Nike Lebron Xiii Lifestyle Shoes Mens Red Brown Metallic Gold N79606 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 Magista Opus AG Hyper Punch Soccer boots green black,Timberland Tilton Low Leather Waterproof Hiking Shoes Brown For Men,Nike Tiempo Legend Elite five AG football boots black 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 Zoom KD V Klein Durant Basketball Shoes for Men in 82399,Timberland Earthkeepers Stormbuck Lite Oxford Shoes Rust Suede For Men,Online Hypervenom Phantom Fg Firm Ground Soccer Shoes Electro Purple Volt Green,.

"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, Sale Mercurial Victory X Tf Powder Blue Electrical Green,Nike Dual Fusion Ballistec Advantage Tennis Shoes White Medium Ash Black Gym Red For Men,To Buy Popular Nike Dunk High Mens Shoes Red 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 Air Odyssey Leather Black/Night Silver/Anthracite/Sail Sneakers for MAN,Nike Benassi Solarsoft Slide Midnight Navy White Game Royal For Men,Adidas Performance Adilette Adiblu/White/Adiblu Flip Flop for MAN,. Like other industries in a rapidly aging Japan, the construction business is desperate for labor. New Balance M998 Black/Violet Trainers for MAN,Nike Air Max 95 Deluxe Shoes Black Catalina Team Orange For Men,New Balance U420 Grey Trainers for MAN,. As baby boomers retire, the labor shortage -- in construction and in the wider economy -- is bound to become more acute.

Asics 9 Grey Blue Mens Shoes 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, Reebok Instapump Fury Road Black/Vintage Cobalt/Silver Sneakers for MAN,Adidas Soccer PRedator Absolado Instinct FG Cleats Solar Red Running White Night Flash For Men,Vans Authentic Decon Silver Sneakers 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.

Reebok Classic Leather 6000 White/Steel/Flat Grey Sneakers for MAN,Nike Magista Onda Indoor Competition Soccer Shoes Black Blue Lagoon Volt White For Men,Converse All Star Hi Red/White Sneakers for UNISEX,, Japan is in the midst of a quiet revolution when it comes to immigrant workers. Adidas Performance Tech Super Core Black/White/Bold Pink Sneakers for WOMAN,Nike SB Blazer Low GT Skateboarding Shoes Dark Grey White Gum Light Brown University Gold For Men,Nike Air Pegasus ,.

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, Air Jordan 1 Retro Coming Out High OG "Shadow" Amazing Black/Medium Grey-White 555088-013 Where to buy,Nike LunarGlide 6 Flash Running Shoes Action Red Reflect Silver Black For Men,Discount Authentic 310805-101 Mens Nike Air Jordan 10 Retro Steels - White/Black-Light Steel Grey-Varsity Red,.

Nike Air Force Cheap Men Bianche Grigio

Immigration remains a politically charged issue in Japan, Discount Authentic 429486-002 Mens Nike Air Max Jordan Fly Wade 1 Shoes Black/Varsity Red-Dark Grey,Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 31 Flash Running Shoes Black Reflect Silver For Men,Discount Authentic Kids Nike Air Max 2009 Shoes Black/Red,. "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. "Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air force 1 Low Shoes Dark Brown/White/Cream,Adidas Originals SL Loop Runner TR Shoes Collegiate Navy Warning Black For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Jordan 12 Size 15 Shoes Red/White,."

Nike Cortez Nere Bianche Men 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 Mens Nike Air Jordan 4 Shoes Grey/Dark Blue/Orange,Adidas Originals MCN Americana 84 Lab Running White Ftw For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Jordan Melo M8 Shoes Green/Orange/White,. 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 Mens Nike Air Max 180 Shoes Balck/Red,Nike Lunar Waverly Golf Shoes Baroque Brown Sail Hyper Punch Black For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 2011 Shoes Grey/Black/Blue,, like all other countries, does have racist problems, but hate crime and hate speech are relatively Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 87 Shoes White/Black/Blue,Nike Vapor Carbon 2014 Elite TD PF Football Cleat Navy White Gym Red For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 90 Grey/White/Silver/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.

Blocked Heel Pump Pu Toe Flats - Apricot - 39

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 Max 95 Shoes Black/Light Blue,Adidas Baseball Speed Trainer Shoes Light Onix Carbon Metallic Running White For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max Jordan 11 Shoes Grey/Silver,, 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 Jordan Take Flight Shoes Black/Red,Nike Air Max MVP Elite 2 3 4 Metal Baseball Cleat Black Anthracite White For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max TN Shoes All Black,, 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.

High Heel Round Head Single Shoes - Red - 40 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 Dunk High Shoes Black/Red,2014 Nike Air Shox Turbo + 13 XIII Mens Shoes White Dark Blue,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Dunk High Shoes Red/Yellow/White The Flash,, where the temperature can reach 40 C in summer.

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Free 3.0 Amphibious Running Shoes Black/White,2015 Classical Nike Sock Dart SP USA"Independence Day"Pack All Red Mens Running Shoes Cheap Sale,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Free Run+ 2 Running Shoes Black/Yellow/White,. He speaks basic Japanese, which he picked up watching anime series such as "One Piece" and "Detective Conan."

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Shox NZ Shoes White/Grey/Silver/Black,2015 Latest Nike Roshe Run Flyknit Mens Running Shoes Outlet Black Gray,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Shox R4 Shoes White/Metallic Platinum/Dark Grey,," 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 Air Amazing Vapormax Flyknit Zero Sprite Wolf Grey outlet White Chlorine Blue UK 849558-022,2015 New Nike Kevin Durant Solarsoft KD Slide Outdoor Slippers Mens Flip Flop Moonlight Green,Real 2018 Nike Kyrie top Quality Irving discount 4 IV Men Basketball Shoes White,.

Pointed Toe Faux Suede Flats - Khaki - 40 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."

ADIDAS ORIGINALS GERMANY TRACK TOP - DARK GREY HEATHER / SOLAR SLIME / BLACK ADIDAS ORIGINALS TRACK,2015 Newest Nike Free Flyknit 5.0 Rainbow Mens Running Trainers Shoes Deals Couples Shoes Grass Green,Latest Foot Locker Tobagi Reflective Wind Jacket Black/Silver For Men,.

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.

New Trendy Under Armour College Team 1/4 Zip Top Navy For Men Sale,2015 Nike Flex Series Sneakers Mens Running Shoes For Cheap Blue Fluorescent Green,The Hottest Styles Nike Legacy Full Zip Hoodie Legion Green For Men Selling Well,.

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

adidas Originals Equipment Racing 91/16 W White,2015 Nike Free Run 5.0 V5 Men Shoes Dark Grey Yellow,adidas Originals ZX Flux Black,.

Von Zipper Thermoform Sunglass Hard Case Internet company Rakuten, based in Tokyo, has been actively recruiting foreign talent. (Photo by Yasunori Okamura)

Nike Air Force 1 Mid ,2015 Nike Zoom Hypercross Trainer In Teal and Volt Sneakers Mens Shoes,Nike Wmns Air Max Thea SE Gray,. 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,Puma Blaze of Glory Sock Core White,2016 Discount Nike Kyrie 2 iD Sneakers Glow Soles"Quickness"Graphic Black White Basketball Shoes,Vans Classic Slip-On Orange,, 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 Filthyspeed 2.0 Mid Fly,2016 Nike Free Socfly SD"Black Anthracite"3.0 Mens Running Shoes Black On Cheap Sale 724851-001,Nike Air Max Tailwind 7,.

Adidas Adi Navy Boot Black 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. Timberland Averly Lace Chukka,Ai Max Terra Ninety Mens TN Shoes white gold,Nanny State Hartley Jumper Blue - Mens Top,.

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 Lyte III Purple Womens Shoes,Air Jordan VI 6 Retro Mens Shoes Online Shopping 2013 Grey White,Asics 1 Beige Green Womens Shoes,, 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 Cortez Bianche Arancia Women,Air Max 90 Mens Shoes Cheap On Sale White Black Gray Yellow,Super High Heel Waterproofing Women Shoes - Blue - 38,.

Family ties

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

WEBSITE Adidas Dropstep Gray 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 Air Max Thea Premium Shoes Womens Dark White Metallic Red N51603,Air Max Alpha 2012 Mens Shoes Black Gray,Nike Sb Stefan Janoski Max Shoes Womens White Black Metallic Silver N90924,, Care Port Itabashi.  

Adidas Originals Adilette Slides Semi Solar Pink For Women,Air Max Ltd 2 Mens Shoes Gray Silver,Timberland Savin Hill 3 Eye Leather Ankle Boots Folkstone Grey Full Grain For Women,, 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 Tennis Classic AC Gray Tennis 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. Traditional Sneakers Shoes For Women,Buy Cheap Nike Kobe 10 2015 All Star Black White Green Orange Mens Shoes,Nike Air Zoom Fly 2 Running Shoes Titanium Volt White Pink Pow For Women,.  

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, 2015 Latest Nike Air Max Zero QS 87 Retro Womens Running Shoes Pink White,Buy Cheap Nike Lebron 12 2014 White Navy Blue Red Mens Shoes,2015 Nike Free Flyknit 4.0 Womens Running Shoes Newest On Sale Fluorescent Green White,. 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," Air Jordan Retro 10 Women Shoes White Black 2014 Cheap On Sale,Cheap Nike KD VIII 8 2015 All Blue Basketball Shoes Sale,Nike Air Jordan 29 XX9"Blackout"Womens Shoes Black White Sneakers 695515-010 For Cheap,."

Nike Air Max 90 Womens Shoes Wholesale Black White Blue,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

Nike Free Powerlines II Womens Shoes Pink,Nike Air Jordan I 1 Retro Mens Shoes High Fur Green Black Red,Under Armour Womens UA Curry One 2015 All Star Black Purple Green Basketball Shoes Sale,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air Jordan 11 Shoes Cream/White,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

3 months for $9

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air Max 2009 Shoes Grey/Silver/Green,Nike Air Max 2013 New Material Mens Shoes Blue White,Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air Max 90 Dark Grey/Grey/White,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air Max TN Shoes Black/Light Blue/White,Nike Air Max 90 Hyperfuse QS Mens Shoes All Black,Discount Authentic Womens Nike Dunk Low Shoes White/Grey/Black,

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Shox R3 Shoes Black/White/Silver,Nike Air Max Humara Mens Shoes White Blue,PUMA ESSENTIAL GRAPHIC RB TANK - ITALIAN PLUM-JACQUARD PUMA TANK WOMENS,
Stylish Brooks Juno Sport Bra White For Women Online Sale,Nike Air Max Shake Evolve Sneakers For Men in 70521,Nike Pro Indy Sports Bra White - Womens Sports Bras,
  • Discount 213018 Nike Shox R4 Men Grey Blue Shoes
  • Nike Jordan CP3.VI AE Black/Gym Red-Cement Grey Sneakers 3126447
  • Bogs Rainboot Stripe Girls Knee-High Boots Berry Multi 642477
  • Nike Air Force 1 Men Low Shoes White/Metallic Silver /Nike Jordan [ N520]
  • Men's - Basketball - Nike Hangtime Fleece Shorts - Clothing - Black Matte Silver 2VX7536
  • Nike Mens Skateboarding Shoes Cool Grey/White/Gum Light Brown/Black
  • Best Selling CHEAP MONDAY Softly Waxed Cotton Canvas Parka - Military Green men's Coats - 96DS084
  • Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Essential Green
  • Mens Nike Air Jordan 6 Vi Retro Grey Gold Shoe Save Off 50%
  • Mens Merrell Hiking Shoes - Phoenix Bluff Mid Waterproof - Putty Item M0594
  • Aerosoles Women'S Wise Choice Loafer - "Brown"
  • Australia Nike Flex Run 2014 Running Shoe Womens White/Pink/Blue 492761QF
  • Online Nike Flex 2015 Run Running Shoes Womens Platin/Blk/Pink 880496OT
  • UK Class quality - Adidas Originals Zx700 White Red Grey Shoes
  • Orange Boss Orange Orange Men Logo Crew Sweat Washed Washed Superior
  • Men's - Nike LeBron XI Max Low Easter White / Light Lucid Green-Lucid Green Shoes
  • Athletic Men New Balance Vazee Coast Lightweight Running Shoe - Mens Black 2017 Fashion
  • Nike Shox Monster Shoes White Silver
  • NFL New England Patriots Game Jersey (Devin McCourty) 468960-425 College Navy/Wolf Grey/University Red
  • Nike SB Zoom Awesome Dunk High Pro 854851-441 Men Skateboarding Shoes Dream Team Navy