Nike Performance Women's Shoes FREE 5.0 - Trainers - black/volt/hyper pink-anthracit 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

New Balance Men's Shoes U410 - Trainers - black/red,Nike Free 5.0 TR Fit 4 - Women Shoes,Nike Performance Men's Shoes TIEMPO GENIO FG - Football boots - white/volt/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, 2017 Newest Air Jordan 10 White Varsity Red-Light Steel Grey,COLUMBIA women Trousers Casual Bluecolumbia apparel warrantypopular,Authentic adidas Ultra Boost Black Green Silver,.

"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, Authentic Cheap Jordan 1 High Pinnacle Red,The North Face Women Base Layers BOUNCE - Sports bra - neon peach/light grey heatherthe north face backpacksthe north face vault backpackOfficial,Authentic Lebron James 11 Low Black Black-Hyper Crimson-Hyper Cobalt 642849-078,, 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. Authentic Real Kobe 9 EM Game Royal Blue Green White 646701 102,TOMMY HILFIGER Sandals Grey women Footweartommy hilfiger factory outletUSA factory outlet,Best Sale Cheap Kobe 10 Elite Low Beethoven,. Like other industries in a rapidly aging Japan, the construction business is desperate for labor. Cheap 2017 Nike Hyperrev All Star Red Gum,Women Tracksuits ED-WSU024ed hardy saleed hardy outletclassic fashion trend,Cheap Discount Air Jordan 14 Black White Indiglo,. As baby boomers retire, the labor shortage -- in construction and in the wider economy -- is bound to become more acute.

Nike Air Max 2016 Print Chalk Blue/Sail/Black P52m8887 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, Cheap Foamposite One Olive,Puma Faas 300 V4 Women's Running Shoes White-Virtual Pink-White W55f5305,Cheap Lebron 11 Soldier Wolf Grey Blue 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 Lebron James 14 White the Lebron,Puma Duplex Classic Women's Sneakers Blue Yonder-Peacoat-Glacier Gray M35s5826,Cheap Lebron James Soldier 10 FlyEase White,, Japan is in the midst of a quiet revolution when it comes to immigrant workers. Cheap Original Nike Kyrie 2 China Red White,Puma Narita V3 Knit Women's Running Shoes Periscope-Black-Black N71o5816,Cheap Priced Nike Kobe 11 Black Red Gold,.

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, Cheap Sale Jordan Aero Mania Black Red,2018 Class quality - Adidas Men/Women Shoes Glow in The Dark Originals JS Wings,Cheapest Nike Air Max 2015 Black Yellow Green Red White,.

Nike Mercurial Veloce II FG Blue Tint/Racer Blue/Hyper Turquoise/Bright Mango J51k5069

Immigration remains a politically charged issue in Japan, Discount Cheap Hyperdunk 2016 Flyknit White Bright Crimson Dark Obsidian 843390-146,2018 Classic combination - Vans Mono TL SK8-Hi Reissue Womens Shoes Blanc De Blanc,Discount Nike Prime Hype DF 2016 Black Volt,. "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. "For Sale Cheap Nike KD 7 Floral Midnight Navy Black-Hazelnut,2018 Free delivery - Vans Ferris Lo Pro Womens Shoes Herringbone Suede/Black,Genuine Air Jordan 9 Medium Grey Cool Grey White 302370-015,."

Nike Free TR 6 Black/Cool Grey/White M35c5599 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.Legit Cheap Nike KD 8 EXT Floral Finish,2018 Low prices - Womens Custom Nike Dunk High Top Sb City Girl Black White Shoes,Legit Original Air Jordan 4 White Blue Pink,. 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.

"Official Nike HyperChase Volt Black Wolf Grey,2018 Original Product - Vans Disney SK8-Hi Reissue Womens Shoes Dalmatians/White,On Sale Authentic Clutchfit Drive Royal Blue White,, like all other countries, does have racist problems, but hate crime and hate speech are relatively On Sale Authentic Nike Kyrie 3 Pink White,Minnie Mouse Nikes Dunk High Top Women Shoes,On Sale Cheap Air Jordan 6 Suede Blue Pink Black,," 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.

Nike Roshe LD-1000 Black/Team Orange/Summit White J2f8468

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

On Sale Nike HyperRev 2016 Black Red White,Nike Dunk Sky High Medium Green White Womens Wedge Sneakers 528899300,Original adidas NMD R1 Blue Glow,, and 60% are 65 or older. Most of their children have left for the city in search of better-paying office work.

Original Lebron James 12 Black Red White,Nike LeBron top Quality Soldier Pro 9 IX Cavs Top Wine Thompson Gold,Original Nike Air More Uptempo White Midnight Navy Metallic Gold Sport Red 414962-104,, 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.

Puma Ferrari Future Cat Og Men's Shoes Rosso Corsa-White-Black M6p3409 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, Real Cheap Nike Air Flight 89 True Blue,outlets Nike Air Max Factory 2016 Leather Lava Black Silver Volt,Real Lebron James 13 Elite White Black Metallic Gold,, where the temperature can reach 40 C in summer.

Shop Cheap adidas D Lillard 3 Rip City,Top Quality DS Air Jordan XXXI Low GEORGETOWN HOYAS XXX1 31 Black Yellow,Shop Nike Zoom Lebron Soldier 6 Black Grey Yellow 525017 101,. He speaks basic Japanese, which he picked up watching anime series such as "One Piece" and "Detective Conan."

Top Sale Cheap Air Jordan XX8 SE Green Camo Black White-Green-Forest Green 616345-035,Under Armour Curry 1 One Low Best Quality warriors Home Personalisation Gold Pro Royal Yellow,Where to Buy Cheap Curry 3.5 Black 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.

Where to Order Cheap Jordan Super.Fly 4 23 Karat Gold,Unique Kyrie 2 II Black Metallic Silver Personalisation,Australia Nike Prime Hype DF 2 Shoes Mens Black/Silver 241970VT,.

Puma 76 Runner Quilted Men's Sneakers Peacoat-Steel Gray-Electric Blue Lemonade G97z3772 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."

NZ Nike Genicco Trainers Shoes Mens BlueGraph/Wht 338842SR,2016 Sale Nike Air Max 87 Gold Black Man Shoes,Outlet Nike Magista Artificial Grass Football Boots Mens Blue/Black 439038HA,.

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.

Shop Nike Air One Training Shoes Mens DkGrey/Wht/Red 568292AN,2016 Sale Nike Air Max 95 BB Running Shoes Woman White Neutral Grey Anthracite Obsidian,Specials Nike Primo Suede Mid Hi Trainers Shoes Mens Navy/White 797027FL,.

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

VANS / SK8-HI REISSUE (PEANUTS) SNOOPY BONES / BLACK VA2XSBOHL,2016 Sale Nike Air Max TN Shoes Black White Green Black Men,DC / REBEL PANT 3 BLUE IRIS EDYFB03012-BTL0,.

Puma Suede Classic Debossed Men's Sneakers Black I9a6218 Internet company Rakuten, based in Tokyo, has been actively recruiting foreign talent. (Photo by Yasunori Okamura)

SOUR / ARMY 2 S/S WHITE,2016 Sale Nike Free Run 3 RoyalBlue White Mens Running Shoes,DC / KIDS STAR ZH SUMMER BLUES EDBSF03039-BRA0,. 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,HAND SPINNER / PUSH RED / WHITE,2017 Best Place To Buy Nike Shoes Online Men's Jordan Flight Flex Trainer 2 Black/Gym Red/White Shoes Canada USP620354,DC / SNAPPY SNAP SUMMER BLUES ADYHA00058-BRA0,, 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, DC / BACKSTACK BP DC WHEAT EDYBP03129-NNW0,2017 Buy Nike Free Men's Nike Air Trainer 1 Mid White/Pure Platinum/White Shoes Canada GQF2503207,SUPRA / NO SHOW SOX 3*PACK BLACK SX0301-001,.

Puma Cordarrelle Patterson Ignite Xt Men's Training Shoes Grape Juice-Blazing Yellow-White V12w6558 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. A Lifetime Love - Minnesota Vikings Jared Allen #69 Authentic Black Shadow Jerseypersonalized nfl jerseysnfl jerseys for sale in el paso txworldwide shipping,2017 Cheap Nike Trainers Men's Nike Zoom Field General Dark Grey/White/Metallic Silver Shoes Canada ABC9303895,Brilliant - Dallas Cowboys Miles Austin #19 Youth Authentic Throwback Jerseynfl jerseys for kidscheap nfl nike jerseysentire collection,.

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. Delicate - Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan #2 Authentic Youth Jersey Blacknfl jerseys on salenfl jerseys wholesale dropshipfinest selection,2017 Gray And White Nike Shoes Men's Nike Archive 83.M Gym Red/Team Red/Gym Red Shoes Canada ZBO8003237,Excellent Value Preferential - Baltimore Ravens Tyrod Taylor #6 Authentic Jersey Blackcustomize nfl jerseysauthentic nfl jerseys stitchedgorgeous,, 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," ferragamo men's falt shoes black blueferragamo shoess ferragamoquality and quantity assured,2017 Neon Nike Men's Nike Air Force 1 Ultra Flyknit Dark Grey/Black Shoes Canada ETJ6702904,High Discount - Carolina Panthers Newton #1 Authentic Jersey Bluenfl customized jerseyscheap nfl nike jerseysMost Fashionable Outlet,.

Family ties

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

Reebok GL 6000 SNE Red D2s7536 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, Leisure - Miami Dolphins Bob Griese #12 Authentic Throwback Jersey Greennfl sale jerseysnfl dog jerseys patriotsSuperior Quality,2017 Nike Air Men's Nike Roshe One Print Total Orange/Black/White Shoes Canada FUA5803492,Men Shoes ED-MSO019discount ed hardyed hardy shop outletFree Shipping,, Care Port Itabashi.  

Noble - Reebok New Orleans Saints Tracy Porter #22 Authentic Jersey Blacnfl jerseys stitchedcheap authentic stitched nfl jerseys storeFactory Outlet,2017 Nike Black Men's Air Jordan 13 Retro Low "Bred" Shoes Canada EJT67093,Possess - Denver Broncos #8 Kyle Orton White Color Football Jerseynew nfl nike jerseysnfl jerseys cheap nikeFactory Outlet,, 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. 

Reebok Yasuri Grey Q28w8509

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. Scarpa Men Hiking & Hillwalking Shoes ZEN - Walking shoes - brownscarpa vapor lacescarpa instinct lace vs velcrobeautiful in colors,2017 Nike Com Shop Men's Kd 8 Lifestyle Metallic Silver/Black/Green Glow/Metallic Silver Shoes Canada VSE5202763,TOMMY HILFIGER Casual trouser Khaki men Trouserstommy hilfiger bagElegant Factory Outlet,.  

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, Adidas Cw Libria Pearl Cp Winter Boots Core Black Y15g3658,2017 Nike Fitness Shoes Men's Nike Air Odyssey Ltr Golden Tan/Fieldstone Iron/Black Pine/Light Bone Shoes Canada BVJ6803162,Adidas Honey 2.0 Slip-Ons Night Navy/Offwhite U45d9300,. 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 Pureboostx Cushioned Running Shoes Dark Blue/Granite P27u5228,2017 Nike Internationalist Men's Nike Lunar Tr1 Le (Oregon) Metallic Silver/Kelly/Yellow Strike/Black Shoes Canada KEC0403840,Adidas Zx Flux Verve Trainers Blanch Blue/Core White T61m6458,."

Adidas Stan Smith Trainers Night Indigo/Core Black L39e5736,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

Adidas Superstar Adicolor Trainers Sunglow S42e9602,2017 Online Nike Shoe Stores Men's Nike Mercurial Superfly Heritage Fg Multi/Multi Iii Shoes Canada RGW5901211,Asics Gel-Quantum 180 Electric Blue/Silver/Blue F95r2134,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Asics Gel-Fujiendurance Black/Onyx/Racing Red B68p4153,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

3 months for $9

Asics Gel-Cumulus 18 Silver/Pink Glow/Lapis F57f7341,2017 Shoe Stores Nike Men's Nikelab Payaa Qs Navy Shoes Canada THM1003579,New Balance 60 K66m1591,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

New Balance XC700v3 Spike R17n5430,2017 Top Nike Shoes Men's Nike Hyperchase Basketball Shoe Shoes Canada YAG780857,Nike Air Huarache Ultra Royal Blue/Scream Green/Pure Platinum/Black B19a5913,

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

Nike Air Max 95 White/Black/Black O54r4808,2017 Www Nike Shoes Com Men's Nike Kobe X Red Shoes Shoes Canada OMD080975,Nike Hurley Phantom Free V7r3190,
Nike FI Bermuda Black/White Y49v3354,adidas Originals Men's Shoes ZX FLUX NPS - Trainers - black/true blue,Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32 Total Crimson/Photo Blue/Racer Blue/Black K62t7159,
  • Sale kxhd9 862gkv August Deals Nike Roshe Run Womens
  • Adidas Adipure Unisex White Red Black Shoes Model:A27
  • Dorothy Perkins / Black 'Hint' Woven Flats / Black
  • Men's Jordan Icon - Shorts AR78679i
  • Binary Blue Men's - Nike Attack Print Shorts - Clothing - Basketball - Deep Night Black White 5CI2685
  • Classic Air Jordan 5 RETRO V GS SZ 5.5 OBSIDIAN GRAPE BRONZE 440888 416 White Metallic 75IW136 for Men
  • UK Asics Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 Baja Black White Shoes U16i3610 store wholesale
  • Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max + 2013 Shoes Orange/Black
  • Nike Lunar Safari Fuse+ Men Running Shoes Anthracite/White-Voltage-Black BR50F
  • adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Red Night/Chalk Purple-Chalk Pink For Sale
  • Discount adidas Crazylight Boost 2015 Mid Electricity Black
  • Nike SB Paul Rodriguez 9 Mens Shoes Navy Green
  • 2018 Class quality - Adidas Adizero Nba Star Crazy Light Rose 3.5 Blue Silver Shoes
  • Thick New Balance 996 Women New Balance 996 Series NB 9 Series New Balance 996 PG National Parks on foot in 15 2018 cheap New Balance 996 Day Tripper Review classic
  • Nike Air Max 90 Flag Usa Lovers Women Running Shoes Pink
  • Converse Women's Chuck Taylor All Star Dainty Ox - Charcoal - CO986SH04MML - Women's Sneakers
  • Cheap Jordan CP3.X AE Black/White for Sale
  • Air Jordan 15 (XV) Retro-Black/Varsity Red 317111-061
  • Men Mizuno Wave Twister 4 Sport Shoes - Rubber - Black Lime Punch Silver - 3432516jm
  • Air Jordan 9 Men Jordan 9S Buy Jordans Online Authentic Deadstock Air Jordan 9 Retro Baron Sneakerst