Super Specials Luxurious Comfort MLB Personalized custom 3D watermark version Jerseys 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

Womens Nike Free 5.0 Pure Platinum/Wolf Grey/Cool Grey/Black Running Trainers 15860,Skechers Work Black Keystone EQS791069,Womens Nike Air Max Thea Print Rose Red 599409-630,. 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, Womens Nike Air Max Nike Air Max 90 Black/White/Grey/Blue No.4300,Silver Nike Flex Trail Athletic Shoes Hyper Blue / Anthracite / Dark Grey / Metallic,Womens Nike Air Max Dynasty White/Cool Grey/Black Running Trainers 31703,.

"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, Women's Lacoste Ziane COR Casual Shoes Women Navy,Sexy Adidas Men Black Adidas Prime Sweat Pant Fabulous,Women's Golf Shoe - Nike FI Impact 2 - Deep Royal Blue/Midnight Navy/Bright Crimson/White,, 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. Women's Black/Fushia Adidas Originals ZX 700 Shoes For Sale M16666,Saucony Originals D,Womens Air Jordan 4 Retro GS “Rose” Cherry Pink/Dynamic Blue-White For Girls Sale,. Like other industries in a rapidly aging Japan, the construction business is desperate for labor. Womens Adidas Shoes Adidas ZX 710 Shoes Black Multicolor No.3975,Saucony Breakthru - Blue & Slime - SA652SF41FUW - Men's Sport-Running,Womens Adidas Shoes Adidas ZX 500 Dark Blue White No.3779,. As baby boomers retire, the labor shortage -- in construction and in the wider economy -- is bound to become more acute.

Cheap NikeKobe12AD Black All White Logo 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, Womens Adidas Shoes Adidas Ultra Boost Shoes Black White No.3626,Sandale Nike Benassi Just Do It Barbati Negrii/Albi (476089GVP),Womens Adidas Shoes Adidas Outdoor Climacool Boat SL Water Shoes Fluorescent G No.3048,, 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.

Womens Adidas Shoes Adidas Neo Lite Racer Shoes Rose Pink No.3236,Sale on Nike Shoes Zoom Lebron Xii 12 Mens Online Chinese Black Wine Red New,Womens Adidas Shoes Adidas Equipment Running Support 93 Shoes Black White No.3134,, Japan is in the midst of a quiet revolution when it comes to immigrant workers. Women's Adidas Marathon TR 13 Violet/Orange Running Shoes Sale UK V21848,Running Men Asics GT-1000 4 Running Shoes - AW15 Blue Wholesale Trade,Women Nike Air Max 2015 Black Red Fluorescent,.

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, Women Adidas X Lite TM SG & Core Orange,Rugby Men Mizuno Junior Timaru Rugby Boots - AW15 White Provide,Women Adidas adipure 360.3 & Core Black,.

Cheap NikeLebronSoldier 10 WhiteBlack

Immigration remains a politically charged issue in Japan, Wholesale Adidas Marathon Flyknit Men Comprar zapatos Adidas Marathon TR 13 Espa a Adidas Adizero XT 5 Women's Trail Running Shoes Salomon XT Wings HKRunners,Rockport Dusty Azure Waxed Calf Total Motion Balletv RDC471729,UK.Shoes UGG Dahlen Women's Black 1499260,. "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. "UK.Shoes Lebron James 13 Women Red White Nike Lebron 13 Away For Sale Outlet Sale,Retro Air Jordan 4 Black Purple White 31159-103 For Gils Shoes,Top Quality Nike Free 3.0 V5 Womens Mint Green Official,."

Discount Jordan Retro 9 Doernbecher White Black Brown Flower Shoes 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.Thick New Balance 574 ML Men Women New Balance ML574 Camper Pack Running Shoe Simply Kicks New Balance Classics Shop New Balance Shoes NORDSTROM,Reebok Zig Sonic Men's Running Shoe Men Shark/Kiwi Green/Malibu Blue,Thick Adidas High Top Men Women adidas high top basketball shoes eBay adidas High Tops Shoes Sneakers adidas AU adidas hi tops Gumtree,. 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.

"Succinct Black Gold Women Trim Wedge Sandal Moda In Pelle Cecilia,Reebok New England Patriots Youth Premier Blue 50TH Premium Materials Free Shipping Discounted World-famous Jersey Customized,Soft Black V By Long Sleeve V Neck Side Split Jumper&Nbsp Women,, like all other countries, does have racist problems, but hate crime and hate speech are relatively Sexiness Women Black Pink Pour Moi Obsession Half Padded Bra Showy,Reebok Mens Shoes / Black Green Smash Chalk Shoes Reebok Crossfit Nano 2.0 HS82Y671x,San Antonio Shoe Womens Shoes / Gold Shoes SAS Sanibel Thong Sandals EU69261441b,," 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.

Jordans For Cheap Nike Air Jordan 11 low Concord White Black

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

Running Men Brooks PR Sprint 3 Women's Running Shoes Pink Provide,Reebok D,Ros Hommerson Womens Shoes / Pewter Shoes Ros HommersonMello dressy low heel Sandals KR825380513,, and 60% are 65 or older. Most of their children have left for the city in search of better-paying office work.

Report Womens Shoes / White Shoes Report Kia Sandals CH512732y1,Redwing Red Leather Work Wedge Boots ZIS140750,Reebok Womens Shoes / Black Pink Shoes Reebok Southrange Run wide width Running Sneakers KF593588m1v,, 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.

Mens Nike Roshe Run Premium Metallic Navy Silver Lightning Yellow Shoes 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, Rare Lacoste Women White Showcourt Lace&Nbsp Trainer Wrinkle-Free,Rachel Zoe Bronze Pearlized/Nappa Pierre BLQ702473,Pumps & Heels Women Sam Edelman Oleanna Pump Coral 100% Guaranteed,, where the temperature can reach 40 C in summer.

Pumps & Heels Women Nine West Ashdown Crocodile Platform Pump Black Cheapest,Puma Suede Classic Casual W Yellow,Pumps & Heels Women LifeStride Pampered Pump Brown Wholesale Price,. He speaks basic Japanese, which he picked up watching anime series such as "One Piece" and "Detective Conan."

Pumps & Heels Women J. Renee Willet Pump White/Blue Buying New,Puma Mens Shoes / Fluro Peach Ombre Blue Shoes Puma Evopower 3 Fg HF58E24u11,Pumps & Heels Women Diba Tenith Patent Platform Pump Magenta Wholesale Trade,," 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.

Pumps & Heels Women BCBG Paris Jaze Zebra Pump Zebra 2017 New Cheap,Puma D,Pumps & Heels Women AK Anne Klein Meni Pump Grey New Lower Prices,.

Nike Air Max Lunar90 C3.0 Carbon black 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."

Programmable Joe Browns Women Black Black Vibrant Versatile Cami Newest,Programmable Men Polo White Lyle & Scott Pique Retro,Precious Rocket Dog Women Rocket Dog Wheelie Lace Espadrille Natural,.

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.

Nikes Dunk High Top Men Demin &Sole Black Gold Edition Shoes,Pour La Victoire Black Nappa Leather Echo NVU338079,UK Class quality - Vans Pop Era Mens Shoes Parisian Night/Frost Gray,.

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

UK Fashion style - Adidas Adizero Leather F Blue White Black Shoes,UK Class quality - Puma IGNITE Mesh Women Running Shoes Clearwater-Poseidon-Sulphur Spring,UK Free delivery - Men Asics Gel Kinsei 5 Flash Yellow White Green dc shoes,.

Nike Free 5.0+ 2014 Mens White Red Training Shoes Internet company Rakuten, based in Tokyo, has been actively recruiting foreign talent. (Photo by Yasunori Okamura)

UK Low prices - Puma Cabana Racer Fun Men Lows Sneakers Limestone Gray-Vivid Viola-Gray Violet,UK Classic combination - Vans truth Kevin Lyons Authentic Womens Shoes True White/Black,UK Official authorized - Puma Poseidon v2 Men Running Shoes Quarry-Orange-Periscope,. 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,UK Original Product - Vans Denim C&L SK8-Hi Reissue Mens Shoes Black,UK Free delivery - Vans Grid Authentic Womens Shoes Black,2017 Nike Air Jordan 6 VI Retro Low GG Black Sunblush OG GS 768878-022,, 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, AQ0067-600 Nike Epic React Flyknit,UK Official authorized - Vans Metallic Slip-On Womens Shoes Bronze,Nike Air Huarache Running Shoes Men Green/White Best Deals,.

Nike Kobe 9 EM Game Royal 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 Air Max Tn Shoes Black Red White AU,UK Quality assurance - Puma Carson Runner Heather Women Running Shoes Bright Plasma-White,Nike Zoom certificate Kobe 8(VIII) Comfort Christmas Purple cheaps 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. 2017 Wholesale Cheap Nike LeBron 15 Black Yellow-Red For Sale,Adidas Yeezy 350 Really Cool Boost Pirate Black Women,Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG Bred Toe 2018 To Buy,, 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," Air Jordan 5 White Navy Blue Red,Nike Air Max certificate 1 Womens Shoe France SP Medium Olive/Dark Army,Air Jordan Retro 7 Shoes White Silver Red,.

Family ties

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

Nike Roshe Run Grey Black Mens Running Shoes 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, Air VaporMax Nike Cheap Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit Blue Orbit Blue Orbit,Air Jordan 11 Retro White Black Cheap Womens,Cheap Air Jordan 12 Pinnacle Metallic Gold,, Care Port Itabashi.  

Cheap Air Max 2016 Green Orange White Black,Cheap Air Jordan 6 Womens Black Gold,Cheap Air Max x Nike Air Max 97 Ultra PRM Olive,, 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. 

Silver Pink Red Black Jordan Retro 6 Cheap

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. Cheap Hyperdunk 2014 Fire Red Navy Blue White,Cheap Jordann 6 Women Blue Green Pink,Cheap KD VII White Black Gold,.  

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, Cheap Lebron 12 All Star Black White Red Grey,Cheap Nike Air Max 2017 Rubber Patch Women Blue Pink,Cheap Lebron 14 XIV Grey Blue Yellow,. 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," Cheap Nike AF1 x Nike Air Force One Ultra Flyknit Mid Obsidian,Cheap Nike Air Presto 2017 Summer Womens White Pink,Cheap Nike Air Jordan 1 I Blue White Black,."

Cheap Nike Air Max 2018 Ultra Zoom Yellow Black Running Shoes,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

Cheap Nike Air Max Thea Flyknit Grey White Black,Womens Nike Free 5.0 V2 Anti Fur Black Blue,Cheap Nike Air VaporMax Plus Triple White For Sale,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Cheap Nike DUNK LOW TRD QS883232-001 Brow Black White,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

3 months for $9

Cheap Nike Frees 4.0 Brown Black White,Yeezy Boost Best Deals SPLY 350 Women Adidas Yeezy Boost Best Deals 350 V2 cheaps ALL Sizes Women Adidas Yeezy Boost Best Deals SPLY 350 Pre Order Yeezy Boost Best Deals SPLY 350 Women,Cheap Nike KD 7 Grey Black White Shoes,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

Cheap Nike Kobe 11 Elite Purple White Grey Black,Women's Top - NikeCourt Team Pure - Black/White,Cheap Nike Kyrie 4 Nike Kyrie 4 White Black,

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

Cheap Nike Lebron 12 Diamond,Women's Top - Nike Pro Cool - Dark Grey/Heather/Black,Cheap Nike LebronJames 13 Grey Yellow,
Cheap Nike Roshe Run Grey Black White,Women's Top - Nike Bunker Crew - White/Wolf Grey/Metallic Silver,Cheap Nike WMNS Air Huarache Ultra ID 829669-663 Blue White Grey,
  • Sik Silk Hareem Short CP2201
  • Nike Terminator Hi ENG TZ Black Snake Skin
  • New New Style Basketball Shoes Nike Basketball Hypershift White Black
  • adidas Originals Womens Stan Smith Bold Black 9334D
  • Men Espadrilles TOMS Classic Espadrilles
  • Moncler Ecru Layered A-Line Skirt For Women Online Sale
  • Exclusively Ours SCARPA Kailash Suede Trekking Boots - Grey / Blue Men's Outdoors - 69KN954
  • Asics Gel Lyte III Navy H63NK-5050 sneaker shoe trainers
  • * Air Max Ltd Black White For Mens
  • Get Discount Mens Giorgio 1958 Lace-Ups Dark Brown
  • Long-sleeved tops Desert Sweetheart Top NLY Trend YFMNTP
  • Air Force LOW-0298
  • Wholesale Cheap Nike KD 9 Christmas
  • Tahari Black Galina TMJ113097
  • Nike Air Max 90 Men Running Shoes White Red Black
  • Ghete Fotbal Under Armour Spotlight Dl Fg-r Jr. Copii Negrii (189923VOU)
  • IZLW110GLNX Aerosoles - Sale Brown So Soft
  • Nike Pro Combat Hyperwarm Fitted Shield Max (NFL Panthers) 608060-010 Black/Tidal Blue/Tidal Blue
  • Women Bedroom Athletics Macgraw Slippers - Textile - Pink Navy - 7760904mf
  • New Balance 996 Men Women New Balance New Balance 996 Blue Trainers At Asos New Balance 996 Neon Blu