Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Br Shoes Mens Obsidian Royal Grey N72410 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

Nike Air Max Uptemp 97 in 15896,Nike Roshe One Print Shoes Mens Orange White N74562,Nike Dunk SB 2012 New High Cut Mens Shoes gray orange red white,. 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 Free 6.0 Spiderman Breathable Mens Shoes Blue,Nike Sb Trainerendor Leather Shoes Mens Grey Dark Grey Grey Black N57340,Nike Hypervenom Phelon Indoor football shoes orange black yellow,.

"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 Kobe VII(7) For Men in 60976,Adidas Training Multisport Training Shoes Scarlet Black Running White For Men,Nike Lunar Hyperdunk X LOW 2012 Basketball Shoes for Men in 82410,, 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. Nike Rosherun Dyn FW QS Lovers Ultralight Pulling Wire Mesh Low Stone Grey&Black&Watermelon Red&Cool Grey Running Shoes,Nike Free Trainer 5 0 Training Shoes Catalina Bleached Turquoise Hyper Crimson For Men,Nike Zoom KD V ELITE Series Basketball Shoes Dark Blue Red,. Like other industries in a rapidly aging Japan, the construction business is desperate for labor. Online Nike Air Jordan 4 Kids White Pink Blue,Timberland Earthkeepers Kempton Oxford Shoes Navy Full Grain For Men,Shopping Online Air Jordan 1 Fur Inside Mens Shoes On Sale Cheap Black White Red,. As baby boomers retire, the labor shortage -- in construction and in the wider economy -- is bound to become more acute.

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Dunk High Shoes Offwhite/Light Blue/Light Green/Green 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, Under Armour UA ClutchFit Drive 2015 White Red Basketball Shoes Sale,Timberland Earthkeepers Tremont Boots Black Smooth Grey For Men,Nike Lebron X QAM Wolf Grey/Bright Citrus Basketball Shoes for MAN,, 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 Archive ,Timberland 6 Inch Premium Waterproof Boots Rust Nubuck For Men,Nike Air Force 1 High ,, Japan is in the midst of a quiet revolution when it comes to immigrant workers. Adidas Originals ZX Flux White Mountaineering White/White/White Sneakers for MAN,Nike Roshe Flyknit Shoes Bright Crimson Total Orange White Court Purple For Men,Nike Roshe NM Fleece Cool Grey/Black/White Trainers for MAN,.

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, Nike Free Flyknit NSW Hyper Jade /White/Orange/Black Running Shoes for MAN,Nike Air Pegasus 83 30 Shoes Catalina Mineral Slate Hyper Jade Seaweed For Men,Nike Tennis Classic AC White/White/Light Photo Blue Sneakers for MAN,.

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Free TR Twist Training Shoes Light Blue/Grey/White

Immigration remains a politically charged issue in Japan, Adidas Originals Stan Smith Solid Grey/Core Black/Bold Onix Sneakers for UNISEX,Nike Air Force 1 07 LV8 Shoes Blue Legend White Gum Light Brown Blue Legend For Men,Adidas Originals Tubular Runner White/White/White Running Shoes for WOMAN,. "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. "Reebok Furylite SR Tweed Brown/Black/Chalk Trainers for WOMAN,Adidas Soccer Freefootball Speedtrick Shoes Running White Ftw Running White Bahia Glow For Men,Adidas Pure top Quality Boost ZG Trainer Red outlet Mens Running Limited Edition,."

Nike W Womens Air Lightest Max 270 outlets Black/White/Anthracite AH6789 001 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.Discount Authentic 304775-135 Mens Nike Air Jordan 7 Shoes Olympic White/Metallic Gold-Midnight Navy/True Red,Nike Zoom SB Stefan Janoski Neb Skateboarding Shoes Multi Color Multi Color Black For Men,Discount Authentic 429493-102 Mens Nike Air Jordan Shoes Evolution 85 White/Metallic Silver-Obsidian-Stealth,. 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.

"Discount Authentic Kids Nike Air Jordan 6 Shoes Black/Grey/White,Nike Eric Koston SE Shoes Blue Lagoon White Black For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air force 1 Low Shoes Dark Blue/Light Blue/White/Wheat,, like all other countries, does have racist problems, but hate crime and hate speech are relatively Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Jordan 13 Shoes Anniversary White/Grey Silver,Nike LunarGlide 6 Running Shoes Black Gym Red Action Red White For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Jordan 4 Light Shoes Black,," 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.

New Nike Just Do It Racerback Tank Black/Pure Platinum/Heather For Women Outlet

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

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Jordan Alpha Trunner Shoes Dark Blue/Light Blue/White,Nike Air Max 2015 Running Shoes Black White For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max + 2013 Shoes Grey/Lime/Black,, and 60% are 65 or older. Most of their children have left for the city in search of better-paying office work.

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 2011 Shoes Black/Red/Silver/White,Adidas Originals SL Loop Runner Trail Shoes Olive Cargo Olive Cargo Poppy For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 87 Shoes Blue/Sliver/White,, 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.

Adidas Linear Tank Top  - Womens Vests 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, Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 90 Gold/Cream/White,Adidas Originals Tubular Runner Shoes Core Black For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 95 2009 Shoes Grey/Dark Grey,, where the temperature can reach 40 C in summer.

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max Griffey Shoes Black/Orange,Route H217 HXM2170Q44089Z2AQ4 Formal Shoes For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max Jordan 9 Shoes Black/White/Blue,. He speaks basic Japanese, which he picked up watching anime series such as "One Piece" and "Detective Conan."

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max Shox R4 Shoes White/Red,Adidas Basketball J Wall 1 NYC All Star Shoes Running White Ftw For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Dunk High Shoes Baby Purple/White,," 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.

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Dunk High Shoes Navy/Blue/White/Red/Yellow,Adidas Baseball Speed Trainer Shoes Power Red Running White Carbon Metallic For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Dunk Low Shoes Light Blue/White/Light Green/Brown,.

Asics Gel-Kayano 22 Blue Black Mens Shoes 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."

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Free 6.0 Running Shoes Grey/Black/White,2014 Air Jordan 6 Championship Pack Cigar Champagne ShoesAJ6 Champagne Cigar Set 2014 Jordan 6 Champagne,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Shox NZ Shoes Black/Grey/White,.

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.

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Shox R4 Shoes Offwhite/Red,2014 Nike Free Gym Mens Shoes Online White Blue,Kids Nike Air Jordan 12 Retail Retro GG Kings Websites 510815-018 Black Violet Basketball sales Shoes,.

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

Nike SB Zoom Dunk Recommended High Pro Sail UK Royal AH9613-141,2015 For Sale Air Penny Hardaway 5 V Mens Shoes Discount Grey Black Pueple,CONVERSE CORE LARGE CHUCK PATCH VEST - CONVERSE BLACK CONVERSE VEST MENS,.

Asics 2 Grey Mens Shoes Internet company Rakuten, based in Tokyo, has been actively recruiting foreign talent. (Photo by Yasunori Okamura)

Discounts Nike Pro Cool Compression L/S Top White/Black For Men Online,2015 Latest Size x Nike Air Huarache Light"Eclipse Pack"White Speckling Black Midsole Mens Run Shoes,New Trendy Jordan Flight Flash Jumpman Hoodie Dark Grey Heather/Reflective Black For Men Sale Online,. 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,Stylish Nike Therma Full Zip Hoodie Black For Men On Sale,2015 New Nike Free Run 5.0 Sportswear Mens Shoes Classic White Online Sale,adidas Originals Adilette Premium Black,, 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 Superstar 80s PK Black,2015 Nike Air Huarache Mens Running Shoes Gym Blue Online Sneakers,New Balance WR996GAH Red,.

Nike Football Men Grigio 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 Wmns Air Huarache Run Ultra Blue,2015 Nike Free Flyknit 4.0 Mens Running Shoes Newest On Sale Baby Blue,Nike Wmns Roshe One DMB Orange,.

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. Reebok Classic Nylon White,2015 Nike Free Run+ 2 Men Shoes Moon Orange,adidas SkateboardingAdi-Ease,, 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," New BalanceRC1400v3,2015 On Sale Air Max 90 Current VT LSR Mens Shoes Black White,Nike MD Runner 2 Mid,.

Family ties

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

Onitsuka Tiger High Tops Beige Green Mens Shoes 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, Berghaus Prism Micro Fleece Half Zip Jacket Black - Mens Track Tops,2016 Fragment Design x NikeCourt Air Trainer 1 Mid"French Open"Black Upper White Outsole Mens Shoes,Asics New Arrival Black Green Womens Shoes,, Care Port Itabashi.  

Asics 33 Pink Womens Shoes,2016 Nike Lunar Force 1 Low Mens Shoes Beige Red 654256-602 Online Cheap Sale,Nike Air Presto Women Nere Bianche,, 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. 

Faux Leather Flower Print Flat Shoes - Yellow - 38

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. Fashionable Flowers and Faux Pearl Embellished Women's Knitted Beanie - White,Ai Max Terra Ninety Mens TN Shoes black yellow,Nike Air Max 1 Essential Shoes Womens White White Brown Blue N99507,.  

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, Nike Roshe Ld-1000 Shoes Womens White Green Black N93732,Air Max 2011 Netty Mens Shoes Discount black yellow,Adidas Originals SL Loop Runner Shoes Core Black For Women,. 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," Timberland *Timberland Authentics Canvas Fold Down Boots Wheat Nubuck For Women,Air Max 90 Mens Shoes Cheap Wholesale Black Blue Yellow,Nike Dunk Sky Hi Mesh Shoes Deep Burgundy Action Red Gum Dark Brown Deep Burgundy For Women,."

Nike Free 4 0 Flyknit Running Shoes Court Purple Hyper Grape University Blue Black For Women,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

2015 Cheap Nike Free Run+ 3.0 Womens Shoes White Grey Red,Hot Sell New Air Jordan 13 XIII Mens Shoes 2013 Online Lepord Purple Black,2015 Nike Air Jordan 7 GG Retro"Hot Lava"White/Black-Hot Lava Basketball Shoes Womens Sneakers 442960-106,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

2016 Nike Air Max Tailwind 8 Print Sneakers Light Blue/Black White Womens Running Shoes Online 805942 400,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

3 months for $9

Hot Sell Nike Blazer Womens Shoes Online POopular Blue Yellow,Men's Air Max Lebron VIII Shoes in 24392,Nike Air Max 90 Lunar SP Moon Landing Apollo 11 Womens Shoes Neil Armstrong Yellow American Flag Usa Cheap,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

Nike Dunk SB 2012 High Cut Womens Shoes Star light Pink Black White,New Air Max 2013 Running Shoes For Men Green,On Sale Discount Nike Air Presto Womens Shoes Leopard Red Black,

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air force 1 low Shoes Cream/White/Red/Blue,Newest Nike Hyperdunks 2015 TB All Star Shoes University Blue/Metallic Silver-Ice Blue Mens Basketball Sneakers High Top Cheap Sale,Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air Jordan 8 High Heels Shoes Purple/Red,
Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air Max 2012 Shoes White/Purple,Nike Air Jordan 4 IV Retro Mens Shoes Black Gold,Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air Max Jordan 13 Shoes All White,
  • Comfortable 202509 Nike Max Lebron VIII Low Men White Red Shoes
  • Nike Air Jordan 3 Suede Grey Orange Sneakers 3126024
  • Adidas Adzero 5-Star Men Football Shoes Black White Collegiate Orange 186627
  • Nike Air Max Men Shoes Blue Black /Nike Jordan [ N1652]
  • Light Bone Men's - Nike Lunarcharge - Medium Olive Black 3SF9656 - Shoes - Running
  • Lacoste Kids Trainers White
  • Amazing NEIL BARRETT Bolts Neoprene Jogging - Black Men's Pants - 69KT616
  • adidas Originals NMD_R1 White
  • Mens Adidas Predator Lz Trx Fg Sl Black Silver Infrared Shoe Fast Delivery
  • Mens ASICS Running Shoes - GEL-Flux 2 - Carbon/Red Item M0167
  • The Most Popular New Balance Wl520 Low Top Trainers White / Peach For Women Sale
  • Nike Air Foamposite One Comfortable Shoes Phoenix Good Suns Official
  • Lacoste Women's Shoes BAYLEN - Lace-up boots - dark blue
  • Preferences Women Ivory Black Ann Summers Ann Summers Dolly Plunge Bra Valuable
  • Oxfords & Lace-Ups Men Johnston & Murphy Ellington Oxford Tan/Brown Online Sale
  • Men's - Nike SB Zoom Paul Rodriguez 2.5 Black / White Shoes
  • Best Choice Reebok Green Bay Packers Men Jersey Lights Out Black Black Finest Craftsmanship Free Exchanges Finest Materials Customized
  • NIKE Air Jordan 15 XV OG White Blue
  • Jordan AJ All Season Compression 642348-091 Cool Grey/Black
  • Free Shipping Uomo Nike On sale Air Max 95 Jacquard Nere/Grigio 644793-100 stores