Outlet ytdzm 8p7si5 August Deals Superstar 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

Discount 187394 Nike Dunk High Women Pink Ice White Shoes,UK 3qmbc rapnu4 August Deals Nike Air Max 2015 Mens,Inexpensive 155168 Nike Free 5.0 V4 Women Purple Yellow 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, Discount 226803 Nike Lunareclipse 2 Women Blue Green Black Shoes,UK ea2pi 6z75vu Cheap Nike Air Max 90 Womens Pink Shoes,Adidas Bounce Titan 2013 Men Coupon_032,.

"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 Originals JS Men Coupon_128,UK ndsby gd2med August Deals Nike Air Max 90 Womens White,Adidas Bounce Titan 2013 Women Coupon_294,, 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_455,UK zedtg q6ez89 Cheap Adidas Superstar Womens Black Shoes,Christian Louboutin Sale Women Coupon_562,. Like other industries in a rapidly aging Japan, the construction business is desperate for labor. Jimmy Choo Boots Women Coupon_691,Inexpensive 205882 New Balance Kids Kl574 Kid Pink Purple Shoes,Jimmy Choo Sandals Women Coupon_857,. As baby boomers retire, the labor shortage -- in construction and in the wider economy -- is bound to become more acute.

Womens Shoes Cole Haan Bartlett Sandal Ch Gold Metallic 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, Platforms Jimmy Choo Women Coupon_987,Authentic 185226 Adidas Originals ZX 750 Men Black Cardinal White Shoes,New Balance 420 Men Coupon_1114,, 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 574 Men Coupon_1251,Discount 151780 Adidas ZX 750 Men Green Yellow Shoes,New Balance 996 Men Coupon_1333,, Japan is in the midst of a quiet revolution when it comes to immigrant workers. New Balance 998 Women Coupon_1542,Inexpensive 235707 Air Jordan 13 Retro Men White /Tropical Black Grey Shoes,Nike Kevin Durant Men Coupon_1701,.

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 155043C-215,Buy 146753 Air Jordan 6 7 Men Gold Medal Pack Shoes,Men's Basketball Shoe Nike HyperLive 819663-170,.

Womens Shoes Cole Haan Tali Bow Ballet Dark Silver Metalic

Immigration remains a politically charged issue in Japan, Men's Golf Shoe Nike Lunar Control 4 819037-100,Discount 149291 Air Jordan V.5 Low Men Grown White Grey Shoes,Men's Nike Shoe Free Trainer 5.0 V6 AMP Volt/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. "Men's Running Shoe Nike Air Max Tailwind 8 805941-001,Inexpensive 218715 Asics Gelkayano 18 Men Black Yellow Shoes,Men's Shoe Air Jordan 2 Retro 834274-001,."

Womens Sandals ECCO Bouillion Sandal II Gladiator Black/Black 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 LeBron XIII Lifestyle 806396-100,Inexpensive 152425 Lebron 11 Men Fluorescent Green Black Shoes,Men's Shoe Nike Air Max Zero BeTrue 789695-101,. 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 Flyknit Lunar 3 698181-408,Buy 180945 New Balance Classics Ml576 Men Burgundy Shoes,Men's Shoe Nike Roshe Two Flyknit 365 859535-001,, like all other countries, does have racist problems, but hate crime and hate speech are relatively Men's Training Shoe Nike Free Trainer 1.0 807436-005,Cheap 211505 New Balance Mc1005 Men Grey Yellow Shoes,Nike Air Force 1 07 LV8 University White/Gum Light Brown/White,," 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 ECCO Sport Arizona Ballerina Trooper/Trooper/Papaya

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 DUAL FUSION BALLISTEC ADVANTAGE Volt/Dove Grey/Black/White,Inexpensive 157400 Nike Air Classic BW Si Men White Red Grey Shoes,NIKE LUNARGLIDE 6 Light Magnet Grey/Photo Blue/Volt/Black,, and 60% are 65 or older. Most of their children have left for the city in search of better-paying office work.

Women's Running Shoe Nike Free RN 831509-400,Discount 177887 Nike Air Force 1 Men Black Red Shoes,Women's Shoe Nike Air Zoom Strong 843975-004,, 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 GUESS Almirra Natural 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 Rose 3.5 Boys Toddler Joy Blue/Satellite/Altitude Basketball Shoes V60497,Buy 240780 Nike Air Force 1 Men Charles Barkley Pine Green Shoes,Adidas Crazy 8 Boys Grade School Solar Zest/Blast Purple/White Basketball Shoes V78591,, where the temperature can reach 40 C in summer.

Nike Air Max 90 Boys Grade School White/Cool Grey/White Running Shoes V90815,Discount 234175 Nike Air Max Men White Black Shoes,Adidas Crazylight 2.5 Boost Low Mens White/Yellow/Maroon Basketball Shoes V96790,. He speaks basic Japanese, which he picked up watching anime series such as "One Piece" and "Detective Conan."

Adidas Element Refine Mens Tech Grey/Black/Solar Blue Running Shoes V80386,Shopping 195201 Nike Air Max Men Grey Blue Shoes,Adidas D Rose Mens Aluminum/Black/Light Scarlet Slippers V10110,," 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 Air Max 2016 Mens Wolf Grey/Racer Blue/Sail/Black Running Shoes V98922,Cheap 235820 Nike Air Max Men Dark Grey Red Shoes,Nike Free 5.0 2015 Mens Bright Crimson/White/Black Running Shoes V42156,.

Womens Sandals Naturalizer Harrison Sea Coral Leather 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 Zoom Structure 18 Mens Total Orange/Voltage Green/Ghost Green/Black Running Shoes V81787,Discount 193794 Nike Air Max 1 Men White Red Shoes,Adidas Adissage 2.0 Womens White/Matte Silver/Shock Blue Slippers V92288,.

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 Air Max 2016 Womens Hyper Orange/Sail/Black Running Shoes V58757,Buy 227249 Nike Air Max 90 Men White Black Shoes,Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit 2015 Womens Black/Voltage Green/Lucky Green/Sail Running Shoes V30471,.

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

Men's Nike Toki Slip Textile Wolf Grey/White UK#N5-9402,Buy 211982 Nike Air Max 90 Men White Blue Black Shoes,Men's Nike Golf Explorer SL Pure Platinum/Daring Red/Black UK#N5-9399,.

Womens Shoes Naturalizer Taylor Brown Internet company Rakuten, based in Tokyo, has been actively recruiting foreign talent. (Photo by Yasunori Okamura)

Women's Nike Flex Experience Run 4 Black/Copa/White/Vivid Purple UK#N5-9004,Authentic 192030 Nike Air Max Darwin 360 Men White Dark Grey Shoes,Projekts NYC Junior Denton Hooded Top CP420,. 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 Junior Flight Huarache Trainer CP655,Cheap 242358 Nike Air Max Ltd Men White Brown Shoes,Foray Marble Regular Fit 3D Jean CP844,, 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, Criminal Damage Fields Of Gold Hooded Top CP1025,Discount 160495 Nike Air Max Tailwind Men Royal Black Shoes,Alessandro Zavetti Talla Jacket CP1201,.

Womens Shoes New Balance XC900v2 Spikes Pigment/Pink Zing 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. Henri Lloyd Chelford Harrington Jacket CP1407,Discount 236157 Nike Blazer High Men Blue Fluorescent Green Shoes,Foray Vector Jogger Black CP1688,.

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 AW77 Short CP2173,Comfortable 152664 Nike Dunk High Men Shoes,Ellesse Rimini Nylon Front Track Top CP3562,, 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," Hugo Boss Losti Flip Flop CP3851,Authentic 220767 Nike Dunk High Men Stars Shoes,adidas Originals ZX 8000 Boost Trainer CP4020,.

Family ties

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

Womens Shoes Nike Flex Fury Hot Lava/Sunset Glow/Bright Citrus/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, Asics Gel-Lyte III Evo Trainer CP4218,Discount 232399 Nike Dunk High Men Blue White Black Shoes,Cruyff Vanenburg X-LITE Trainer CP4404,, Care Port Itabashi.  

Nike Zoom Stefan Janoski Trainer CP4592,Authentic 222461 Nike Dunk SB High Men Yellow Black White Shoes,Nike Hyperfresh Trainer CP4771,, 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 Shoes Nike Lunarglide 7 Violet Ash/Hyper Orange/Sail/Black

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. Supra Owen Mesh Runner Trainer CP5011,Authentic 201937 Nike Free 3.0 V4 Men Red Black Shoes,Flossy Womens Plimsole CP5188,.  

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 Shoes adidas Cloudfoam Flow Shock Green/Shock Green/White,Authentic 221999 Nike Free 4.0 V2 Men Red White Shoes,Womens Boots Aerosoles Playbill Black Fabric,. 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 Aerosoles Nuwlywed Black Combo,Inexpensive 152104 Nike Free Run 3 Men Yellow White Shoes,Womens Boots ALDO Uloeven Black Suede,."

Womens Boots Anne Klein AKGalenka Medium Natural Multi Fabric,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

Womens Shoes Anne Klein Tapio Black Multi Synthetic,Buy 209123 Nike Zoom Hyperdunk Men Black Shoes,Womens Shoes Badgley Mischka Roudy Nude Satin,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Womens Shoes C Label Clower-3 Dark Teal,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

3 months for $9

Womens Shoes Calvin Klein Neoli Black Cow Roma,Inexpensive 245771 Nike Shox R4 Men White Grey Shoes,Womens Shoes Calvin Klein Day Indigo Lux Snake Print Leather,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

Womens Shoes CARLOS by Carlos Santana Serafina Zinc,Cheap 165045 Nike Zoom Kobe VI Men Black Purple Shoes,Womens Sandals Clarks Temira West White Leather,

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

Womens Shoes Clarks Un Casey Black Leather,Comfortable 211006 Puma Drift Cat III Sf Men Brown Shoes,Womens Boots COACH Sage Black/Cherry Rubber,
Womens Shoes COACH Arlene Saddle Pebble Grain Leather,Inexpensive 202808 Puma Drift Cat III Sf Men Black Shoes,Womens Boots Cole Haan Dey Bootie Black Leather,
  • Cheap 237860 Nike Air Max Men Red Black Shoes
  • Nike Mercurial Victory VI Firm Ground Junior Black
  • Nike Tennis Classic Cs Suede Beige
  • Men's Hurley Phantom 302 Boot - Wetsuit Booties LI706426l
  • Clothing - Casual - PUMA Colorblock Jacket - Puma Black 6SM10261 - Men's
  • Very Cheap Asics NEW GEL-KAYANO 23 RUNNING TRAINERS HOT VERMILI Black Orange 78336065 for Men
  • Nike Air Max 90 Grey Green Shoes
  • Discount Authentic Mens Nike Dunk High Shoes White/Black/Grey
  • Find Comfortable Authentic Ralph Lauren Big Pony Canvas Handbag Green
  • Wholesale Priced & New Air Jordan 11 Lunar Legend Edition Black Deep Blue Shoes
  • Cheap Stonefly Emily 12 Nappa Boots Black For Women Outlet UK
  • Nike Air Max Tailwind 7 Men Pure Platinum/Volt/Black Running Shoes
  • Nike Dunk Low Premium NEWCASLE Brown Ale Beer Pack Gold Blue Shoes
  • Reliable Miss Kg Women Black White Multi Fanfare Tassel Strap Sandal Optative
  • New Arrival Asics GT 2000 4 Black/Onyx Running Shoes for Women Sale
  • Mens Nike Air Max Nike Air Huarache 1 Zebra-Stripe Black White No.2453
  • Caterpillar Dorrington Mens Casual Lace Up Boots (Wide Fit)
  • Air Max LTD Shoes White Black Red
  • Nike Air Max 90 Hyp Premium China Red/Black Mens Trainers
  • Nike Air Max Sb Men Nike Eric Koston Shoes 1000 Ideas About Stefan Janoski On Pinterest Air Max 1 Ni