Nike Jordan Air Deluxe 2 Shoes Mens White Black Red N91236 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 Airmax Hyperposite For Men in 66774,Nike Free Trainer 5 0 Training Shoes Flash Lime White Total Orange Black For Men,Nike Dunk SB 2012 New Mid Cut Mens Shoes purple yellow 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, Nike Free Powerlines II Mens Shoes Brown Green,Timberland Earthkeepers Rugged 6 Inch Moc Toe Boots Burnished Light Brown For Men,Nike Hyperdunk-10,.

"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 X Elite(Elevate)Mens Shoes Wolf Grey/White/Light Retro Basketball Sneakers 718763-041 Cheap Sale,Timberland Thorton Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots Dark Brown For Men,Nike Magista Onda Indoor Hyper Punch football shoes yellow pink 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. Nike Zoom Hyper Force PE Sneakers For Men in 70448,Timberland Earthkeepers Stormbuck Chukka Duck Boots Red Brown For Men,Nike Zoom KD V ELITE Series Basketball Shoes Image Grey,. Like other industries in a rapidly aging Japan, the construction business is desperate for labor. Online Nike Air Jordan Aero Flight Men Shoes Cheap Sale White Black Red,Nike Tiempo 94 Mid DLX QS Shoes Metallic Silver Metallic Gold Flat Gold Metallic Silver For Men,Sale Nike Flyknit Trainer Suede Leather Black Grey Mens Sneakers,. As baby boomers retire, the labor shortage -- in construction and in the wider economy -- is bound to become more acute.

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air Max 95   2009 Shoes Grey/Pink 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 Black White Red Basketball Shoes Sale,Nike Lunar Force 1 High 2014 Shoes Black Clear Black For Men,PUMA XT 1 Yin Yang White Running 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.

New Balance M577 Navy Sneakers for MAN,Nike Air Max 95 Shoes Dark Grey Black Wolf Grey For Men,Nike Air Pegasus 83 Leather Lunar Grey/Dark Stone/Moon Grey Running Shoes for MAN,, Japan is in the midst of a quiet revolution when it comes to immigrant workers. Vans Era LX Classic White Sneakers for MAN,Nike Air Force 1 Shoes Anthracite Black Wolf Grey For Men,PUMA Basket Classic White Sneakers 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, ASICS GEL-Lyte III EVO Black/Black Trainers for MAN,Adidas Soccer Samba Millennium Leather IN Shoes Running White Ftw For Men,Reebok Instapump Fury Flat Grey/Faux Indigo/Royal Orchide Trainers for MAN,.

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Dunk High Heels Low Shoes White/Black

Immigration remains a politically charged issue in Japan, Nike Air Max 2 CB ,Nike SB Zoom Stefan Janoski Canvas Premium Shoes Team Red White Black For Men,Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit Sequoia/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. "Nike Air Max Thea Jacquard Premium Bright Citron/Black/Noble Purple/Bright Citron Running Shoes for,Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 2 Running Shoes Deep Burgundy Purple Steel Fierce Green For Men,Adidas Originals NMD CS2 City Sock Sashiko Black White BY3012 PrimeKnit Factory Boost,."

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Free 3.0 V4 Running Shoes Black/Red/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.Discount Authentic 136001-142 Mens Nike Air Jordan 12 Retro Melo White/University Blue-Metallic Silver,Nike Free 4 0 Flyknit Running Shoes Court Purple Photo Blue Chlorine Blue Black For Men,Discount Authentic 318539-991 Mens Nike Air Jordan 10 13 Retro Countdown Package,. 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 16.5 Shoes Black/White/Blue,Adidas Outdoor Climacool Jawpaw Slip On Shoes Black White Silver Met For Men,Discount Authentic Kids Nike Dunk Low Shoes Dark Purple/White/Black,, like all other countries, does have racist problems, but hate crime and hate speech are relatively Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Jordan 1 Shoes White/Cream/Black,Adidas Originals Skate Copa Shoes Core Black Running White Running White For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Jordan 16.5 Shoes White/Black/Sky Blue,," 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 Shox Torch Shoes White/Gold/Brilliant Gold

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 6 Night Light Shoes Black/White,Interactive HXM00N0I9815ZF4633 Interactive Shoes For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Jordan SC 1 Shoes White/Blue,, 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 2009 Shoes White/Grey,Dress X H209 HXM2090H620D549998 Formal Shoes For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 2013 Shoes Black/Dark Purple,, 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.

Discounts Nike Rally Metallic Full Zip Hoodie Carbon Heather Grey For Women Sale 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 2009 Shoes White/Black/Blue/Orange,Adidas Basketball Isolation 2 0 Low Shoes Core Black Metallic Silver Running White For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 90 White/Grey/Black/Blue,, where the temperature can reach 40 C in summer.

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 95 Shoes White/Silver/Red,KD7 AS Basketball Shoes Pure Platinum Black Multi Color For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max Jordan 13 Shoes White/Dark Grey/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 LTD Shoes Black/Green,2014 Air Jordan 28 Black Yellow Shoes Features Whole Foot Zoom Sneaker For Men Online,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max TN Shoes Black/Silver,," 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 Black/White/Red,2014 Nike Air Shox Turbo + 13 XIII Mens Shoes White Dark Blue,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Dunk High Shoes White/Blue/Black/Orange,.

The Hottest Styles Under Armour Armour Mid Big Logo Bra Quirky Lime/Arden Green For Women Sale Online 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 Dunk Low Shoes White/Purple/Green,2015 Air Max 90 Mens Shoes New White Grey,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Free Run+ 3 Running Shoes Navy/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 NZ Shoes White/Light Green/Gold/Black,2015 Latest Nike Air Max Zero QS 87 Retro Mens Running Shoes Dark Blue Jade Silver,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Shox R4 Shoes White/Silver/Gym 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

NEW DS 2017 Kids Nike Air Jordan XII Exclusive 12 Retro GAMMA Blue Black 130690 027 OG ALL,2015 New Nike Air Jordan 4 IV Mens Shoes Black Green Orange,Off-White x cheap Nike Air Max 97 OG The Ten Virgil Abloh AJ4585 sale 100,.

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

ADIDAS ORIGINALS ADC FASHION TRACKTOP - BLACK ADIDAS ORIGINALS TRACK TOPS MENS,2015 Newest Nike Air Max Lunar90 Flyknit Chukka Black Grey White Weave White Outsole Shoes Lunarlon Cushioning Mens Sneaker Limited,Latest Adidas Originals Teorado Track Top Collegiate Navy/White For Men Sale,. 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,New Trendy Nike Nfl Gridiron Sideline Hoodie Brown For Men Selling Well,2015 Nike Air Max 87 Lunar1 Mens Running Shoes Outlet Black Gray Blue Sneakers On Sale,The Hottest Styles Nike Advance 15 Knit Jogger Binary Blue/White For Men Online Sale,, 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 Gazelle GOLD,2015 Nike Free Run 4.0 V2 Men Shoes Grey Blue,adidas Originals Tubular Runner W White,.

Asics 5 Purple Mens Shoes 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 Force 1 High ,2015 Nike Free Trainer 3.0 v3 Mens Shoes Online Outlet Black Blue,Nike Wmns Air Max 90 Essential Pink,.

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 Wmns Rosher One Flyknit Green,2015 On Sale Air Jordan VII 7 Retro Mens Shoes Grey Black,Vans Authentic 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," adidas Adissage Graphic,2016 Nike Air Jordan 13 Doernbecher Mens Sneakers Black Gray Basketball Shoes Online Cheap Sale,New BalanceW1980GY,.

Family ties

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

Nike Air Huarache Men Grigio 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 Revolution 2,2016 Nike Lunar Force 1 Low Mens Shoes White 654256-100 Online Cheap Sale,Carbrini Inverness Ct Fc 2015 Sweat Top Red - Mens Top,, Care Port Itabashi.  

Asics Gel-Kayano 22 Grey Orange Womens Shoes,Air Jordan 6 VI Retro Mens Glowing Shoes Black To Buy Online Cheap,Asics 4 Orange Blue Womens Shoes,, 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. 

Nike Shoes Deliver Men Nere

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 Air Max 87 Bianche Women,Air Max 2012 Breathable Mens Shoes Black Red,College Small Leather Flat Women's Shoes - Dark Forest Green - 39,.  

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 Air Huarache Print Shoes Womens Obsidian White Black N72974,Air Max 90 Mens Shoes Cheap Wholesale Black White Blue,Nike Liberty Lunarracer Sfb Boots Womens Obsidian Khaki Light Beige Green N71972,. 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," Adidas Running Pureboost Shoes Solar Pink Black Neon Orange For Women,AIR MAX LEBRON VIII-1,Timberland Glastenbury Leather Chelsea Shoes Warm Grey For Women,."

Nike Dunk Low Skinny Premium Shoes Sail Sail Gum Medium Brown Metallic Luster For Women,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

Nike LunarGlide 6 Running Shoes Black Blue Lagoon Clearwater White For Women,Men's Air Griffey Max 2.5 Shoes in 25573,Nike Hyperdunk 2014 Basketball Shoes Game Royal Blue Hero White Metallic Silver For Women,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

2015 Newest Nike Free Flyknit 5.0 Rainbow Womens Running Trainers Shoes Deals Couples Shoes Pink Royal,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

3 months for $9

2015 Nike Zoom Pegasus 31 Womens Running Shoes Fluorescent Green Black Cushion Sneakers Online,Mens nike air max tn kpu nano black,For Sale Air Jordan 13 XIII Retro Women Shoes Cheap Online White Pink,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

Nike Air Max 90 EM Womens Shoes 2014 Online White Blue,New Release Nike Air Max 2013 Punching Mens Shoes Red,Nike Air Max TN Womens Shoes Cheap black,

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

Nike Releases Air Max 2013 Womens Shoes Online Green,Nike Air Griffey Max 360 For Men in 64085,Discount Authentic 307383-071 Womens Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro (GS) Old Love New Love Beginning Moments Black/Varsity Maize-White,
Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air Jordan 5 Shoes Dark Grey,Nike Air Jordan CP3.7 Shoes Black Red Blue For Men Online,Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air Max 2012 Shoes Black/Grey,
  • Cheap 233827 Nike Shox R4 Men White Black Shoes
  • Nike Air Jordan 6 Black Grey Red Glow-in-the-Dark Sole Sneakers 3126320
  • Clarks Kids High-Top Trainers Purple 175585
  • Air Jordan 13 Men Shoes Black/Green /Nike Jordan [ N4648]
  • Men's - Basketball - Converse All Star Ox - Shoes - Vivid Pink Vivid Pink 4TI563
  • Nike Grade School Running Blue/Pink
  • Best DSQUARED2 Wool Rib Knit Turtleneck Sweater - Black Men's Knitwear - 70CW194
  • Converse Chuck Taylor All Star II Ox Blue
  • Mens Nike Air Jordan 5 V Retro White Red Shoe At Discount
  • Mens Merrell Hiking Shoes - All Out Blaze Sieve Convertible - Grey Item M0485
  • Aerosoles Women'S Monument Bootie - "Black"
  • Nike KD 8 Suit Strike Vivid Create Crimson 749375 Best 535 Bright Green Purple
  • Hot Nike Tri Fusion Running Shoes Womens Black/Wht/Fuchs 970364IU
  • Purple Green Lady Shoes / Nike Free Run 4.0 V2 Online Shop
  • Oxfords & Lace-Ups Men Bullboxer Providos Wingtip Oxford Cognac/NavyBlue Get New
  • Men's - Nike Pepper Low Team Red / Team Red-Deep Brgndy Shoes
  • Badminton Men Mizuno Wave Mirage Court Shoes - AW15 Yellow Quite Brilliant
  • NIKE AIR JORDAN DUB ZERO 311046-141
  • LeBron DNA Elite 641163-088 Dove Grey/Dove Grey/Black/White
  • Nike Air Jordan VIII 8 Retro OVO Drake All Star AA1239-045 AA1239-135 Store