino Smart Lace-Ups Black
  • Kobe 9 Fashion EM Low BHM Lime Green Purple
  • Basketball Kobe-0186
  • BURTON / TREBLE YELL BP 21L FIRED BRICK TWILL 173831-612
  • Reebok CLub C85 - B
  • Nike Air Jordan 6 Rings Black/White Sneakers
  • Discount Vans Old Skool Black Skate Shoes for Men Online
  • Boots Women Muk Luks Rihanna Bootie BrownMulti Newest
  • Nike LeBron Ambassador 7 VII Lt Retro Hot Lava Midnight Navy
  • Women Merrell Grassbow Sport Mid Gtx Sport Shoes - Rubber - Black - 5616250zd
  • Naot Womens Shoes / Metal Ladies Shoes Naot Reserve Sandals KE596425r1y