Nike Archive 83.M Shoes Mens Navy Obsidian Black N70307 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 LeBron XI All Black Basketball Shoes For Men in 99367,Nike Sb Lunar Stefan Janoski Skateboarding Shoes Mens Black Metallic Gold White N25892,Nike Air Max TN I Mens Shoes Charming gray,. 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 Air Max TN I Mens Shoes Unique black red white,Nike Stefan Janoski Max Premium Skateboarding Shoes Mens White White Black N99190,Nike Air Total Max Uptempole Baketball Shoe For Men in 34686,.

"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 Dunk SB 2012 New Mid Cut Mens Shoes sea green black white,Adidas Training Litha Flip Flops Night Brown Running White Leather For Men,Nike Free Run 5.0 V2 Mens Running Shoes New Outlet Army Green,, 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 James Lebron 10 For Men in 71013,Timberland Earthkeepers City Shuffler Slip On Shoes Slate Burlap For Men,Nike LeBron XII 12 Low NSW Lifestyle QS"White"White-Metallic Gold-Bright Crimson Mens Shoes 716417-100 Cheap Sale,. Like other industries in a rapidly aging Japan, the construction business is desperate for labor. Nike Mercurial Vapor 10 CR7 Special Edition TF Soccer Boots green pink,Timberland Earthkeepers City Shuffler Slip On Shoes Dark Brown Burlap For Men,Nike Zoom Hyperflight PRM Mens Shoes Blue,. As baby boomers retire, the labor shortage -- in construction and in the wider economy -- is bound to become more acute.

Discount Authentic 414571-125 Womens Nike Air Jordan 13 Shoes Ray Allen PE White/Clover 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, Nike Zoom KOBE 8 system MC MAMBACURIAL FB Basketball Shoes For Men in 91301,Timberland Boot Company Coulter Chukka Shoes Rust Distressed Full Grain For Men,Online Nike Tiempo Legend Elite Light Gray Orange,, 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.

Shopping Online Air Penny Hardaway 5 V Mens Shoes Discount Purple White,Timberland Abington Haley Boots Black Quartz Sail Cloth For Men,Under Armour UA Curry One 2015 White Blue Yellow Basketball Shoes Sale,, Japan is in the midst of a quiet revolution when it comes to immigrant workers. Jordan Eclipse LTR Black/Vachetta Tan/White Basketball Shoes for MAN,Nike Lunar Force 1 14 Shoes Pine Green White For Men,Nike KD 8 Bright Crimson/White/Black Basketball Shoes 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 Kyrie 1 Teal/Green Strike/Radiant Emerald/Metallic Red Basketball Shoes for MAN,Nike Blazer Mid Premium Vintage Shoes Black White For Men,Reebok Question Low R13 Black/Tar/Carbon/White/Aqua Sneakers for MAN,.

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air Jordan 7 Shoes White/Black/Red

Immigration remains a politically charged issue in Japan, Nike Air Max 90 OG Black/Neutral Grey/Dark Grey/White Running Shoes for MAN,Nike Air Max Lunar90 Water ResiStant Shoes Hyper Cobalt Gym Blue Light Bone Light For Men,Nike Tennis Classic AC Obsidian/Obisidan/Gum Light Brown Trainers for MAN,. "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. "Adidas Originals ZX 500 OG Surf Petrol/Yellow/White Trainers for MAN,KD7 EXT Shoes Black Sail For Men,PUMA R698 x Vashtie 90S 3M Gray Violet Sneakers for UNISEX,."

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air Max 2012 Shoes Pink/Light Pinkg/Purple 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.ASICS GT-II Green Ash/Soft Grey Sneakers for WOMAN,Nike Magista Onda Turf Soccer Cleat White Black Total Orange Poison Green For Men,Nike Juvenate Print QS White/Black Sneakers for WOMAN,. 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.

"Adidas Y-3 Yohji Yamamoto Qasa High AQ2544 Limited Edition Factory,Nike SB Zoom Stefan Janoski Canvas Premium Shoes Anthracite Black White Clearwater For Men,Discount Authentic 136029-011 Mens Nike Air Jordan 15 Retro Original (OG) Flint Grey/White,, like all other countries, does have racist problems, but hate crime and hate speech are relatively Discount Authentic 384664-101 Mens Nike Air Jordan 6 Retro Oreo - White/Black-Speckle,Nike Zoom Streak LT 2 Running Shoes Sizing Hyper Punch Black White Electric Green For Men,Discount Authentic Kids Nike Air Jordan 3.5 Shoes Grey/White/Pink,," 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.

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air Max BW Shoes Black/Grey/Silver

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 Kids Nike Shox R4 Shoes White/Black/Red,Nike Flyknit Racer Running Shoes Sizing Brave Blue Poison Green For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Jordan 11 Shoes Black/White,, 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 Jordan 26 Shoes Black/White/Red,Adidas Originals Tubular Runner Dust Blue Light Onix Legacy White For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Jordan 9 Shoes Black/Grey,, 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.

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Dunk High Shoes Dark Blue/White/Blue 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 Jordan Son Of Mars Shoes White/Black/Red,Adidas Originals Samba Shoes Core Black For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 2009 Shoes White/Silver/Gold,, where the temperature can reach 40 C in summer.

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 2013 Shoes White/Dark Yellow/Black,Adidas Originals White Tiger Shoes Running White Ftw For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 90 Black/Red/Blue/Yellow,. He speaks basic Japanese, which he picked up watching anime series such as "One Piece" and "Detective Conan."

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 90 White/Dark Blue/Pink,Nike Vapor Carbon 2014 Elite TD PF Football Cleat Heritage Cyan Black White For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max BW Shoes Black/Silver/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 Air Max Jordan 2 Shoes Black/Silver,Olympia HXM0520Q6604VAB401 Casual Shoes For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max LTD Shoes Grey/Black/White,.

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Free Run+ 2 Running Shoes Sky Blue/Orange/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."

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max TN Shoes Black/Yellow,Nike Vapor Strike 2 MCS Baseball Cleat White Black For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Dunk High Shoes Brown/Dark Brown/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 Dunk High Shoes White/Cream/Dark Brown/Yellow,Adidas Adidas Neo Bbneo Raleigh Shoes Light Onix Running White Running White For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Free 3.0 V2 Running Shoes Red/Black/White,.

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

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Free TR Fit Running Shoes Grey/Light Blue/Silver,2014 Nike Roshe Run Hyperfuse Mesh And Suede Uppers Gray Silver Men Shoes 3M Reflective Shoes,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Shox OZ Shoes White/Silver,.

New Adidas Original Pro Womens/Mens ADILETTE SANDAL S75382 BLACK Internet company Rakuten, based in Tokyo, has been actively recruiting foreign talent. (Photo by Yasunori Okamura)

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Shox R6 Shoes White/Black/Golden,2015 Discount Nike Zoom Fit Agility Sneakers On Sale Mens Shoes All Black,NIKE AIR Good VAPORMAX FLYKNIT 2 BLACK/WHITE new GREY-METAL-SILVER 942842-001 NEW 2018,. 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,Super Nike Nikelab Air Max 97 Mid x Riccardo Tisci silver Red,2015 Latest Nike Roshe Run Frgmt 3 Fragment Design Retro Shoes Online First Mens Online Carbon Grey White,VANS FULL PATCH RAGLAN - WHITE VANS VEST MENS,, 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, Latest Nike College Elite Pullover Therma Hoodie College Navy For Men,2015 New Nike Free Run 5.0 Flash Green Mens Shoes Online Shop,New Under Armour Rival Fitted Hoodie Carbon Heather/Black For Men Sale,.

Latest Nike Essential Tank Aluminum/Barely Volt For Women Sale 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. The Hottest Styles Nike Nba Club Logo Hoodie Blue For Men Sale,2015 Newest Nike Free Flyknit 5.0 Mens Running Shoes Cheap On Sale Couples Sneaker Navy Blue Apple Green,adidas Originals LA Trainer W Gray,.

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. Asics Gel-Kayano Trainer White,2015 Nike Flex Series Sneakers Mens Running Shoes For Cheap Black Fluorescent Green White,Nike Air Max 90 Utility Black,, 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," Nike Wmns Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 SI Multi,2015 Nike Free Run 5.0 V3 Men Shoes Yellow Silver,Nike Wmns Tennis Classic Ultra Flyknit White,.

Family ties

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

The Most Popular Nike Hologram Short Sleeve Top Black For Women Online 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, Vans Old Skool Blue,2015 Nike Roshe Run Shoes Print"Hawaiian Floral"Black Mens Sneakers Online Sales,adidas Barricade Team 4,, Care Port Itabashi.  

New BalanceWX577,2016 Air Jordan 7 Retro GS"Verde"White/Black-Verde-Infrared 705417-016 Kids Shoes,Nike Zoom HyperRev,, 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. 

Asics Running Blue Black Mens Shoes

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. Fred Perry Laurel Wreath Tape Track Top Red - Mens Track Tops,2016 Nike Air Jordan 7 VII Retro"Hare"White/True Red-Light Silver-Tourmaline Kids Shoes 304775-125,Asics Gel Lyte V White Womens 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, Asics 33 Orange Blue Womens Shoes,2016 Nike Mens Basketball Sneakers Lebron 13 Red Green Blue,Nike Football Women Arancia,. 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," Heeled Pumps High Heels Women's Shoes - Gray - 37,Air Jordan AJ V.2. Low Mens Shoes 2014 Blue,Nike Air Max 1 Mid Shoes Womens Light Red Black N64693,."

Nike Roshe Ld-1000 Jacquard Shoes Womens Blue Red White Red N40041,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

Adidas Running Springblade Drive 2 0 Shoes Solid Grey Metallic Silver Flash Orange For Women,Discount Nike Air Jordan 5 Kids Black Metallic Silver,Timberland Earthkeepers Savin Hill Tall Boots Tobacco Forty Leather For Women,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Nike Dunk Sky Hi Mesh Shoes Deep Burgundy Action Red Gum Dark Brown Deep Burgundy For Women,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

3 months for $9

Nike Flyknit Air Max Running Shoes Total Orange Pink Pow Fireberry Black For Women,FIFA World Cup Brazil Nike Magista TF Football boots yellow black pink,2015 Air Jordan 4LAB1 Glow Neo Turquoise Nikelab AJ Sneakers Womens Basketball Shoes Sports Mesh Netting Upper,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

2015 Nike Air Jordan 11LAB4"University Red"Womens Sneakers Basketball Shoes 719864-600 Cheap Sale,Hot Sale Nike Air Jordan 12 XII Mens Shoes 2013 New Blue Yellow,2016 Nike Air Force 1 LV8 VT Low"Independence Day"Womens Star Pack Pack Gym Red Couples Shoes 789104-600,

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

For Sale To Buy Nike Air Jordan 4 IV Retro Women Shoes Online Black Blue,Men's Air Griffey Max Shoes in 24403,Nike Air Max 90 Hyperfuse PRM Womens Shoes Green,
Nike Air Shox Turbo + 13 XIII Womens Shoes White Blue,Mens nike air max tn kpu nano dark blue black,Nike Zoom Hyperdunk Sneakers For Women in 72642,
  • Shopping 174236 Nike SB Dunk High Men Shoes
  • Nike Air Jordan 4 Glow-in-the-Dark Sole Black White Red Sneakers 3126139
  • Nike Men Sportswear Shoes White/Black/Blue Lagoon 146362
  • Air Jordan 3 Men Retro Shoes Black/Cement Grey /Nike Jordan [ N1470]
  • Marathon Red Men's - Under Armour 5" Launch Stretch Woven Run Shorts - Black Reflective 9XN11092 - Clothing - Running
  • Magnum Mens Work Boots Coffee
  • Authentic MUSTO Br2 Offshore Nylon Jacket - Platinum Men's Casual Jackets - 26RN589
  • adidas Originals Stan Smith Adicolor Blue
  • Mens Nike Air Jordan 1 White Black Red Shoe Online Sale
  • Mens ASICS Track and Field Shoes - GEL-Preshot-Classic - Black Item M0248
  • adidas Adizero Ubersonic - Women's - Tennis - Shoes - Frozen Yellow/White
  • Nike Air Max 2016 Hyper Teal Buy Glacier Ice University Black Red
  • New Balance Women's Shoes WL574 - Trainers - black
  • Precious Women Ivory V By Lace Dobby&Nbsp Shell Top&Nbsp High-Quality
  • Oxfords & Lace-Ups Men etnies Lo-Cut SC Sneaker - Mens NavyBlue/Yellow SALE
  • Men's - Nike SB Dunk Mid Pro Blue Hero / Black-Wolf Grey Shoes
  • Beauty Men Adpt Adpt Skinny Chinos Dark Navy
  • NIKE Air Jordan 2 II Low Retro White Blue
  • Jordan Flight Printed 642244-101 White/French Blue/University Blue/White
  • Kids Nike Air Jordan 12 Flu Game Bred Personalisation 2016 Receipt XII Retro Black Red 130690-002 Basketball Custom Shoes