Nike Free TR Fit 3 Afdrukken - Women Shoes 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

2017 Nike Uk Trainers Men's Nike Air Monarch Iv White/Metallic Silver Shoes Canada VKH0403704,Unprecedented Guess Shoes Women MKI Patricia 3 Beige Coloronline guessguess purses handbagsTop Brand Wholesale Online,2017 Nike Watch Men's Nike Roshe Nm Flyknit Se Crimson Shoes Canada ORG5403445,. 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, 2017 Online Shopping Nike Shoes Men's Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32 Cool Grey/Blue Lagoon/Black Shoes Canada EYI6101591,Women Shoes ED-WSH011ed hardy saleed hardy prints for saleNewest,2017 Shop Nike Online Men's Nike Lunarglide 6 Flash Action Red/Reflect Silver/Black Shoes Canada COP4601929,.

"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, 2017 Unique Nikes Men's Nike Hypervenom Phelon Ii Tf Black/Black Total Orange Shoes Canada RXJ4302340,Puma Ignite Ultimate Multi Women's Running Shoes White-Fluo Peach W9k5126,2017 Www Nike Shoes Men's Nike Roshe Nm Flyknit Se Wolf Grey/White/Black Shoes Canada SEG3203449,, 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. adidas Originals Men's Shoes PRO CONFERENCE HI - High-top trainers - black,Puma Nrgy Women's Running Shoes Black-Fluo Pink T51e8875,adidas Performance Men's Shoes BARRACKS F10 CF - Sports shoes - running white/black,. Like other industries in a rapidly aging Japan, the construction business is desperate for labor. ASICS Men's Shoes GEL-FUJITRABUCO 3 NEUTRAL - Trail running shoes - atomic blue/flash yellow/onyx,Puma Suede Classic Women's Sneakers Desert Flower-White N69r8508,Calvin Klein Bags SOFIE - Handbag - taupe,. As baby boomers retire, the labor shortage -- in construction and in the wider economy -- is bound to become more acute.

Hot Sale - Oakland Raiders Darren Mcfadden #20 Authentic Jersey Whitenfl cheap jerseysauthentic nfl patriots jerseysOnline 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, Converse Men's Shoes CHUCK TAYLOR ALL STAR HI CORE CANVAS - High-top trainers - charcoal,Puma Match Basic Sports Lo Women's Sneakers White-Peacoat O26u1290,Diesel Men's Shoes D-STRING - High-top trainers - denim,, 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.

ecco Men's Shoes URBAN LIFESTYLE - Casual lace-ups - espresso/ coffee,Puma Pulse Flex Xt Matte Women's Training Shoes Italian Plum-Lipstick Red M80e9223,Lacoste Men's Shoes AMPTHILL TERRA - Casual lace-ups - black/grey,, Japan is in the midst of a quiet revolution when it comes to immigrant workers. Lacoste Men's Shoes TALOIRE - Trainers - beige,Puma Pulse Xt V2 Gold Women's Training Shoes Black-Gold K83g7798,Nike Performance Men's Shoes AIR MAX EFFORT TR - Sports shoes - black/volt/dark grey,.

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 Performance Men's Shoes TIEMPO GENIO FG - Football boots - white/volt/black,2018 Class quality - Puma Flare Women Running Shoes Fluo Peach-Rose Red-White,2017 Newest Air Jordan 10 White Black Light Steel Grey Varsity Red,.

Limited Time Sale - Chicago Bears Mike Singletary #50 Authentic Throwback Jersey Whiauthentic nfl jerseys for cheapcheap nfl nike jerseys store free shippinghigh quality guarantee

Immigration remains a politically charged issue in Japan, Air Lebron 2 Silde Elite Black White-Strata Grey 554713-010,2018 Classic combination - Puma IGNITE PWRCOOL Women Running Shoes Turbulence-Silver Metallic,Authentic adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged Triple White BY2549,. "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. "Authentic Cheap Jordan 1 Mid Baroque Brown Metallic Gold 705075-205,2018 Fashion style - Vans Iso 1.5 Womens Shoes Mono Pewter,Authentic Lebron James 11 Graffiti Red Black White,."

Men Trainers Napapijri RABARI - Trainers - turtle dark greennapapijri outlet onlineto prezzohuge inventory 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.Authentic Real Kobe 9 EM Home Away Editions Black Yellow White,2018 Free delivery - Vans Guate Stripe Authentic Womens Shoes Black/True White,Best Sale Cheap Kobe 10 Easter Hot Lava Black-Sunset Glow,. 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.

"Buy Cheap Nike Hyperdunk 2015 Blue Black Grey,2018 Low prices - Vans Authentic Womens Shoes Overwash Paisley Turquoise,Cheap Discount Air Jordan 13 bred Black Varsity Red-White 414571-010,, like all other countries, does have racist problems, but hate crime and hate speech are relatively Cheap Discount Air Jordan 8 Quentin Richardson Q23 PE,2018 Official authorized - Vans Inca SK8-Hi Reissue Womens Shoes Moon Rock/Dachshund,Cheap Foamposite Pro "Oregon Ducks" Custom,," 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 York - Cincinnati Bengals Jordan Shipley #11 Authentic Jersey Orangecheap authentic jerseys nflcheap nfl nike jerseys store free shippinghigh quality guarantee

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

Cheap Lebron 9 Soldier Black Metallic Silver 749417 001,2018 Original Product - Vans Authentic Lo Pro Womens Shoes Skyway/Blanc De Blanc,Cheap Lebron James 14 Time To Shine,, and 60% are 65 or older. Most of their children have left for the city in search of better-paying office work.

Cheap Lebron James Soldier 10 John Elliott,2018 Quality assurance - Vans Authentic Womens Shoes Beach Glass,Cheap Original Nike Kyrie 2 Black Game Royal Reflect Silver,, 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.

Popular - 50th Anniversary San Diego Chargers Ryan Mathews #24 Authentic Jnfl wholesale jerseysnike nfl jerseys all teamswhere can i buy 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, Cheap Priced Air Jordan 4 Glow in the Dark Grey Blue Purple Pink,Nike Dunk High Top Womens Minnie Mouse Shoes,Cheap Priced Nike Kobe 11 Master Glow in the dark,, where the temperature can reach 40 C in summer.

Cheap Sale Jordan CP3.7 Black White Red Blue,Nike Popeye the Sailor Man Women SB Dunk High Heel Orange White,Cheapest Nike Air Max 2016 Racer Blue Black Black,. He speaks basic Japanese, which he picked up watching anime series such as "One Piece" and "Detective Conan."

Discount adidas Crazyquick Blue Silver-Orange G66421,Nike Kobe 12 A.D. Popular Cheetah,Discount Cheap Nike KD 6 White Black 599424-104,," 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 Nike Zoom Run The One Seaweed Mineral Slate Hyper Turquoise,Nike Tanjun Running Shoes Black/Black 812654 001,Genuine Air Jordan 7 HARE White Light Silver Tourmaline True Red,.

Rush To Purchase - Indianapolis Colts Donald Brown #31 Superbowl Authentic Jersey Wauthentic nfl jerseys for cheapnfl jerseys for sale new yorkUSA factory outlet 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."

Genuine Cheap Nike KD 5 Elite White Tour Yellow-Photo Blue 585386-100,Personalisation KD 7 VII ID Day Sky Websites Turquoise Glow Blue Gold Green White,Legit Original Air Jordan 4 Camouflage Navy White Custom,.

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.

Newest Cheap Nike Lunar Force 1 Duckboot Black Team Red 805899-002,Suppliers KD VI Bamboo Order Rich Awesome Green,Official Nike Hyperdunk 2012 Low White Black Green Sport Turquoise 535359 400,.

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

On Sale Authentic Curry One Low Black Gold Red,Top Quality NIKE SB DUNK LOW PRO IW GREEN GLOW/BLACK SUMMIT/WHITE (819674 301),On Sale Authentic Nike Kyrie 3 Orange Silver Green,.

The North Face Men Trainers HEDGEHOG RETRO - Trainers - brown/heron bluethe north face salethe north face nuptsewhere can i buy Internet company Rakuten, based in Tokyo, has been actively recruiting foreign talent. (Photo by Yasunori Okamura)

On Sale Cheap Air Jordan 6 University Blue White,Under Armour Curry One 1 sneakers Mid en State Most Expensive Warriors Blue Gold White,On Sale Nike Air Max 2014 White Pink Blue Black,. 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,Online Authentic Air Jordan 12 Black Rattan White Metallic Gold,Under Armour Micro G Anatomix Spawn Colourful 2 Two Low Vis Black Store Yellow Red,Original adidas NMD R1 Triple Black S31508,, 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, Original Lebron James 12 GALAXY DUNK FORCE CUSTOMS,2016 Sale Nike Air Max 1 Running Shoes Men's Photo Blue White,Original Nike Air Revolution Sky Hi Black Volt Magnet Grey,.

Worthy - Pittsburgh Steelers Mike Wallace #17 Youth Authentic Jersey Blacyouth nfl jerseysnike nfl jerseys patriotshuge inventory 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. Real Cheap Nike Air LeBron Akronite Mini Hoop,2016 Sale Nike Air Max 90 Hyperfuse Premium Shoes Grey Pink Silver White Mens,Real Cheap Nike Kobe Bryant Olympic Shoes Green White Black,.

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. Shop Cheap adidas D Lillard 3 All Black White,2016 Sale Nike Air Max Excellerate +2 Men Sneakers Grey Black,Shop Nike Lebron Zoom Soldier 8 Breast Cancer Think Pink,, 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," Shopping Cheap Kobe 8 System All Star,2016 Sale Nike Air Max Tailwind 6 Woman Trainers Total Orange White,Where to Buy Cheap Curry 2 Grey Mint Gold,.

Family ties

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

Adidas Ace 16.3 Tf Astro Turf Trainers Shock Blue/Semi Solar Slime/White Z21r3752 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, Where to Order Cheap Jordan Melo M10 "Christmas" Reflect Silver Total Orange-Jade Glaze-Volt 640318-025,2016 Sale Nike Free Run 2 For Anthracite Grey White Black Yellow Sports Shoes Men's,Wholesale Cheap Nike KD 9 Cool Grey,, Care Port Itabashi.  

Australia Nike Zoom Winflo 3 Sn63 Shoes Mens Red/Crims/Black 807766NT,2017 All Black Shoes Nike Men's Nike Kb Mentality Black/Challenge Red/Team Red/Metallic Aged Coin Shoes Canada QMP200935,NZ Nike Revolution 2 Trainers Shoes Mens Black/Red 629074UM,, 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. 

Adidas Revenge Boost 2 Stabilty Running Shoes Solar Red/White/Core Black L33j7373

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. Outlet Nike Dart 11 Running Shoes Mens DkGrey/Orange 111343GB,2017 Best Place To Buy Nikes Men's Nike Air Max 1 Essential Wolf Grey/Dark Grey/Black/Wolf Grey Shoes Canada AWN2502987,Sale Nike Reax 9 Training Shoes Mens DkGrey/Blue 377459DO,.  

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, Specials Nike Magista Onda AG Football Boots Mens Orange/Volt 389846OL,2017 Blue Nike Men's Nike Zoom Field General (Miami) Total Orange/White/Poison Green Shoes Canada CAN3603887,SUPRA / YOREK LOW OLIVE / WHITE 08039-323-M,. 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," VANS / WMNS OLD SKOOL (DITSY BLOOM) TRUE WHITE VA38G1OMA,2017 Cheap Black Nike Shoes Men's Jordan Super.Fly 3 Black/Dark Grey/Wolf Grey/Gym Red Shoes Canada TNU710492,SUPRA / LOGO S/S GREY / RED 104001-026,."

DC / STAR ZH SYRAH / WHITE EDYSF03000-RZD0,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

DC / KIDS RECOVER PH HEATHER GREY EDBSF03062-KNFH,2017 Nike Free 5.0 Men's Nike Hypervenom Phelon Ii Leather Fg Black/Total Orange/Black Shoes Canada UZI9402336,HAND SPINNER / PRINT GRAFFITI,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

DC / HEARD YA 2 BLACK ADYHA03494-KVJ0,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

3 months for $9

DAKINE / ATLAS 25L WILLAMETTE 10000762,2017 Nike International Trainers Men's Air Jordan 6 Retro White/Blue Shoes Canada ZCD230147,JORDAN / JUMPMAN CREW SOX 3*PACK BLACK / WHITE / GYM RED SX5545-011,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

Nike Shox Deliver - Men Shoes,2017 Nike New Men's Nike Elastico Superfly Tf Volt/Black/Flash Lime/White Shoes Canada TCS6102258,Best Seller - 2009 San Diego Chargers Larry English #52 Authentic Jersey Powdewholesale jerseys nflnfl jerseys for saleOnline Shop,

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

Comfortable - Auburn Tigers Cameron Newton #2 Authentic Jersey Navy Bluebuy nfl jerseysnfl jerseys for salevast selection,2017 Nike Online Shoes Men's Nike Air Max 90 Winter Premium Gym Red/Black Shoes Canada ECK1703088,E-commerce - MLB Pittsburgh Pirates 1979 Authentic Dave Parker #39 Throwbacknfl jerseys personalizednfl jerseys for sale in storegreat deals,
Fashion - MLB New York Mets Authentic Oliver Perez #46 Jersey Whitenfl shop jerseysnfl jerseys cheap near meretail prices,2017 Nike Runners Canada Men's Nike Magista Obra Fg Hyper Grape/Fierce Purple/Green Glow/Metallic Silver Shoes Canada SAN9202405,Girls ED-GL034discount ed hardyed hardy paintings for saleOnline Retailer,
  • Authentic 152572 Adidas Skate Core Men Black Shoes
  • Adidas Porsche Unisex Black Silver Shoes Model:A578
  • Louis Cuppers / Stylish Wedges / Black
  • Men's Nike Elite (NFL Vikings) - Polo CK454819m
  • Black Shoes - Men's - Under Armour Drive 4 - Basketball - Team Orange White 3XA3264
  • Cost charm Nike Air Flightposite III White UC52391 for Men
  • Nike Air Max BW Men's Black/Grey-Royal Running Shoes On Hot Sale D45r6383 store wholesale
  • Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 90 Grey/Dark Grey/Blue
  • Men Sale Cheap Latest Style Ralph Lauren Darkblue Big Pony Fleece Hooded
  • Cheap Air Jordan XX3 White / Black / Red 318376-101 Shoes
  • Womens Merrell Trail Running Shoes - All Out Crush - Black Item W0617
  • 7 Star Sale Mens Nike Air Max 90 VT Shoes Triple Black
  • 2018 Free delivery - Adidas Spezial Blue Light Blue Shoes
  • Soft Women Green V By Zip Front Boxy Dazzling
  • Nike Air Max + 2013 Women Athletic Shoes Deep Royal Blue / Cool Grey / White / Reflective Silver
  • Mens Nike Shoes Online Air Foamposite One Silver Blue Orange
  • Cheap Lebron James 10 white black red Basketball Shoes
  • Air jordan 13 fusion-major white/black/red/rosybrown A4589-56
  • Men Marvin co Luxe Wade Lace-up Shoes - Leather - Box Negro + Rojo - 5923246rr
  • Air Jordan 6 Sneakers Jordans 6 Shoes Cheap Hot Deals On Jordans 6 Shoes Air Jordan 6 Retro Black In