Nike Roshe One Flyknit Premium Shoes Mens Blue Green Turquoise N38927 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 Penny Hardaway Mens Shoes Black Red,Timberland Earthkeepers Tremont Boots Black Smooth Grey For Men,Nike Zoom KD V 5 Sneakers Kevin Durant Sneakers For Men in 73169,. 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, On Sale Online Nike Air Jordan 23 Degrees F Mens Shoes Blue,Nike Lunar Ballistec Tennis Shoes Black Hyper Punch For Men,Popular Online Nike Air Max 2019 Mens Shoes Black Blue,.

"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, To Buy Nike Air Max 95 360 Mens Shoes for Running White Silver,Nike Flyknit Trainer Chukka SFB Shoes Gym Red Deep Burgundy Hyper Crimson Sail For Men,World Cup Nike Hypervenom Phantom FG Football Boots pink fluorescent green,, 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 Classic Cortez Fleece Black/Black Trainers for MAN,Nike Air Python Premium Shoes Brown Gum Light Brown Light Stone Sail For Men,Air Jordan 4 Retro LS White/Legend Blue/Midnight Navy Basketball Shoes for MAN,. Like other industries in a rapidly aging Japan, the construction business is desperate for labor. Adidas Tech Super 2.0 Core Black/Red Trainers for MAN,Nike Air Force 1 CMFT Shoes White Team Orange White For Men,Saucony Shadow 5000 Red/White Trainers for MAN,. As baby boomers retire, the labor shortage -- in construction and in the wider economy -- is bound to become more acute.

Nike Air Force Cheap Men Oro 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, Adidas Performance Promodel 80s Hi JJ White/White/White Sneakers for MAN,Adidas Soccer F5 TF Solar Red For Men,Reebok Instapump Fury Flat Grey/Faux Indigo/Royal Orchide Trainers 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.

Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Br Wolf Grey/Black/White/Volt Running Shoes for MAN,Nike SB Lunar Stefan Janoski Skateboarding Shoes River Rock Gum Light Brown Sail For Men,Nike Air Max 1 Print Black/Sail/Black/Pink Force Running Shoes for WOMAN,, Japan is in the midst of a quiet revolution when it comes to immigrant workers. Nike Dunk Sky Hi 2.0 Joli QS Light bone/Light Bone Basketball Shoes for WOMAN,Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 2 Running Shoes Black Dark Ash Hyper Cobalt Hyper Jade For Men,adidas Originals Tubular Doom Sock GS Ice outlet Purple/Crystal WHT/Green CQ0692,.

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, Discount Authentic 136029-011 Mens Nike Air Jordan 15 Retro Original (OG) Flint Grey/White,Nike Free 4 0 Flyknit Running Shoes Black Total Orange Hyper Punch Black For Men,Discount Authentic 385475-153 Mens Nike Air Jordan 2 Retro White/Dark Concord-Black-Wolf Grey,.

Nike Football Oro Verdi Men

Immigration remains a politically charged issue in Japan, Discount Authentic Kids Nike Air Jordan 3.5 Shoes Orange/Black/White,Adidas Outdoor GSG 9 2 High Boots Core Black For Men,Discount Authentic Kids Nike Shox Torch Shoes Dark Navy/White,. "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 Jordan 11 Air Jordan 13 Shoes Grey/Dark Grey/White,Adidas Originals SL Loop Runner Trail Shoes Night Flash Night Flash Black For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Jordan 3.5 Shoes Blue/Black/White,."

2018 New Casual Shoes All-match Embroidery - Pink - 39 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 9 Shoes Black/Dark Grey,Interactive HXM00N032425LY4789 Interactive Shoes For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max + 2013 Shoes Lime/Black,. 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 2011 Shoes Dark Grey/Red/White,Nike Vapor Carbon 2014 Elite Football Cleat Black White For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 87 Shoes Black/White/Blue,, like all other countries, does have racist problems, but hate crime and hate speech are relatively Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 90 Cream/White,Adidas Basketball D Rose Lakeshore Mid Shoes Light Onix Light Scarlet Running White For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 95 2009 Shoes Black/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.

Flat Heel Floral T Strap Sandals - Black - 40

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 BW Shoes White/Grey,Nike Lunar Vapor Pro Baseball Cleat Black Rush Blue White For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max Jordan 9 Shoes Black/Red,, 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 Lunar Shoes Black/White/Grey,2014 New Nike Air Max 90 87 HYP PRM Mens Shoes Online Orange,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Dunk High Shoes Black/Light Blue/Yellow/Red,, 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.

Outdoor Woolen Yarn Ball Color Block Knitted Beanie - Off-white 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 Gym Red/Golden/White,2015 Air Jordan 4LAB1 Glow Black/Reflect Silver Nikelab AJ Sneakers Mens Basketball Shoes Sports Mesh Netting Upper Cheap,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Dunk Low Shoes Dark Grey/Blue,, where the temperature can reach 40 C in summer.

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Free 5.0 V4 Running Shoes Grey/Dark Blue/White,2015 Latest Nike Air Max 2016 Mens Shoes Blue Black Online Sales For Cheap,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Shox NZ Shoes Black/Grey,. He speaks basic Japanese, which he picked up watching anime series such as "One Piece" and "Detective Conan."

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Shox R4 Shoes Cool Grey/Red/Brilliant Silver,2015 New Air Jordan 6 VI Retro Mens Shoes Leopard Black Grey Red,Kids Nike Air Jordan Retro 12 OVO Black Metallic Gold Classic 873864-032 new Shoes,," 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 SB Zoom Dunk Recommended High Pro Sail UK Royal AH9613-141,2015 Newest Nike Air Jordan 29 XX9 BHM Brands Shoes"Black History Month"Collection Mens Sneakers,VANS SIBLEY TANK - DRESS BLUES VANS VEST MENS,.

Thick And Round Head Single Shoes - Black - 38 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."

Discounts Nike Pro Cool Fitted L/S Top Carbon Heather/Black For Men,2015 Nike Air Jordan Westbrook 0 White Mens High Shoes Hot Sales,New Trendy Asics Lightweight Fleece Hoodie Insignia Blue Heather For Men Selling Well,.

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.

Stylish Vans Full Patched Fleece Hoodie Baby Blue For Men Outlet,2015 Nike Free Run 4.0 V2 Men Shoes Grey Blue,adidas Originals Court Vantage White,.

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 Tubular Nova PK Black,2015 Nike Internationalist Leather Mens Run Shoes Dark Blue Red Silver Logo Cheap Sale,New Balance M530AK Black,.

LOW PRICE New Balance ML574 Green Internet company Rakuten, based in Tokyo, has been actively recruiting foreign talent. (Photo by Yasunori Okamura)

Nike Wmns Air Max 1 Ultra Flyknit Black,2015 Online Air Penny Hardaway 5 V Mens Shoes On Sale Black White Blue,Nike Wmns Roshe One Green,. 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,Vans Authentic Multi,2016 Nike Air Max Tailwind 8 Print Sneakers Blue Black Mens Running Shoes,adidas Adissage Graphic,, 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, New BalanceW1500v1,2016 Nike Mens Basketball Sneakers Lebron 13 Knights Red Grey Yellow,Nike Studio Wrap 3 Print,.

RETAIL STORE Nike Air Max 90 LE Gray 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. Ellesse Moresco Track Top White - Mens Track Tops,Air Jordan Jumpman Team 1 White University Blue Mens Shoes 2015 Hot Jordan Sneakers,Asics Gel Lyte V White Grey Womens Shoes,.

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 21 Orange Womens Shoes,Air Max 90 Mens Shoes Cheap On Sale Darkgreen Yellow Black,Nike Football Women Grigio,, 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," Inside Height Increased Pieces Thick Cake Women's Shoes - White - 39,Air Max 90 Mens Shoes Cheap Wholesale White Silver Blue Black,Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Essentials Shoes Womens Light Silver Turquoise N66769,.

Family ties

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

CHECKOUT Nike Roshe Run W Black 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 Moire Shoes Womens Obsidian White Light Mango Obsidian N73206,AIR MAX LTD 01 Mens Shoes Cheap White Black Azure,Adidas Originals ZX 5000 Rspn Shoes Collegiate Navy Light Flash Green Purple For Women,, Care Port Itabashi.  

Timberland Waterproof Nellie Chukka Double Boots Pink Nubuck For Women,Buy Cheap Nike KD 6 2014 Black Rose Mens Shoes,Nike Air Max 90 Premium Shoes Light Blue Lacquer Clearwater 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. 

Adidas ZX 700 Gray Red

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 Free 4 0 Flyknit Running Shoes Wolf Grey Pink Pow Total Orange Black For Women,Buy Cheap Nike Kobe 9 2014 White Red Black Mens Shoes,2015 Fashion Nike Free 3.0 V2 Womens Shoes Moon Blue Silver,.  

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 Nike Free 3.0 V2 Womens Shoes Grey Orange,Buy Nike Air Max 90 Flag Usa Mens Shoes All Gold Lovers Shoes 2015,2016 Nike Lunar Force 1 Low Anthracite Womens Shoes Black-Hyper Pink 654256-003 Online,. 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," Men and Women Nike Mercurial Superfly AG Soccer Boots blue yellow neon,Cheap On Sale High Cut Air Jordan 1 I Retro Mens Shoes Black Yellow,Nike Air Max 90 PRM Tape Womens Shoes Light Blue Pink,."

Nike Free 3.0 V2 Womens Shoes White Pink Cheap Sale,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

Popular Hot Sell Nike Air Presto 5.0 Womens Shoes Hot Sell Black Red,Nike Air Max 2013 Mens Shoes Online Outlet Lebron Green,Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air force 1 low Shoes White/Grey/Sky Blue,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air Jordan 8 Shoes White/Black/Orange,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

3 months for $9

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air Max 90 Black/White/Grey,Nike Air Max 90 Hyp Prm White FLuorescent Green,Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air Max Jordan 5 Shoes Black/Purple,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Dunk High Shoes White/Black Graffiti,Nike Air Max 95 360 Mens Shoes Wire Drawing Purple,Discount Authentic Womens Nike Shox NZ Shoes Offwhite/Light Blue/Metallic Silver,

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

Womens Nike City Canada Loop Particle Recommended Rose Summit White AA1097 601,Nike Air Max LEBRON X LOW Basketball Shoes For Men in 94969,New Trendy Nike Lightweight Sporty Hoodie Dark Grey Heather/Cool Grey/Rush Pink For Women Sale Online,
Ellesse Piemonte Track Top Green - Womens Track Tops,Nike Air Max TN I Mens Shoes gray yellow,Asics Gel Lyte V Dark Blue Mens Shoes,
  • Inexpensive 198876 Nike Shox R4 Men White Pink Shoes
  • Nike Jordan Spizike Glow-in-the-Dark Sole White Cement Sneakers 3126467
  • 50% Discount Adidas ACE 16.3 Primemesh Turf Football Boots Black Yellow Pink E40d6108
  • Nike Air Force 1 Men Shoes White/Gold/Black /Nike Jordan [ N538]
  • Men's - Basketball - Royal Black 7IS5494 - Jordan Wings Windbreaker - Clothing
  • Nike Mens Soccer Shoes Grey/Cool Grey/White/ Orange
  • Best-selling FAITH CONNEXION Oversized Cotton Cargo - Black men's Pants - 93WH589
  • Nike SB Dunk High Premium Red
  • Mens Nike Air Jordan Aero Flight White Black Shoe Online Sale
  • Mens Merrell Trail Running Shoes - Mix Master Move 2 - Black/Silver Item M0672
  • ASICS Tiger Kayano Trainer Evo - Women's - Running - Shoes - Black/Pink
  • Hot Nike FS Lite 2 Running Shoes Womens White/Oran/Pink 300500UF
  • Outlet Nike Dual Fusion TR3 Print Shoes Womens Purple/White 206155OG
  • UK Class quality - Adidas Superstar 2 Tl Coffee Shoes
  • Online Nike Hyperdunk 2014 Black Yellow White For Sale
  • Men's - Nike Kukini Free Sport Red / Varsity Royal-White Shoes
  • Athletic Men K-Swiss ST329 Training Shoe - Mens White The Best Cheap
  • Nike Shox OZ Men's Shoes White Silver
  • NFL Oakland Raiders Game Jersey (Darren McFadden) 468964-013 Black
  • Offer Nike Kids outlets Air Jordan Retro 13 PS velcro Basketball Shoe Black/red