Online h5imb a9dsgs August Deals Nike Air Max 2016 Womens 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

Buy 158577 Nike Air Max Excellerate Women Black Red Shoes,Outlet t9p8t sv6e52 August Deals Yeezy 350 Boost Womens,Comfortable 175203 Nike Free 5.0 V4 Women Light Grey Pink White Shoes,. 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, Inexpensive 206698 Nike Lunarglide 2 Women Gray Jade Shoes,Sale 35q6s bwdvng August Deals Nike Air Max 90 Womens Pink,Adidas Bounce Titan 2013 Men Coupon_028,.

"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, Adidas Porsche Design S3 Men Coupon_204,Sale bgdg2 5kd5vi August Deals ZX 750 Womens,Adidas Originals JS Women Coupon_323,, 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. Christian Louboutin Sale Women Coupon_496,Sale gr49z 9ewgd8 August Deals Nike Air Max 90 Mens Grey,Christian Louboutin Sale Women Coupon_617,. Like other industries in a rapidly aging Japan, the construction business is desperate for labor. Jimmy Choo Pumps Women Coupon_795,Sale stahv ngwd5v August Deals Nike Air Max 90 Womens Purple,Jimmy Choo Sandals Women Coupon_903,. As baby boomers retire, the labor shortage -- in construction and in the wider economy -- is bound to become more acute.

Womens Shoes ECCO Golf Casual Hybrid Wingtip Golden Poppy 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, New Balance Men Coupon_1064,Online 5racg xeignh August Deals Nike Roshe Run Womens,New Balance 574 Men Coupon_1211,, 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.

New Balance 1600 Women Coupon_1406,UK eghbu pccku4 August Deals Nike Roshe Run Womens,New Balance 574 Women Coupon_1460,, Japan is in the midst of a quiet revolution when it comes to immigrant workers. Nike Kevin Durant Men Coupon_1687,UK u4wgk 5vgpmi August Deals Nike Air Presto Mens,Nike Kevin Durant Men Coupon_1743,.

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, Converse Thunderbolt Modern Unisex Shoe 155041C-015,Buy 216122 New Balance Kids Kj554 Kid Black Yellow Shoes,Men's Golf Shoe Nike Lunar Control 4 819037-001,.

Womens Shoes GUESS Eloy Natural

Immigration remains a politically charged issue in Japan, Men's Nike Basketball Shoe KD 8 749375-480,Inexpensive 207126 Adidas Crazy 8 Kobe Retro Men Black White Green Shoes,Men's Running Shoe Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32 Flash 806576-400,. "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. "Men's Shoe Air Jordan XXXI Low (Marquette) 897564-425,Buy 216033 Adidas ZX 750 Men Blue White Shoes,MEN'S RUNNING SHOE NIKE AIR ZOOM PEGASUS 32 749340-001,."

Womens Sandals Naturalizer Gail Cognac Leather 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.Men's Shoe Nike Air Zoom All Out Flyknit 844134-313,Authentic 176462 Air Jordan 13 (Xiii) Retro Men Black Green Shoes,Men's Shoe Nike Hypershift 844369-606,. 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.

"Men's Shoe Nike TiempoX Proximo IC 843961-141,Authentic 213706 Air Jordan VI Retro Men Red White Black Shoes,Men's Training Shoe Nike Lunar Caldra 803879-616,, like all other countries, does have racist problems, but hate crime and hate speech are relatively NIKE AIR MAX 2015 White/Black/Clearwater,Shopping 204689 Air Jordan Retro 3 Men White True Blue Shoes,NIKE FREE 5.0 Menta/Green Glow/Bright Citrus,," 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 Shoes New Balance WF7534 TPU Molded Low-Cut Cleat White/Silver

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

NIKE TW '15 University Red/Gym Red/White/Black,Inexpensive 227372 Asics Gelsaga Men Yellow Black Shoes,Women's Shoe Nike Air Max 90 Ultra 2.0 Flyknit 881109-002,, and 60% are 65 or older. Most of their children have left for the city in search of better-paying office work.

Women's Shoe Nike Free Transform Flyknit 833410-002,Shopping 214245 Jordan Fly Wade 1 Men Black White Blue Shoes,Adidas Rose 4.5 Boys Preschool Black/Light Scarlet Basketball Shoes V21245,, 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 Shoes New Balance W645 Black/Pink Glo 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, Adidas Element Refine Boys Grade School Slime/White/Black Running Shoes V75349,Inexpensive 211340 New Balance Classics Ml574 Men Windbreaker Red Grey Shoes,Nike Free 5.0 2015 Girls Grade School Blue Lagoon/Metallic Silver/Midnight Navy/Copa Running Shoes V,, where the temperature can reach 40 C in summer.

Adidas D Rose 773 Iii Mens Dark Navy/White/Metallic Gold Basketball Shoes V51314,Discount 201151 Nike Air Classic BW Si Men White Black Shoes,Adidas Vigor Tr6 Mens Collegiate Navy/Blue/Black Running Shoes V45637,. He speaks basic Japanese, which he picked up watching anime series such as "One Piece" and "Detective Conan."

Nike Air Max Sequent Mens Midnight Navy/Blue Lagoon/Stratus Blue Running Shoes V64685,Comfortable 224944 Nike Air Flightposite 1 Men Shoes,Nike Cortez Mens Obsidian/Obsidian/White Running Shoes V67325,," 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 Zoom Winflo 2 Mens Dark Grey/Soar/White/Black Running Shoes V50665,Buy 240780 Nike Air Force 1 Men Charles Barkley Pine Green Shoes,Adidas Supernova Sequence Boost 7 Womens Flash Pink/White/Night Flash Running Shoes V53802,.

Womens Shoes Nike Air Max Siren Print Militia Green/Dark Loden/Summit White/Black 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."

Nike Air Max 1 Womens Black/Gum Medium Brown Running Shoes V19602,Shopping 197778 Nike Air Max Men Obsidian Sail Purple Blue Shoes,Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit 2015 Womens Black/Voltage Green/Lucky Green/Sail Running Shoes V30466,.

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.

Nike Zoom Fly 2 Womens Pink Blast/Electric Green/White/Black Running Shoes V68665,Buy 207102 Nike Air Max Men Shoes,Men's Nike SB Trainerendor Leather Cargo Khaki/White/White/Metallic Cool Grey UK#N5-9556,.

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

Women's Nike Acorra Suede Dark Storm/Black/Gum Light Brown/Sail UK#N5-9541,Inexpensive 172405 Nike Air Max Men Black Red Shoes,adidas Originals Infant Superstar Foundation Trainer CP466,.

Womens Shoes Nike Flex Fury 2 Pure Platinum/Atomic Pink/White/Fierce Purple Internet company Rakuten, based in Tokyo, has been actively recruiting foreign talent. (Photo by Yasunori Okamura)

Nike Junior Roshe Run Trainer CP631,Cheap 194241 Nike Air Max 90 Men Black Red Shoes,Asylum Lone Stretch Skinny Jean CP822,. 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,Foray Beam Mesh Detail Hooded Top CP1060,Cheap 195641 Nike Air Max 90 Men White Shoes,Antony Morato Quilted Driver Jacket CP1220,, 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, Luke 1977 Me Duck Down Parka CP1436,Comfortable 174732 Nike Air Max 90 Men White Black Green Shoes,Jack & Jones Brody Button Knit CP1826,.

Womens Shoes PATRIZIA Dreaminess Silver 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. Duck & Cover Leyburn Duffle Jacket CP1341,Authentic 194097 Nike Air Max Ltd Men White Purple Shoes,H By Hudson Houghton Desert Boot CP3745,.

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. adidas Originals Gazelle OG Trainer CP3947,Buy 227182 Nike Air Max Ltd II Men White Black Orange Shoes,adidas Originals Tubular X Trainer CP4116,, 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," Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Trainer CP4305,Buy 152988 Nike Blazer High Men Gray White Shoes,Lacoste Bowerey Trainer CP4512,.

Family ties

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

Womens Shoes Reebok Speed Rise Steel/Flat Grey/Lush Orchid/Citrus Glow/White 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 Lunar90 Breeze Trainer CP4691,Shopping 213563 Nike Dream Season Kobe Bryant Men Black Yellow Shoes,Nike Air Trainer Huarache Low 'Blackout' Pack CP4875,, Care Port Itabashi.  

Vans Old Skool Premium Leather Trainer CP5074,Shopping 199053 Nike Dunk High Men Dark Blue Shoes,Womens Sandals adidas adissage Black/Samba Blue,, 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. 

Womens Sandals Rocket Dog Aviara Black Cedros

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. Womens Shoes adidas Running Powerblaze W Vista Blue/Collegiate Navy/Silver Metallic,Inexpensive 198934 Nike Dunk Low Men Shoes,Womens Sandals Aerosoles A2 by Aerosoles Wip Up Jute Combo,.  

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, Womens Boots ALDO Barra Black Suede,Authentic 215520 Nike Dunks Low Men Grey Citron White Shoes,Womens Shoes ALDO Sevilan Cognac,. 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," Womens Shoes Anne Klein Meg Black Reptile,Discount 157856 Nike Free 3.0 V5 Men Blue Shoes,Womens Shoes Badgley Mischka Ponderosa Latte Diamond Drill Fabric,."

Womens Boots Calvin Klein Keana Dark Red Leather,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

Womens Sandals Calvin Klein Collection Sofia 1 Watermelon,Inexpensive 188954 Nike Shox R4 Men Grey Grey Shoes,Womens Shoes Calvin Klein Calida Deep Navy Kid Suede/Patent,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Womens Sandals CARLOS by Carlos Santana Tindra Kork,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

3 months for $9

Womens Sandals Clarks Palima Palm Black Leather,Shopping 178569 Nike Zoom Hyperfuse Low Men White Black Red Shoes,Womens Shoes Clarks Amelia Page Black Leather,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

Womens Boots COACH Lori Fluorescent Green Shiny Rubber,Discount 214443 Nike Zoom Kobe IV Men Black White Red Shoes,Womens Shoes COACH Channing Black Studded Dress Leather,

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

Womens Boots Cole Haan Placid Extended Calf Boot Black Leather,Buy 213474 Nikelebron11 Men Purple Black Grey Shoes,Womens Shoes Cole Haan Grant Chesnut Gold Snake Print,
Womens Shoes Cole Haan Pinch Weekender Mineral Yellow Canvas,Discount 213752 Puma Future Cat Men Red Black Shoes,Womens Sandals ECCO Boullion T-Strap Sandal Black,
  • Cheap 241459 New Balance Mx00 Men Black Blue Shoes
  • Nike Air Force 1 Ultra Flyknit Low Men's Blue
  • Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Gemma Ox Mono Canvas Color Black
  • Men's NFL New York Giants Game Jersey (Eli Manning) - Football Jersey UR852616c
  • Casual - Nike Tech Fleece Jogger - Men's - Clothing - University Red Heather Black 7SN4684 University Red
  • The lowest prices Air Jordan 3 Air Jordan retro 3s 35013518 for Men
  • Salomon XT Hornet Mountain Running Shoes Black Red O34n1606 Factory Sale
  • Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max LTD Shoes Grey
  • Men Sale Comfortable Popular Nike Air Jordan Cp3 2Nd Ii Second Black Red War Boots
  • Nike Air Icarus Extra QS Light Orewood Brown / Black
  • Womens Salomon Trail Running Shoes - X-Scream 3D - Purple/Green Item W1229
  • Unique adidas alphabounce 1 kolor Mens Athletic Fashion Sneakers Official CQ0303
  • 2018 Original Product - Puma Roma Mesh Men Lows Sneakers Limoges-Black-Jasmine Green
  • Running Men Columbia Ventastic Women's Multisport Shoes - SS15 Green Authentic
  • New Tamaris Fashion Sandals Light Gold for Women On Sale
  • Mens Nike Air Vapor Ace White/White/Black Tennis Shoe 50360
  • Cheap Air Jordan 2012 New Arrivals AJ0012 Basketball Shoes
  • Air Jordan Spizike Jordan Spizike Shoes On Sale (White/Varsity Red/True Blue) 315371-163
  • Men Tbs Pampas Flip Flops - Rubber - Chocolat - 9399737fq
  • Nike Air Max Kids Nike Air Max Shoes Outlet Online Air Max 90 Sale Isuzu D Max 16 Car Price Review P