Nike Sb Dunk Low Pro Skateboarding Shoes Mens Black Green Red Black N21359 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

Online Nike Air Jordan Aero Flight Men Shoes Cheap Sale Black Red,Timberland Earthkeepers Rugged LT Chukka Boots Light Brown Full Grain For Men,Sale Nike Air Max 1 Men's Running Shoe Gorge Green,. 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, To BUy Popular Nike Dunk Low Cut Mens Shoes Blue Black,Nike Roshe Run Shoes Wolf Grey White For Men,Nike Air Huarache Light Black/White/White/Gum Light Brown Running Shoes for MAN,.

"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, Reebok Ventilator CN Washed Green/Citrus Glow Trainers for MAN,Nike Air Trainer Max 91 Shoes Black Hyper Turquoise Anthracite Black For Men,Nike Air Max 1 Leather Dark Ash/Dark Ash/Dark Grey Running Shoes for MAN,, 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. PUMA R698 X VASHTIE G Gold Trainers for MAN,Nike Air Force 1 Shoes Cool Grey White Black For Men,PUMA R698 x BWGH Winter White Sneakers for MAN,. Like other industries in a rapidly aging Japan, the construction business is desperate for labor. Converse Chuck Taylor 1970 Hi Black/Multi Sneakers for MAN,Nike Mercurial Vapor X Firm Ground Soccer Cleat Volt Hyper Pink For Men,Adidas Equipment Running Guidance 93 Dark Green/Core Black/Bold Onix Trainers for MAN,. As baby boomers retire, the labor shortage -- in construction and in the wider economy -- is bound to become more acute.

High Heel With Beaded Fish Mouth Sandals - Green - 37 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, Air Jordan 7 Retro Black/Red/Green Poison/Cool Grey Basketball Shoes for UNISEX,Nike SB Stefan Janoski Max Shoes Game Royal White Hyper Punch For Men,Nike Air Max 1 Essential Wolf Grey/Team Red Running Shoes for WOMAN,, 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 Benassi Swoosh Black/White/White Sandals for WOMAN,Nike Lab Gyakusou Lunaracer 3 Running Shoes Light Charcoal Bamboo Dark Mushroom Military Blue For Me,Bargain 2018 Mens Under Armour UA Curry 4 High Tai Ji Best Deals Basketball Shoes,, Japan is in the midst of a quiet revolution when it comes to immigrant workers. Discount Authentic 315297-471 Mens Nike Air Jordan 3 Retro Do The Right Thing (DTRT) - Brisk Blue/Pro Gold-Radiant Green,Nike Free 4 0 Flyknit Running Shoes Photo Blue Hyper Punch University Red For Men,Discount Authentic 653532-001 Mens Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro SB x Black-Black-Silver,.

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 Kids Nike Air Max 90 Grey/Pink,Adidas Outdoor AX 2 0 Shoes Earth Green Black University Red For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air force 1 Low Shoes White/Light Blue,.

PU Leather Prom Bootie Sandals - White - 40

Immigration remains a politically charged issue in Japan, Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Jordan 2011 Quick Fuse Shoes Black/White,Adidas Originals SL Loop Runner TR Shoes Stone Khaki MuStang Brown Craft Canvas For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Jordan 5 Retro Tokyo23 Yellow/White-Black,. "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 Phase 23 Hoops Shoes Macy/Black/White,Nike Lunar Control Golf Shoes White Night Stadium Pure Platinum Reflect Silver For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 2009 Shoes White/Black/Red,."

Wedges High  Buckle  Pearl Waterproof Platform Shoes - Sky Blue - 36 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 Max 2012 Shoes White/Light Blue/Black,Nike Vapor Carbon 2014 Elite TD PF Football Cleat Team Red University Gold White For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 90 Black/Blue/Orange,. 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 90 White/Grey/Black/Red,Adidas Basketball Crazy 2 0 Shoes Core Black Onix Aluminum For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max BW Shoes Black/Grey/Yellow,, like all other countries, does have racist problems, but hate crime and hate speech are relatively Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max Jordan 23 Shoes White/Black/Grey/Red,Adidas Adidas Neo SE Daily Vulc Shoes Black Running White Dark Shale For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max LTD Shoes Grey/White/Gold,," 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 New Balance ML574 Gray

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 TN Shoes White/Black/Green,2014 Nike Air Jordan XIII 13 Retro Mens Shoes New Red,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Dunk High Shoes Dark Navy/White,, 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 Dunk Low Shoes Blue/White,2015 Discount Nike Air Diamond Turf 2 Mens Shoes On Sale Black Gold,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Free 4.0 V2 Running Shoes Dark Grey/Orange,, 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.

Jordan 1 Flight 2 Gray 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 Huarache Free 2012 Training Shoes Dark Navy/Red/Navy,2015 Latest Nike Roshe Run Flyknit Mens Running Shoes Outlet Black Gray,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Shox R4 Air Max LTD Shoes Silver/Black,, where the temperature can reach 40 C in summer.

G33070 Y51650 C0790 211914 Glitter Stretch Fabric CC Canada Sneakers 38.5 Black Silver,2015 New Nike Free Run 5.0 Flash Green Mens Shoes Online Shop,Nike Kids Air Jordan Retro 13 PS certificate velcro Basketball Shoe White/red,. He speaks basic Japanese, which he picked up watching anime series such as "One Piece" and "Detective Conan."

ADIDAS ORIGINALS MENS PREMIUM ESSENTIALS CREW SWEATER - PREMIUM LIGHT MEL ADIDAS ORIGINALS SWEATSHIR,2015 Newest Nike Free Flyknit 5.0 Rainbow Mens Running Trainers Shoes Deals Couples Shoes Pink Royal,Discounts Mitchell & Ness Mlb Away Game Henley Navy For Men Online Sale,," 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.

New Nike Nfl Gridiron Sideline Hoodie Marine For Men Sale,2015 Nike Air Presto BR QS Oreo Mens"Black"Mens Running Shoes Cheap Sale,Stylish Nike Nba Woven 1/2 Zip Jacket Black For Men,.

BEST Adidas Hackmore Black Red 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."

VANS BIDWELL TANK - BEET RED VANS VEST MENS,2015 Nike Free Run TR Fit Men Shoes Grey Green,adidas Originals Superstar W Pink,.

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 Balance MRL999AG Gray,2015 Nike Zoom Hypercross Trainer"Daring Red"Sneakers Mens Shoes,Nike Wmns Air Huarache Run Premium Black,.

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

Nike Wmns Roshe One Yellow,2016 New Doernbecher Air Jordan 13 Mens Shoes 836405-305 Sneakers,Reebok Exofit Lo Clean Logo Int White,.

HOT SALE Vans Classic Slip On geo/black/blue Internet company Rakuten, based in Tokyo, has been actively recruiting foreign talent. (Photo by Yasunori Okamura)

adidas Y-3 by Yohji YamamotoSnow Model,2016 Nike Kobe 11 XI Elite Low Mens Basketball Shoes"Multi-Color"Flyknit Sneakers 822675-109,New BalanceW1400v3,. 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,Nike Shox Superfly R4,Air Jordan 4 IV Mens Shoes Glowing Black Red,Carbrini St Mirren Fc 2015 Track Jacket - Mens Top,, 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, Asics Gel-Fit Sana 2 Grey Womens Shoes,Air Max 2011 Netty Mens Shoes Discount Fluorescent Green grey,Asics 21 Pink Womens Shoes,.

NICE Adidas Tech Super W Gray Blue 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 Football Women Argento,Air Max 90 Mens Shoes Cheap Wholesale Green Black,High Heels Women's Shoes - Red Wine - 37,.

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 Air Max 90 Ultra Essential Shoes Womens White Grey Metallic Silver White N94759,AIR MAX LTD 01 Mens Shoes Cheap Nice White Yellow,Nike Roshe One Hi Print Sneakerboot Womens Obsidian Green Light Beige Khaki N71953,, 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 Originals ZX 5000 Response Shoes Olive Cargo For Women,Brazil World Cup latest Nike Hypervenom Phantom FG soccer boots yellow black,Timberland Glastenbury Leather Side Zip Shoes Off White Suede For Women,.

Family ties

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

WEBSITE Converse All Star Hi W beige 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 Force 1 '07 FW Shoes Dark Citron Dark Citron For Women,Buy Cheap Nike Kobe 9 2014 Low Black White Yellow Mens Shoes,Nike Air Zoom Structure 18 Running Shoes Hyper Orange Volt Bright Crimson Reflect Silver For Women,, Care Port Itabashi.  

2015 Latest Air Max 90 Ultra Womens All White Carved Three Dimensional Breathable Couples Shoes Online,Buy Cheap Nike Lebron 12 2015 Purple Black Yellow Mens Shoes,2015 Nike Free 5.0 V5 Womens Running Shoes Blue Grey Cheap Sale,, 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. 

ASICS Men's GEL Cumulus 17 Running Shoe Color Black Sz9.5 Retail Price120.00

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. 2017 Nike Air Max KPU I Womens Running Shoes,Cheap On Sale Nike Air Jordan 4 IV Retro Mens Shoes White Gold,New Nike Free 3.0 V2 Womens Shoes Green Silver Hot Sell,.  

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 Max 90 Womens Shoes Wholesale Brown White Blue,Cheap Sale Air Max 90 Hyperfuse Mens Shoes Fur Online Shopping White Purple,Nike Free 4.0 2012 Womens Running Shoes Red Silver Online Sale,. 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," To Buy Air Max 90 Hyperfuse Prm Womens Shoes For Sale Grey White,Fashion Nike Blazer Low Men's Premium Leather Red-Royal,Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air force 1 low Shoes White/Pink,."

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air Max 2009 Shoes Grey/Silver/Blue,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air Max 90 Dark Grey/Grey/Red/White,Nike Air Max Darwin 360 Mens Shoes For Sale Cheap,Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air Max LTD Shoes White/Grey/Black,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Dunk Low Shoes Tan/Dark Brown/Light Pink/White,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

3 months for $9

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Shox R4 Shoes Grey/White/Light Pink,Nike Air Max LeBron XI All Black Basketball Shoes For Men in 99368,ADIDAS ORIGINALS BANANAS SUPERGIRL TRACK TOP - MULTICOLOR ADIDAS ORIGINALS TRACK TOPS WOMENS,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

Stylish New Balance Perfect Tank Deep Ozone Blue Heather For Women Online Sale,Nike Air Max TN I Mens Shoes indianred white,Nike Pro Tank Top Grey - Womens Vests,

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

Asics Gel Iv Respector Purple Grey Mens Shoes,Nike Air More Uptempo Olympic Dream Team Pippen PE Basketball Sneakers Midnight Navy/White-Spirit Red Mens Shoes 414962-401 Cheap Sale,Nike Air Force Cheap Men Argento Blu,
Nike Cortez Grigio Men,Nike Cortez Men Nylon Shoes Purple Blue,Bowknot Faux Leather Loafers - Black - 35,
  • Inexpensive 186624 Nike Zoom Hyperdunk Men White Red Black Shoes
  • Nike Jordan CP3.VI AE Black/Neo Turquoise-White Sneakers 3126443
  • Wholesale Online Store Adidas ACE16+ Purecontrol No Laces FG AG Soccer Boots Red Silver T30a5706
  • Air Jordan 2 Men Shoes Dark Blue Orange /Nike Jordan [ N1462]
  • Men's - Black 4CX3072 - New Balance 247 - Running - Shoes
  • Nike Performance Kids Cushioned Running Shoes Green
  • Big Discount ETTORE BUGATTI COLLECTION Chiron Driving Leather - Blue Men's Gloves - 75QG359
  • Nike W Air Max 90 Ultra Essential Black
  • Mens Nike Air Jordan I 1 Retro Black Red Shoe Fast Delivery
  • Mens Merrell Trianers - Duskair - Dusty Olive Item M0710
  • Bearpaw Women Abigail Boot (brown / chocolate)
  • NZ Nike Flex Trainers Shoes Womens Black/White 449942SN
  • Sale Nike Dual Fusion Trainers Shoes Womens Fuchsia/Lava 184127BJ
  • UK Class quality - Men Asics Gel Unifire TR White Silver Blue dc shoes
  • Onitsuka Tiger Tiger Corsair Vin - Green & Strong Blue - ON120SF97JSO - Men's Sneakers
  • Men's - Nike KD VI NSW Lifestyle QS Multi-Color / Black Shoes
  • Athletic Men adidas Response Boost Techfit Lightweight Running Shoe - Mens Black/Grey/Silver Order
  • Nike Shox R5 Men Shoes Red Black
  • NFL Pittsburgh Steelers Game Jersey (Troy Polamalu) 468972-012 Black
  • Popular Uomo Air Max Tailwind 5 - Limited Edition Nike Scarpe Profondo Blu