RESTOCK ASICS GEL LYTE III LIMITED OREO PACK WHITE BLACK MEN US SIZE 8 9 10 11 V 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 Roshe Run Mens Shoes Breathable For Summer Black Red,Nike Jordan Super.Fly Team Slippers Mens Black White N30103,Nike Zoom KD V BHM Kevin Durant Basketball Shoes For Men in 86828,. 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, Online Hypervenom Phelon Tf Boots Yellow Blue,Nike Roshe One Premium Plus Shoes Mens White Black N89935,Shopping Nike Free Run 3.0 Mens Running Shoes Wool Skin For Winter 2013 Cheap Blue White,.

"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, Under Armour UA Curry One Low 2015 All White Basketball Shoes Sale,Nike Stefan Janoski Premium Se Shoes Mens Black Dark Grey White Red N20366,Nike Roshe LD-1000 QS Royal/Maize Trainers 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 XS 850 Plus Buttercup Running Shoes for MAN,Adidas Training adipure 360 2 Primo Shoes Collegiate Royal For Men,Nike Hyperfr3sh QS White/White/Black Sneakers for MAN,. Like other industries in a rapidly aging Japan, the construction business is desperate for labor. Adidas Originals Stan Smith Black/Black/Black Trainers for MAN,Nike Air Max Effort TR Training Shoes White Black Bright Crimson For Men,Adidas Pro Model Vintage Deluxe Navy/Off White/Gold Metallic Sneakers for MAN,. As baby boomers retire, the labor shortage -- in construction and in the wider economy -- is bound to become more acute.

Outdoor Wedge Heel Slides Sandals - Papaya - 36 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, Nike SB Free Black/White/Dark Grey Sneakers for MAN,Timberland Heritage Rugged LTD Boots Glazed Ginger For Men,Nike Free Ace Black/Black/Black Running Shoes 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 Zoom Structure 18 Menta/Black/Voltage Green/Ghost Green Running Shoes for WOMAN,Nike Vapor Court Tennis Shoes Classic Charcoal Blue Lagoon Black White For Men,New Balance W576 Berry Trainers for WOMAN,, Japan is in the midst of a quiet revolution when it comes to immigrant workers. Adidas Tubular Doom Sock Great Primeknit Gs Pink AC 8008 London,Nike Internationalist Mid Shoes Summit White Neutral Grey For Men,Discount Authentic 308497-027 Kids Nike Air Jordan 4 Shoes Black/Blue/Orange,.

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 467893-011 Mens Nike Air Jordan Big Ups Shoes Anthracite/Team Orange,Nike Air Pegasus 89 ND Shoes Cool Grey Wolf Grey White Dark Ash For Men,Discount Authentic Kids Nike Air Jordan 6 Shoes White/Black/Red/Blue,.

Thick Base Cross  Flat  Style Flat Roman Shoes - Red Wine - 39

Immigration remains a politically charged issue in Japan, Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air force 1 Low Shoes Red/Black/White Tiger,Nike Air Foamposite Pro Shoes Dark Obsidian Light Aqua Dark For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Jordan 13 Shoes Grey/Dark Blue/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 5 Shoes Dark Grey,Nike Mercurial Bostonfly Artificial Grass Soccer Cleat Laser Orange Black Volt White For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Jordan Play In Shoes Red/White,."

LOW PRICE Nike Air Max 90 LE Black Gray 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 2009 Shoes White/Grey,Nike SB Check Canvas Skateboarding Shoes Black White For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 2012 Shoes White/Orange/Blue/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 90 Black/Red/Blue,Nike Free 5 0 Flash Running Shoes Reflect Silver Hyper Jade Wolf Grey Black For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 90 White/Pink/Black/Orange,, like all other countries, does have racist problems, but hate crime and hate speech are relatively Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max BW Shoes White/Red/Black,Adidas Outdoor Terrex Swift Shoes Core Black For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max Jordan 3.5 Shoes White/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.

New Balance MRL996 Blue

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 Skybine Shoes All Black,Adidas Originals ZX 500 OG Running White Ftw Running White Light Solid Grey For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Airmax 2009 Shox R4 Shoes White/Gym Red/Black,, 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 High Shoes Gym Red/Orange/White,Interactive HXM00N00E1008N9999 Interactive Shoes For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Dunk Low Shoes Dark Red/Black/Dark Grey/White,, 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.

RETAIL STORE Adidas ZX Flux pink Black 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 Free Powerlines Running Shoes Dark Grey/Lime/White,Sneakers H198 HXM1980L481861369R Casual Shoes For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Shox NZ Shoes Black/Yellow/Gold,, where the temperature can reach 40 C in summer.

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Shox R4 Shoes White/Metallic Platinum/Red,Adidas Baseball Adizero Afterburner Cleats Collegiate Royal Running White Carbon Metallic For Men,NEW Nike Air More Uptempo x Supreme Super Suptempo Red 902290-600,. He speaks basic Japanese, which he picked up watching anime series such as "One Piece" and "Detective Conan."

Super 2018 Adidas Best Ultra Boost 4.0 UK CNY Chinese New Year 8-13 Black Red BB6173,Adidas Adidas Neo Daily LX Shoes St Cargo Khaki For Men,Designers Jordan Wings Fleece Bomber Jacket Bordeaux/Black For Men Selling Well,," 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.

Latest Nike Nba Club Wordmark Hoodie Black For Men Sale,2015 Air Jordan Spizike 3.5 Retro Mens Shoes Best Quality Black Red,Nike Tech Fleece Colorblocked Windrunner Vintage Green/Black For Men Online,.

Adidas Plimcana Mid Winter Black White 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."

The Most Popular Nike Advance 15 Block Full-Zip Hoodie Birch Heather/White/Black For Men On Sale,2015 Latest Nike Air Max 2016 Mens Shoes Blue Black Online Sales For Cheap,adidas Originals NMD_XR1 PK Blue,.

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.

Converse Deck Star ,2015 New Nike Air Jordan 4 IV Mens Shoes Black Blue,Nike SB Zoom Stefan Janoski L Brown,.

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 Mayfly Woven White,2015 Newest Nike Air Yeezy 2 Sp Max 90 The Devil Series Trainers Velcro Navy Blue Mens Shoes On Sale,Reebok CL Leather SPP White,.

NICE Adidas Honey Hook W Blue Internet company Rakuten, based in Tokyo, has been actively recruiting foreign talent. (Photo by Yasunori Okamura)

adidas OutdoorTrailcruiser Mid,2015 Nike Flex Series Sneakers Mens Running Shoes For Cheap Blue Fluorescent Green,New BalanceMXC700v3,. 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 Mercurial Vortex II FG,2015 Nike Free Run 5.0 V6 Men Shoes Grey Red,Adidas Wales Presentation Suit Red - 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-Nimbus Lite-Show 18 Grey Pink Womens Shoes,2015 Nike Zoom Kobe X 10 Mens Basketball Shoes Merlot Villain Red Total Orange Metallic Gold Kobe Bryant Sneakers Silk Road,Asics 21 Pink Womens Shoes,.

Vans Old Skool liberty/cash 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 Cortez Verdi Women,2016 Nike Air Force 1 LV8 VT Low"Independence Day"Mens Star Pack White Couples Shoes 789104-100,Plain Toe in Beaded National Style Sandal Women's Shoes - White - 39,.

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 Hyp Wc Shoes Womens Black Green Green Black N21188,2016 Nike Mens Basketball Sneakers Lebron 13 All Black,Nike Sb Air Zoom Stefan Janoski Elite Skateboarding Shoes Womens White Black White N91884,, 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 Zero Leopard Shoes St Goldenrod For Women,Air JORDAN FLIGHT 23 RST LOW Cheap Mens Shoes To Buy Grey White,Timberland Millway Suede Oxford Shoes Tan Suede For Women,.

Family ties

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

Asics Men's Gel Contend 3 Blue/White/Black Athletic Shoes Sz 6.5M EUC 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, Sneakers H222 HXW2220M46586NM823 Sneakers Shoes For Women,Air Max 90 Mens Shoes Cheap On Sale Green White,Interactive HXW00N0O88078ZB999 Interactive Shoes For Women,, Care Port Itabashi.  

2015 Limit Nike Wmns Free Viritous Trainers Womens Running Shoes Black White 725060-001,Air Max 90 Mens Shoes Wholesale On Sale Black Gray,2015 Nike Free Run+ 3 Womens Shoes Pinke Silver Discount,, 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 Gel Lyte V 5 Ronnie Fieg Green Apple Kith Size 13 DS

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. Air Max 90 Womens New Shoes Camo Green,Air Max Ltd 2 Mens Shoes Black Orange,Nike Air Max 2011 New Reviewed Womens Shoes Grey Moon,.  

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 TN Womens Shoes black,Buy Cheap Nike Kobe 9 2014 High Top Master Black White Mens Shoes,Nike Lunar Hyperdunk 2012 Basketball Shoes for Women in 82421,. 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," Best Deals 849557-500 Nike AIR VAPORMAX FLYKNIT VIOLET DUST WOMENS RUNING SHOE (VIOLET/PLUM wholesale FOG),Buy Cheap Nike Lebron 11 2014 Elite White Red Black Mens Shoes,Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air Jordan 4 Shoes White/Grey/Blue,."

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air Max 2011 Shoes White/Red/Black,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air Max 97 Shoes Yellow/Red,Nike Air Jordan I 1 Retro Mens Shoes Low Black Red,Discount Authentic Womens Nike Dunk High Shoes Dark Blue/White/Blue,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Free TR Twist Training Shoes Yellow/Grey/White,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

3 months for $9

NIKE AIR MAX 270 Pro AH8050-003 Black Light Bone Hot Punch Men/Women,Nike Air Max 2014 Running Shoes Online Blue Orange,New Asics Graphic Tank Light Grey Heather For Women Online,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

VANS X NINTENDO TRI FORCE ZELDA TANK - BLACK VANS TANK WOMENS,Nike Air Max 90 Mens Shoes Green Black Blue Almond,Asics Gel-Kayano 22 Blue Black Mens Shoes,

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

Asics 1 Red Mens Shoes,Nike Air Max Lebron VII-1,Nike Football Men Rosa Rosso,
Ankle Strap Faux Pearl Toe Ring Sandals - Black - 39,Nike Air Max TN I Mens Shoes black purple,Flap Studs Slingback Flats - Black - 38,
  • Shopping 151385 Nike Lunar Macleay Men Grey Black Shoes
  • Nike Air Jordan 11 Glow-in-the-dark Sole Galaxy White Sneakers 3125812
  • Jordan Men Shoes Nightshade 931829
  • Nike Air VaporMax Laceless 2017 AH3397-201
  • Jordan Double Crossover Shorts - Basketball - Black Gym Red 4CQ8130 - Clothing - Men's Gym Red
  • Friboo Kids Ballet Pumps Gold
  • 100% original DINO DRAGHI Leather Oxford Laceless - Black Men's Lace-Up Shoes - 72XA698
  • The Hottest Styles Nike Legacy Full Zip Hoodie Legion Green For Men Selling Well
  • Under Armour Mens UA Curry Two Style 1259007 052 GRAY STORM Mens basketball sports shoes sneakers
  • adidas STAN SMITH OP CF W
  • The Hottest Style Vialis Maloui Heels Brown For Women Sale Online
  • LeBron 13 Lightest Written in the Stars Mulberry Platinum Vivid 807219 500 Pure Purple
  • Diesel Women's Shoes TWISTER - High-top trainers - black
  • Pumps & Heels Women 2 Lips Too Too Lola 2 Pump Leopard Special
  • Oxfords & Lace-Ups Men Polo Ralph Lauren Torrington Wingtip Oxford OliveGreen/Brown/Black/Green Authentic
  • Men's Adidas Originals ZX 700 True Blue/White-Legened Ink Shoes Sale UK D65644
  • Black Grey White Men's Shoes / Nike Air Max 90 Essential Outlet Sale
  • Nike Air Force 1 Premium Low Mens Shoes in White/Green inkjet
  • Under Armour Ignite Slippers Men Black/White
  • Blu/Nere/Verde Nike sales Air Max 90 V SP Patch Official Donna Scarpe 746682-133