RETAIL STORE Nike Blazer Mid Leather Premium W Black 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

Cheap Jeremy Shu How Lin Nike Zoom Hyperfuse 2011 High Mens Shoes Blue Black White,{T600N.5858} ASICS Men's Gel Nimbus 18 Running Shoe *New In Box*,Cheap Sale Air Max 2012 Mens Shoes Breathable Online Green Grey Black,. 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 For Sale Air Max 90 Hyperfuse Mens Shoes Grey Red,ASICS Mens Gel Nimbus 18 Running Shoe Silver/Ink/Flash Yellow 11.5 2E US,FIFA World Cup Brazil Nike Magista Opus FG soccer boots black green 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, Hot Sell Cheap Popular Nike Dunk High Cut Mens Shoes Fur Inside for Winter Grey Green,Asics Gel Lyte III Men's Running Shoes Size 11 Sneakers H635L Gray Black Red,Men's Air Griffey Max Shoes in 19941,, 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. New Nike Air Max 2015 Mens Shoes Black Red Blue,ASICS GEL LYTE V H60SQ-9090 BLACK/BLACK 100% AUTHENTIC!,Newest Nike Hyperdunks 2015 TB All Star Shoes White Black Mens Basketball Sneakers High Top Cheap Sale,. Like other industries in a rapidly aging Japan, the construction business is desperate for labor. Nike Air Jordan 4 "Laser" 30th Anniversary Online Store For Cheap,Asics Gel Sight Navy Black Japan Denim H6l1N.5090 Lyte III V Men's 7-13,Nike Air Jordan IV 4 Retro Releases Dates Mens Shoes Leopard cheetahes,. As baby boomers retire, the labor shortage -- in construction and in the wider economy -- is bound to become more acute.

Nike Roshe Run Woven 2 0 N7 Shoes Black Anthracite Metallic Gold University Red For Women 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 Air Max 360 BB LOW For Men in 70581,Asics Noosa Tri 10 Gr Running Men's Shoes Size,Nike Air Max 90 New Mens Shoes Black Grey Online,, 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 Max Hyperposite Sneakers For Men in 70441,men shoes used asics gel kayano 23 size 11,Nike Air Max TN Cushioning Mens Shoes red black,, Japan is in the midst of a quiet revolution when it comes to immigrant workers. Nike Air Max TN I Mens Shoes Unique black silver,mens asic gel lyte iii size 10.5 athletic kith oreo,Nike Air Total Max Uptempo Mens Shoes White Blue,.

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, Nike Dunk SB 2012 New High Cut Mens Shoes superman blue red yellow white,ASICS GEL-NOOSA TRI 8 MEN'S TRIATHLON SHOES Onyx/Black/Confetti T306N 9990 New,Nike Free Run 4.0 V3 Mens Shoes Breathable Green Grey,.

Nike LunarGlide 6 Running Shoes White Peach Cream Bright Mango Black For Women

Immigration remains a politically charged issue in Japan, Nike James LeBron IX(9) Shoes For Men in 46383,Asics GT-2000 3 Running Sneaker Shoe - Mens,Nike Lunar 5.5 Spider LT +2 Mens Shoes Black 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. "Nike Mercurial Veloce AG Football Boots yellow green black,NEW MENS ASICS GT-1000 V4 GEL RUNNING SHOES TRAINERS SILVER / ELECTRIC 4E XWIDE,Nike Zoom KD IV 4 Sneakers Kevin Durant For Men in 72770,."

2014 New Nike Air Max 90 87 HYP PRM Womens Shoes Online Green 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.Nike Zoom Kobe VIII 8 Sneakers For Men in 72653,VNDS Asics gel lyte III GL3 Whisper Pink Blush mens size 11 boost new balance,Popular Hot Sell Nike Zoom KD V Mens Shoes 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.

"To Buy For Sale Cheap Sale Nike Air Presto 5.0 Mens Shoes Black Blue,Nike Air Jordan 1 Mid Shoes Mens White Grey White N94863,World Cup Nike Hypervenom Phantom FG Soccer Cleats black red,, like all other countries, does have racist problems, but hate crime and hate speech are relatively Adidas Performance Energy Boost ESM White/Zero Met/Solar Blue Trainers for MAN,Nike Air Max Tavas Leather Shoes Mens Red Black White N79174,Nike Roshe NM Flyknit Premium Rough Green/Black/Sequoia Sneakers for MAN,," 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.

2015 Newest Releases Air Jordan 7 Retro 30th GG

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

Jordan Spizike Black/Bright Crimson/Court Purple/Bright Citrus Basketball Shoes for MAN,Nike Archive 83.M Shoes Mens Brown Dark Gold N43691,Adidas Originals Stan Smith - Primeknit White/Off White/Reflective Sneakers for MAN,, and 60% are 65 or older. Most of their children have left for the city in search of better-paying office work.

Nike Roshe NM Flyknit Premium Black/Black/Dark Grey/White Trainers for MAN,Nike Hurley Phantom Free Flip Flops Mens Black N10977,Converse All Star Hi Black/White Sneakers for MAN,, 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.

2016 Nike Air Force 1 LV8 VT Low 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, Nike Classic Cortez Team Red/Team Red/White Sneakers for MAN,Nike Jordan Hydro 5 Slippers Mens Red Black White N78725,Nike Air Zoom Structure 18 Menta/Black/Voltage Green/Ghost Green Running Shoes for WOMAN,, where the temperature can reach 40 C in summer.

Adidas Adistar Racer Core Black/Gold Metallic/Night Flash Sneakers for WOMAN,Nike Roshe Ld-1000 Shoes Mens Red White Green Grey N84081,ADIDAS YEEZY Reduced BOOST 350 V2 BLUE TINT B37571 Clearance GUARANTEED PRE-ORDER 100% AUTHENTIC,. He speaks basic Japanese, which he picked up watching anime series such as "One Piece" and "Detective Conan."

Discount Authentic 305869-041 Mens Nike Air Jordan 18 Retro Original (OG) Black/Royal Blue,Nike Sb Stefan Janoski Max Suede Skateboarding Shoes Mens Black Light White Black N25018,Discount Authentic 414845-002 Mens Nike Air Jordan 6 Rings Retro Cool Grey/Chlorine Blue-Black-Spark,," 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.

Discount Authentic Kids Nike Air Jordan 6 Shoes Black/Purple,Adidas Weightlifting Powerlift 2 0 Shoes Core Black Running White Vivid Red For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air force 1 Low Shoes Black/Cream,.

For Sale POpular Nike Air Jordan Pro Classic Womens Shoes White 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."

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Jordan 13 Low Shoes Black/White,Nike Free Trainer 5 0 Training Shoes Gym Red Black White For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Jordan 4 Shoes Dark Blue/Black/White,.

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.

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Jordan Alpha Trunner Shoes Black/Orange/White,Timberland Earthkeepers Hookset Handcrafted Oxford Shoes Sun Bleached Red Canvas For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 2009 Shoes Black/Red,.

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

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 2012 Shoes Black/Emerald,Timberland Greeley Leather Shoes Grey Cinder For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 87 Shoes Red/Grey/White,.

Nike Air Max 90 Hyperfuse Womens Shoes 2014 White Pink Internet company Rakuten, based in Tokyo, has been actively recruiting foreign talent. (Photo by Yasunori Okamura)

Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 90 Grey/Black/Purple/Blue,Timberland 6 Inch Basic Waterproof Boots Wheat Nubuck For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max 95 Shoes Black/Red,. 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,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max Jordan 13 Air Jordan 9 Shoes Black/Red,Nike Internationalist Mid Shoes Summit White Neutral Grey For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max Jordan Fly 23 Shoes White/Black,, 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, Discount Authentic Mens Nike Air Max TN Shoes Black/Grey/Silver,Nike Air Trainer SC High SneakerBoot Sneakerboot Black Black Tar Medium For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Dunk High Shoes Black/White/Green/Blue,.

Nike Cortez Women Nylon Shoes Dark Red 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. Discount Authentic Mens Nike Dunk High Shoes Red/Black/Yellow/White,Nike Air Force 1 CMFT Mowabb Shoes Barkroot Brown Velvet Brown For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Dunk Low Shoes White/Purple/Green,.

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. Discount Authentic Mens Nike Free Run+ 3 Running Shoes Grey/Green,Nike Tiempo 94 F C Shoes White Dark Grey For Men,Discount Authentic Mens Nike Shox NZ Shoes White/Silver/Grey/Turquoise/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," Discount Authentic Mens Nike Shox R5 Shoes White/Gold/Black,Nike SB Zoom Stefan Janoski Mid Skateboarding Shoes Summit White Cool Grey Wolf Grey Black For Men,Nike Air Hot Jordan 32 XXXII PF Rosso Corsa Black White AJ32 AH1253 002,.

Family ties

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

On Sale Discount Nike Air Presto Womens Shoes Leopard Brown White 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, Sneaker Room x Nike Air Suppliers More Money QS,Nike Triple Jump Elite Track Spike Sizing Black Hyper Punch Electric Green For Men,Designers Nike College Sideline Gridiron Full-Zip Hoodie Maroon For Men Selling Well,, Care Port Itabashi.  

Latest Nike Nba Player Showtime Full-Zip Hoodie Black For Men Selling Well,Nike Air Zoom Streak 5 Running Shoes Sizing Dove Grey Black Bright Crimson For Men,Nike Tech Fleece Colorblocked Windrunner Vintage Green/Black For Men Online,, 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. 

Discount Authentic Womens Nike Air force 1 low Shoes Dark Brown/Black/White/Pink

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. The Most Popular Jordan Pure Money 23 True Top White For Men Sale Online,Adidas Originals Stan Smith Update Shoes Running White Ftw For Men,adidas Originals NMD_R1 PK White,.  

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, Converse All Star II Ox Black,Adidas Originals MCN Adilette 84 lab Core Black For Men,Nike SB Air Zoom Stefan Janoski Leather Black,. 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," Nike Wmns Classic Cortez Leather Silver,Interactive N20 HXM2460Q2607ZU0W94 Interactive Shoes For Men,Puma x Alife Blaze of Glory,."

adidas OriginalsSL Loop Racer,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

New Balance ClassicsWN501,2015 Nike Free Powerlines Running Shoes Army Green Discounted,Nike Huarache 4 Lax,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Adidas Olympique De Marseille Presentation Suit Blue - Mens Top,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

3 months for $9

Asics Slip-On Pink Womens Shoes,2015 Nike Internationalist Leather Mens Run Shoes Red White Cheap Sale,Asics 5 Orange Womens Shoes,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

Nike Air Huarache Women Nere Grigio Rosso,2015 Onine Nike Air Yeezy 2 Mens Shoes Cheap Shopping Black,Onitsuka Tiger Serrano Red Womens Shoes,

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

Nike Af-1 Ultra Force Mid Print Shoes Womens Black Grey Brown Black N21899,2016 Nike Air Max Tailwind 8 Print Sneakers Black Grey Mens Running Shoes 805941-001,Nike Internationalist Fleece Shoes Womens Black White N31843,
Adidas Running Climaheat Rocket Boost Shoes Core Black For Women,2016 Nike Lebron 13 Mens Basketball Shoes"USA Independence Day"Midnight Navy/Varsity Red-White Sneakers Online 807219-461,Nike Free TR 5 Training Shoes Black Dark Grey White White For Women,
  • Cheap 234062 Nike Air Max Press Men Black White Shoes
  • Price Down Converse Chuck Taylor All Star - Trainers - White/Black/White I58l5259
  • Vans Sk8-Hi MTE CUP Black
  • Unisex Nike Golf Zoom Max AW84 - Adjustable Hat CO922620m
  • Clothing - Nike College Sideline KO Full-Zip Hoodie - Men's - Tennessee Volunteers - Orange 4ZB2925
  • Wonderful Air Jordan 14 Jordan retro 'Thunder' 14 MX58965 for Men
  • Nike Free Run 3 Wolf Grey Gym Red Shoes
  • Discount Authentic Mens Nike Shox R4 Cartoon Shoes Black/Gold
  • Nike Air Max 2015 Black White Volt Hyper Jade Mens Running Shoes 698902 003
  • adidas PureBOOST LTD (grey / white)
  • Latest Buffalo Ilafin Mules / Clogs Blue For Women Sale
  • Nike Fl-rue Panske Basketbalov
  • 2017 Blue Womens Nike Shoes Men's Nike Alpha Field General Elite Camo Racer Blue/Black/Omega Blue/White Shoes Canada RCE9601099
  • Pumps & Heels Women Privileged Tipsy Pump Taupe 100% brand new
  • Mens/Womens Adidas Originals Conferen HI CHY discounts Casual Shoes White/Navy/Red G15689
  • Men's Nike Air Force 1 Low Casual Shoes Men Black/Parachute Gold/Dark Loden
  • Born Black Full-Grain Leather Saida SVF600827
  • Mens Nike Air Max 2009 Shoes - Silver/Black
  • Adidas Superstar Casual Shoes Men Grey
  • Nike Magista Obra Fg Magista Nike Soccer See Huge Savings On Nike Products Buy Nike Magista Obra Fg