Nike Wmns Roshe Two Gray 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

STEP2WO - Bailarina pumps 3-10 years Black XHYGZH,Reebok x FACE Classic Leather Spirit GOLD,Tall Saskia Mesh Applique Bodysuit gfh_98458 Going Out,. 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, True Black Madewell Knot Front Tee SAVE UP TO 25% Use Code: EVENT18 LJBJEX,Vans SK8-Hi MTE Black,VFCSRN Therm-a-Rest LuxuryLite Mesh Beds Regular teal (2018),.

"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, XCONPS NAVY Frill Bardot Bikini Top - Navy,adidas OutdoorDaroga Plus Mid Leather,Cheap Nike Elite Basketball Top White/White/Black For Men Selling Well,, 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. 2015 2016 Nike Canada Hyperdunks Top Club Sport Factory Purple Red,adidas Y-3 by Yohji YamamotoBoost QR,2018 Nike Popular Air Jordan 1 Retro High Good OG Shadow Where to buy Black Medium Grey 555088-013,. Like other industries in a rapidly aging Japan, the construction business is desperate for labor. Awesome 2016 D Rose Offer 6 History Month BHM UK 733 Black,adidas Essence Stabil,Canada NIKE AIR Great MAX 97 OG QS SILVER BULLET METALLIC wholesale SILVER RED 884421-001,. As baby boomers retire, the labor shortage -- in construction and in the wider economy -- is bound to become more acute.

Womens Merrell Hiking Shoes - Moab Edge - Black Item W0577 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, Custom KD 7 Brand EXT Plaid Polka Dots Multi Comfort Color Metallic Silver,New Balance Classics515 - Polo,Girls Nike Kyrie Unique 3 Red Black Latest Gold,, 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.

KD 7 Online Crown Jewel Crimson Think Bright Best Pink Silver,New BalanceM775PO1,Kobe 9 Elite Low HTM Exclusive Multi Color Platinum Balck Pure White,, Japan is in the midst of a quiet revolution when it comes to immigrant workers. LeBron 12 EXT Direct Cork Best Deals Kings sale Cork Best Deals,New BalanceWSD400,Lebron 13 XIII Written in the Stars Clearance,.

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, new Under Armour Curry Two 2 Long Shot,Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32 Flash,Nike Air Max 2016 Hot Leather Lagoon Poison Black Blue Green,.

Womens New Balance Running Shoes - Vazee Prism - Black/White Item W0820

Immigration remains a politically charged issue in Japan, Nike Air Max Uptempo 2 Black White Good,Nike Free Trainer 3.0 V4,Nike Kobe 9 Elite GS Direct Venom Glow Metallic Gold Green Purple,. "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 SB DUNK LOW PRO Coolest CAMO MEDIUM OLIVE BLACK CAMO SKATE 854866 209 Personalisation,Nike Orive Lite,Retail Nike Kobe 10 Elite Elevate Wolf Retro Grey Light White,."

Womens Nike Running Shoes - Air Zoom Structure 18 QS - Garnet Item W0958 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.Top Quality slipper KAWS x Air Jordan 4 Cool Grey 930155-003,Timberland PROHyperion WP Insulated Safety Toe,Under Armour Curry One Low Good Bolt Avex Black Green Orange Super,. 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.

"2016 Sale Nike Air Max 1 Man QS White Varsity Royal Neutral Grey Running Shoes,Adidas Chelsea Fc Training Top - Mens Top,2016 Sale Nike Air Max 90 Hyperfuse Premium Shoes Grey Pink Silver White Mens,, like all other countries, does have racist problems, but hate crime and hate speech are relatively 2016 Sale Nike Air Max 95 Trainers Mens White Black Grey,Adidas Scotland Fa 2015/16 Poly Suit Blue - Mens Top,2016 Sale Nike Free 3.0 v4 Woman Volt Gray Running Shoes,," 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.

Womens Salomon Trail Running Shoes - Speedcross 3 - Grey/Mint Item W1214

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

2017 All Nike Men's Nike Sb Lunar Stefan Janoski Black/Summit White/Metallic Gold Shoes Canada CGQ3402138,New Balance Liverpool Fc Pre Match Top Pre Order Red - Mens Top,2017 Black Leather Nike Shoes Men's Air Jordan Future Premium Black/Glow/Black Shoes Canada EWN580197,, and 60% are 65 or older. Most of their children have left for the city in search of better-paying office work.

2017 Buy Nike Sneakers Men's Nike Air Zoom Structure 18 Flash Action Red/Black/Reflect Shoes Canada AMN3601604,Under Armour Aston Villa Fc 2016/17 Home Socks - Accessories Socks,2017 Classic Nike Men's Nike Sb Paul Rodriguez Citadel Black/Anthracite/White Shoes Canada NIZ3002170,, 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.

Womens Under Armour Running Shoes - Micro G Speed Swift - Steel/Antifreeze Item W1427 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, 2017 Grey Nike Shoes Men's Air Jordan 1 Retro 99 Black/Infrared 23/White/Sport Blue Shoes Canada QJN77039,Nike Air Pegasus 83 Military Blue/Midnight Navy-Summit White-Rust Item UK0080,2017 New Nike Trainers Men's Nike Free Trainer 5.0 V6 Amp Black/Bright Crimson/White Shoes Canada YAA9703797,, where the temperature can reach 40 C in summer.

2017 Nike Air Max Discount Men's Nike Air Max 95 Og White/Emerald Green/Wolf Grey/Court Purple Shoes Canada SXY6603086,Nike Free Run 2 Night Factor/Dark Charcoal-White-Black Item UK0122,2017 Nike Canada Online Men's Nike Vapor Court Black/White/Wolf Grey/Metallic Silver Shoes Canada ZMY3403647,. He speaks basic Japanese, which he picked up watching anime series such as "One Piece" and "Detective Conan."

2017 Nike Com Men's Nike Tiempo Legend V Sg-pro Laser Orange/Total Orange/Volt/Persian Violet Shoes Canada HLK1602710,Adidas Los Angeles Core Black/Core Black/Footwear White Item UK0226,2017 Nike Fitness Shoes Men's Nike Magista Obra Fg Black/Rough Green/Black Shoes Canada CJV9202394,," 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.

2017 Nike Hoodie Canada Men's Nike Tri Fusion Black/University Red/White/Metallic Cool Grey Shoes Canada JEY7002006,Adidas Skateboarding Skate RYR 'Skin Phillips' Core Black/Footwear White/Talc/Metallic Gold Item UK0,2017 Nike N Men's Nike Free Rn Flyknit Blue Shoes Canada DUH3301885,.

Cheap Chinese Laundry Cupcakes Sandals Black For Women Online Sale 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."

2017 Nike Presto Men's Nike Air Max 1 Essential Black/White/Gum Medium Brown/Light Bone Shoes Canada YRO1702964,Asics Gel-Lyte III Black/Black Item UK0314,2017 Nike Shoes Black And White Men's Nike Hyperdunk 2014 Black/Photo Blue/Hyper Cobalt/Metallic Silver Shoes Canada CYE040871,.

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.

2017 Nike Shoes Grey Men's Nike Hypervenom Phantom Ii Ag White/Total Orange/Volt/Black Shoes Canada PMV6402280,Nike Air Huarache White/White-Pure Platinum Item UK0386,2017 Nike Shoes Site Men's Jordan Eclipse University Red/White/Black Shoes Canada MOV700343,.

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

2017 Nike Shox Nz Men's Nike Metcon 1 Total Orange/Black/Blue Lagoon/White Shoes Canada TRP6203865,Nike Internationalist Light Bone/Grey Mist-White-Black Item UK0440,2017 Nike Store Men's Nike Air Untouchable Vapor Black Shoes Canada CGL6703220,.

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Shroud Textile Ox Low Top Trainers Bordeaux / Beige For Women Sale Internet company Rakuten, based in Tokyo, has been actively recruiting foreign talent. (Photo by Yasunori Okamura)

2017 Nike Trainers White Men's Nike Mercurial Superfly Cr Ag-r Blue Shoes Canada MVB8202519,Nike SB Lunar Stefan Janoski Anthracite/Dusty Cactus -Summit White Item UK0505,2017 Nikes On Sale Men's Lebron Xiii Black/Hyper Orange/Blue Lagoon/Black Shoes Canada CSO030824,. 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,2017 Popular Nike Sneakers Men's Nike Air Huarache 2kfilth Mid Fireworks Black/Wolf Grey/Volt Shoes Canada FJF190561,Vans Authentic Red Item UK0608,2017 Sneakers Nike Men's Nike Air Vapor Ace Black/White Shoes Canada LYA5103598,, 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, 2017 Where To Find Nike Shoes Men's Nike Lunar Cypress Dark Grey/Black/White/Light Crimson Shoes Canada DMI7301375,Vans Era True White Item UK0645,adidas Originals Men's Shoes SAMBA M - Trainers - black/white/gum,.

Designer So Size Modessa Mid Boots Black For Women Clearance 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. adidas Performance Men's Shoes MADURO - Cushioned running shoes - visible grey/silver metal/solar red,ALEXANDER MCQUEEN - Crocodile-embossed leather cross-body bag Smog FDDYJZ,ASICS Men's Shoes GEL-FUJITRABUCO 3 GTX - Trail running shoes - flash green/silver/flash yellow,.

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. Clarks Men's Shoes MONTACUTE DUKE - Lace-ups - dark tan,Aquazzura + Claudia Schiffer Star embellished metallic textured-leather sandals BBJDGN,Diesel Men's Bags CRASH - Laptop bag - black,, 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," ecco Men's Shoes OFFROAD - Walking sandals - bison/black/black oil,Benetton TROUSERS BABY 2 PACK - Trousers - rose rose CI00582,Lacoste Bags Tote bag - almondine,.

Family ties

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

Discount Jonak Tina Ankle Boots Black For Women Outlet 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, New Balance Men's Shoes ML501 - Trainers - grey/green,BOOHOO PREMIER - UNLIMITED NEXT DAY DELIVERY dbg_97158,Nike Performance Men's Shoes FREE TRAINER 5.0 - Sports shoes - white/black/volt,, Care Port Itabashi.  

Nike SB Men's Shoes RABONA - Trainers - anthracite/white-crystal mint,Carter's WELCOME HOME BABY SET - Body - blue blue KC58739,2017 Cheap Nike KD Trey 5 II Black Silver Blue Orange,, 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. 

Latest Bensimon Tennis Lacet Low Top Trainers Old / Pink For Women Outlet UK

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. Authentic adidas Ultra Boost 2017 White Black Blue,CLAUDIE PIERLOT - Peter Pan-collar wool jumper Orange TRROYP,Authentic adidas Yeezy 350 Boost Agagra Moonrock Agagra,.  

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, Authentic Lebron James 11 All Star 647780 735,CURRO Black D9KMGU So Size,Authentic Real Kobe 9 Elite Low Influence Volt Bright Crimson Black Silver,. 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," Authentic Real Nike Kobe A.D. White Black Metallic Gold,DMQDZX Relags chrome grey/black (2018),Buy Cheap Nike Hyperdunk 2014 Low Black Yellow Red,."

Cheap Discount Air Jordan 13 Low Bred Black Metallic Gold University Red,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

Cheap Foamposite One "Metallic Pewter" Black 314996-004,KURT GEIGER LONDON - Richmond pebbled leather tote Tan QJXUGJ,Cheap Kobe Bryant Olympic FTB Fade to Black Mamba,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Cheap Lebron James 10 White Black Gold Medal,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

3 months for $9

Cheap Lebron James 9 Low Team Red Challenge Red Wolf Grey,LiteRide Slide Navy/White 28B4RD Crocs,Cheap Original Nike Kobe Venomenon 5 Teal,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

Cheap Priced Air Jordan 4 GS Black Dynamic Blue White Vivid Pink 487724-019,Mable Monochrome Colour Block Roll Neck Jumper giw_58605 Casual,Cheap Priced Nike Kobe 11 OREO,

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

Cheap Sale Jordan CP3.X Black Volt,MFZBNP UVEX LGL 21 Bike Glasses pink/black (2018),Discount adidas Crazylight Boost Low 2016 Black Glow in the dark,
Discount Cheap Nike KD 6 Blue Varisty Red White 599424 102,Natasha Chunky Balloon Sleeve Knitted Crop Jumper oox_90874 Casual,Discount Nike Zoom HyperRev Photo Blue Midnight Navy Barely Blue Vivid Pink,
  • Discount 164739 New Balance Fresh Foam 980 Women Silver Coral Shoes
  • Nike Air Presto 5 Mens Flannelette White Black 3127868
  • Competitive Price Nike MagistaX Finale II Ic Indoor Football Shoes White Blue Black M3w1976
  • Nike Blazer Leopard Print Shoes Black White /Nike Jordan [ N161]
  • Men's - Nike Air Force 1 Low - Shoes - Basketball - Palm Green White 5EG6085
  • Top brand Reebok Crossfit Nano 4.0 Stinger Yellow / Navy / Met Silver Footwear
  • Discount VIVIENNE WESTWOOD Printed Cotton Canvas Bustier - Multicolor women's Tops - 97QT830
  • New BalanceWX822v2 - Fresh Foam
  • Mens Nike Air Max Breathable Black Gold Shoe Best Price
  • Womens Nike Air Jordan Xiii 13 Retro Fushia Shoe Store Wholesale
  • New Balance Women W530AAC (yellow / gray / black)
  • Jordans 14 Women-0016
  • Puma Vikky Softfoam Mid Women's Sneakers Gray Violet-White L75z2394
  • UK Official authorized - Men Onitsuka Tiger Asics Tiger Corsair VIN Hawaiian Ocean Blazing Yellow shoe stores
  • nike zoom kobe vi mens black silver red Shoes
  • Men's - Nike All Court Canvas Obsidian / Obsidian-White Shoes
  • Anti-cold Originals ZX 750 adidas Originals zx adidas Originals ZX 5000 I SIZE adidas originals zx 8000 mens red navy
  • Men's Jordan Super.Fly 3 N7 PO
  • Nike Dri-FIT Knit Novelty Crew 619953-870 Bright Mango
  • Adidas Shoes Sale Zx 8000 white/ftwwht/colred/cblack AD 6307