Nike Benassi Jdi Print Slippers Mens Dark Greygreen Dark Greygreen Green N48532 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

Air Max 2011 Netty Mens Shoes Discount green grey,Interactive HXM00N00E104ET9999 Interactive Shoes For MenAir Max 90 Mens Shoes Cheap On Sale LightBlue White Black,. 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, Air Max 90 Mens Shoes Cheap Wholesale Black Green White,Interactive HXM00N032427ZD547Y Interactive Shoes For MenAir Max 90 Mens Shoes Cheap Wholesale White Golden Lightgrey,.

"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, AIR MAX LTD 01 Mens Shoes Cheap Orange White,Adidas Originals C 10 Shoes Black Chrome Black For MenAir Max Ltd 2 Mens Shoes Smart Black,, 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. black suede nike air force 1 high top,Adidas Originals Busenitz ADV Shoes Grey For MenBuy Cheap Nike KD 7 2014 White Black Gold Mens Shoes,. Like other industries in a rapidly aging Japan, the construction business is desperate for labor. Buy Cheap Nike Kobe 9 2014 Low Weave Purple White Mens Shoes,Nike TW '14 Mesh Golf Shoes Base Grey Legion Red Dark Base Grey Black For MenBuy Cheap Nike Lebron 12 2015 Jade Black Orange Mens Shoes,. As baby boomers retire, the labor shortage -- in construction and in the wider economy -- is bound to become more acute.

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max Jordan 11   Air Jordan 26 Shoes Black/Blue 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, Buy Mercurial Victory X Tf Powder All Black,Nike Lunar Waverly Golf Shoes Black Pure Platinum Volt For MenCheap Nike Free 2012 Mens Running Shoes Wool Skin For Winter On Sale Black White,, 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.

Cheap Nike Zoom Hyperfuse 2011 Low Mens Shoes Red White,Nike Lunar Waverly Golf Shoes Baroque Brown Sail Hyper Punch Black For MenCheap Sale For Sale SHopping Air Jordan 3 III Cement Retro Mens Shoes for Winter Fur White Blue,, Japan is in the midst of a quiet revolution when it comes to immigrant workers. Discount Air Max TN I Mens Shoes black gold,Interactive N20 HXM2460Q2607ZU0W94 Interactive Shoes For MenDiscount Online Air Max 2012 Mens Shoes Breathable For Sale Black Red White,.

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, FIFA World Cup Brazil Nike Magista Opus FG soccer boots green pink black,Nike Vapor Carbon 2014 Elite Football Cleat Volt Photo Blue Challenge Red Black For MenHot Sale 2013 Online Nike Air Max BW Mens Shoes Fur Black White Red,.

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max Jordan 4 Shoes Black/Green/Yellow

Immigration remains a politically charged issue in Japan, Jordan Fly 23 Spiderman Mens Shoes Black Blue Wholesale,Adidas Football Adizero 5 Star 4 0 Pro Cleats Collegiate Royal Collegiate Royal Light Scarlet For MeMen's Air Griffey Max Shoes in 24400,. "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 Nike Zoom Hyperfuse XDR Shoes in 23786,Nike Vapor Carbon 2014 Elite TD PF Football Cleat University Red White University Gold For MenNew Nike Air Max 2015 Mens Shoes White / Black / Orange Discount,."

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max LTD Shoes White/Black/Grey/Lime 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.New Release Nike Air Max 2013 Punching Mens Shoes White Red,Jordan 6 Retro TD Football Cleat White Black For MenNike Air Foamposite Sneakers For Men in 60765,. 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 Jordan 3 III Cement Mens Shoes Dark Grey Blue,Traditional Casual Shoes Spring Summer For MenNike Air Jordan Aero Mania Mens Shoes Black,, like all other countries, does have racist problems, but hate crime and hate speech are relatively Nike Air Jordan XI 6 New Releases Basketball Mens Shoes Black Cement Grey,Olympia HXM0520G7508A1B401 Casual Shoes For MenNike Air Max 2013 New Releases Shoes for Kids Cyan,," 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 Mens Nike Air Max TN Shoes Blue/White/Black

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 Air Max 90 Flag Usa Nba Dallas Mavericks Mens Shoes Free Shipping,Sneakers H168 HXM1680D2107ULC405 Casual Shoes For MenNike Air Max 90 New Mens Shoes Black Gold,, and 60% are 65 or older. Most of their children have left for the city in search of better-paying office work.

Nike Air Max Humara Mens Shoes Black Blue,Adidas Basketball D Rose Lakeshore Boost Shoes Granite For MenNike Air Max Lebron VII-8,, 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 Mens Nike Dunk High Shoes Black/White/Light Blue/Grey 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, Nike Air Max TN Cushioning Mens Shoes black red,LeBron 12 Basketball Shoes Hyper Turquoise Metallic Cool Grey Hyper Crimson Black For MenNike Air Max TN I Mens Shoes gold silver white,, where the temperature can reach 40 C in summer.

Nike Air Max TN I Mens Shoes Youth white black darkblue,Adidas Basketball D Lillard 1 NYC All Star Shoes Running White Ftw For MenNike Air Penny V For Men in 70568,. He speaks basic Japanese, which he picked up watching anime series such as "One Piece" and "Detective Conan."

Nike Cortez Men Nylon Shoes Purple Blue,Nike Lunar Hyperquickness Team Basketball Shoes Midnight Navy Photo Blue Metallic Silver For MenNike Dunk SB 2012 New Mid Cut Mens Shoes Pro Brickhouse red 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.

Nike Free Powerlines II Mens Shoes Green White,Adidas Baseball Poweralley 2 0 Cleats Running White Ftw Carbon Metallic Black For MenNike HyperVenom Phantom AG soccer cleats orange-black,.

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Dunk High Shoes Grey/White/Green 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."

Nike Kobe BLACK MAMBA 24 Basketball Shoes For Men in 89281,Nike Lunar Vapor Trout Baseball Cleat Rush Blue Volt White For MenNIKE LUNAR FORCE 1 FUSE CTY Wine,.

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 Lunar Hypergamer Sneakers For Men in 72758,Nike Air Max MVP Elite 2 3 4 Metal Baseball Cleat Black Dark Grey University Red White For MenNike Penny Hardaway Mens Shoes Black Red,.

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 Zoom Hyperflight PRM Superhero Red Black For Men in 95719,Adidas Adidas Neo Bbneo ST Daily Shoes Collegiate Burgundy For MenNike Zoom Kobe V (5) Bruce Lee in 69062,.

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Dunk Low Shoes Grey/Light Blue/White Internet company Rakuten, based in Tokyo, has been actively recruiting foreign talent. (Photo by Yasunori Okamura)

On Sale Nike Air Max 87 Men Shoes Hot Sale Green White Pink,Adidas Adidas Neo Daily LX Shoes Grey For MenPopular Hot Sell Discount Air Max 90 VT Mens Shoes Black Yellow,. 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,To Buy Air Jordan 1 I Mens Shoes Online Sale Black Blue,2014 New Air Jordan XI 11 Mens Shoes Black White OnlineTo BUy Sale Hot Sell Nike Dunk Low Cut Mens Shoes 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, Zoom James Soldier V in 18436,2014 Nike Air Jordan XIII 13 Retro Mens Shoes New BlackNew Balance MD1500 Sand Sneakers for MAN,.

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Free 3.0 V3 Running Shoes Dark Red/Black/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. Nike Air Trainer 1 Mid White/Dark Obsidian/Pure Platinum/Dark Obsidian Sneakers for MAN,2014 New Release Air Jordan XI 11 Mens Shoes BlackVans Authentic Red Trainers for MAN,.

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. Nike SB Lunar Stefan Janoski Bamboo/Squadron Blue/White Sneakers for MAN,2015 Air Jordan 4 IV Retro Mens Shoes Limited Edition White Grey BlueNike SB Zoom Stefan Janoski Canvas Gorge Green/Black/White Trainers for MAN,, 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," Converse All Star Special White Monochrome Sneakers for MAN,2015 Air Max 90 Mens Shoes New Black On SaleNike Free Flyknit NSW Hyper Jade /White/Orange/Black Running Shoes for MAN,.

Family ties

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

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Free TR Fit Running Shoes Dark Purple/Black/White 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, Nike Roshe One Gym Red/White/Black Sneakers for MAN,2015 Discount Nike Zoom Fit Agility Sneakers On Sale Mens Shoes Black BlueAdidas Campus 80s Japan Pack Vintage Core Black/Off White/Core White Trainers for MAN,, Care Port Itabashi.  

Vans Authentic Multi Trainers for UNISEX,2015 For Sale Air Penny Hardaway 5 V Mens Shoes Discount Black Yellow WhiteNike Air Max Thea Knit Jacquard Faded Olive/Black/Sail Running Shoes for WOMAN,, 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. 

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Shox R2 Shoes White/Brown/Black

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. Nike Internationalist JCRD Mulberry/Black/Sport Fuchsia/White Sneakers for WOMAN,2015 Latest Nike Air Max Lunar90 Flyknit Chukka Sp"NYC"Blue Glow White Outsole Shoes Lunarlon Cushioning Mens Sneaker Limited2018 Mens Under Armour UA Curry 4 discounts Low Oreo Golfs Black/Gray/White Basketball 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, Classic 2018 Mens Under Armour UA Curry 4 High Customize Blue White Offer Basketball Shoes,2015 Latest Nike Roshe Run Knit Mens Shoes Discount Online Cheap Couples Sneaker BlueDiscount Authentic 309259-171 Mens Nike Air Jordan 13 Shoes Anniversary White/Wheat,. 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 Authentic 392789-401 Mens Nike Air Jordan 6 Retro 2009 Doernbecher Midnight Navy/White-Varsity Red-Metallic Gold,2015 Latest Nike Zenji/Juvenate Summer Slip-On Sneaker For Mens Running Shoes Black Blue White Cheap SaleDiscount Authentic Kids Nike Air Jordan 13 Shoes Black/Blue/White,."

Discount Authentic Kids Nike Air Max 90 White/Red/Pink,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air force 1 Low Shoes White/Cream,2015 Nike Free Run 4.0 V2 Men Shoes GreyDiscount Authentic Mens Nike Air Jordan 12 Shoes Dark Grey/White/Red,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Jordan 3+4 Shoes White/Grey/Dark Blue,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

3 months for $9

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Jordan 6 Shoes White/Black,2015 Nike Free Run+ 2 Men Shoes Purple OrangeDiscount Authentic Mens Nike Air Jordan Phase 23 Hoops Shoes Green/White/Black,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 2009 Shoes Black/Dark Grey/Silver,2015 Nike Lunar Flyknit Chukka Mens Running Shoes Green Rainbow Double Complexion On Sale For Cheap TrainersDiscount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 2011 Shoes Grey/Cream,

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 24-7 Shoes White/Grey/Red,2015 Nike Zoom Hypercross Trainer Blue Obsidian Hyoer Grape White Sneakers Mens ShoesDiscount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 90 Black/Blue/Red,
Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 90 White/Cream/Dark Blue,2015 Nike ZVEZDOCHKA Mens Sandals Shoes On Sale BlueDiscount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 95 Shoes Dark Green/White,
  • Discount 220935 Nike Shox O Nine Men Black White Shoes
  • Nike Air Jordan 4 IV White-Navy Blue/Tour Yellow Sneakers 3126144
  • Clarks Kids Sandals Flip Flops Gold 434313
  • Air Jordan 5 Men Retro Shoes Black/ /Nike Jordan [ N1560]
  • Men's - adidas Cross-Up Hoodie - Clothing - Basketball - Black 2SV10272
  • Mizuno Mens Cushioned Running Shoes Orange
  • Authorization INCOTEX 18Cm Skinny 82 Doeskin Cotton - Navy men's Pants - 83IN657
  • adidas Originals Superstar Bold W Black
  • Mens Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro 89 White Cement Grey Shoe For Cheap
  • Mens ASICS Training Shoes - Met-Conviction - Black/Red Item M0313
  • adidas Barricade Team 4 - Women's - Tennis - Shoes - White/Night Sky/Flash Orange
  • Nike Air Max 270 Classic Feel Big Personalisation Air Black AH8050 009-Photo Blue 010-Hot Punch
  • Nike Performance Women's Shoes FLYKNIT LUNAR2 - Lightweight running shoes - hyper punch/black/volt
  • Precious Black V By Pointelle&Nbsp Stitch Midi Cardigan&Nbsp Women
  • Oxfords & Lace-Ups Men Dolce & Gabbana Leather Woven Oxford Brown 2017 New
  • Men's - Nike SB CS Black / White Shoes
  • BC Footwear Red Hearts Unicornh TTR376755
  • Nike Air Jordan 2.5 Black White Grey
  • Jordan I Love NY 642459-100 White/Team Orange
  • Lightest Nike Air Max Bargain Flyknit Uomo Grigie Blu Nere Porpora Scarpe Australia
  • 2016 Discount Nike Air Jordan 12 XII Kids Basketball Shoes Black Red Child Sneakers