Online No Sales Tax CARHARTT Padded Cotton Oxford Flannel Jacket - Red / Black men's Casual Jackets - 94TM569 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

Clae Ellington Deep Navy Canvas Shoe H98o2586,Firetrap Beach Sandals Black - Men's ShoesLyle & Scott Caol Suede Pumps Dark Grey H77i1076,. 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, adidas Originals ZX 420 Trainers Ash E63j1206,Adidas Adizero Counterblast 7 Lightweight Indoor Court Shoes Black/Yellow/Night Metallic - Men's ShoReebok Classic Leather Lite Trainer Burgundy Suede M98v3370,.

"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 Gazelle Indoor Trainer Midnight Blue I82d7263,Reebok Hexaffect Run 4.0 Neutral Running Shoes Riot Red/Black/White - Men's ShoesPolo Ralph Lauren Hugh Leather Trainers White E18y1100,, 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. Paul Smith Nastro Trainer Black Y58i2305,Henleys Stash Plimsolls Grey/White - Men's ShoesNike Air Force 1 High Mens Black White P58o7862,. Like other industries in a rapidly aging Japan, the construction business is desperate for labor. Nike Air Force 1 High Mens Blue White W37l6217,Flossy Arnedo Espadrilles Jersey Grey Marl - Men's ShoesNike Air Jordan 5 Mens Dark Blue Purple Pink Shoes R6t1193,. As baby boomers retire, the labor shortage -- in construction and in the wider economy -- is bound to become more acute.

Nike Air Max 1 87 White Shoes 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 Jordan 1 Mens Low Red Black Shoes Q62a8708,Flossy Arnedo Espadrilles Pastel Blue - Men's ShoesNike Air Jordan 1 Mens Retro 95 White Black Dark Concord Shoes P53f7754,, 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 90 Mens Grey Red Black U54o6787,Onfire Canvas Espadrilles Navy - Men's ShoesNike Air Max 90 Men Black White Green K95v3411,, Japan is in the midst of a quiet revolution when it comes to immigrant workers. Nike Air Max 95 Mens Green G85k2374,Deakins Nero Casual Shoes Dark Brown - Men's ShoesNike Air Max 90 Mens Black Yellow U51x4596,.

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 Air Max 90 Hyperfuse PRM Mens Blue Red Z60e6681,Onfire Leather Slip On Shoes Black - Men's ShoesNike Air Max 90 New Mens Camo Green Online U76x4654,.

Nike Cortez Yoth Deep Blue Orange Shoes

Immigration remains a politically charged issue in Japan, Nike Air Max 90 Mens HYP KPU TPU Camo Green White R89z6110,Base London Scene Slip On Shoes Suede Taupe - Men's ShoesNike Blazer High Premium Print Leopard Mens Black White Shoes T28x4876,. "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 Blazer Low Anti-Fur Mens 3s Black Shoes R41m6007,Adidas Ace 16.1 SG Leather Football Boots Silver Metallic/Black/Yellow - Men's ShoesNike Classic Cortez Nylon Mens Red Black Z94p5919,."

Nike Dunk High Top Purple Mixed Color 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.Nike Dunk High Top Mens Blue White Star E47u2074,Adidas Ace 15.3 TF Astro Football Boots Black/Metallic Silver/White - Men's ShoesNike Dunk High Top Mens White Navy Red S46u8469,. 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.

"Nike Free 4.0 V3 Mens Black Red Royalblue Shoes W93o3670,Adidas Ace 15.4 In Indoor Football Boots Black/Matte Silver/White - Men's ShoesNike Free Run 2 Mens Black Yellow Shoes Y29f8812,, like all other countries, does have racist problems, but hate crime and hate speech are relatively Nike Free OG Breathe iD Mens Fluorescence Yellow Shoes Y11d9417,Adidas Ace 16.2 Primemesh FG Football Boots Yellow/Black/Silver Metallic - Men's ShoesNike Free 3.0 V4 Mens Black Reflective Silver Shoes C33t2205,," 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.

Nike Free Run 3 Red Black Shoes

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 Roshe Run Pattern Mens SunsetOrange Yellow White Shoes P95p4618,Adidas X 15.2 FG / AG Football Boots Black/Pink/Gold - Men's ShoesNike Shox R3 Mens White Gray G43q8594,, and 60% are 65 or older. Most of their children have left for the city in search of better-paying office work.

Vans Authentic Classic-Leopard Hello Kitty Grils Low Shoe B64p9679,New Balance Furon 2.0 Dispatch SG Football Boots Cherry - Men's ShoesVans Fleece Lining Sk8-Hi Brown Z40j6652,, 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.

Nike Free 5.0 2014 Light Gray Black 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, Vans Doren Classic Slip On Low Unisex Punk Pirates SHOE U7t1255,Adidas X 16.4 In Indoor Trainers White/Black/Gold Metallic - Men's ShoesVans Canvas Era Brown-Navy H88o4287,, where the temperature can reach 40 C in summer.

Discount Sale 2014 New Nike Air Max 90 87 HYP PRM Mens Shoes Online Wine In the UK online,Adidas X 16.1 FG Leather Football Boots Silver Metallic/Black/Red - Men's ShoesDiscount Sale 2015 Latest Nike Air Max 2016 Mens Running Shoes Light Gray Lake Blue Green Online In the UK online,. He speaks basic Japanese, which he picked up watching anime series such as "One Piece" and "Detective Conan."

Discount Sale 2015 New Air Jordan 1 Flight Low Black Green Mens Shoes Nike AJ Sneakers In the UK online,Puma Evopower 2.3 FG Football Boots Red/White/Black - Men's ShoesDiscount Sale 2015 Nike Air Jordan 11 XI Retro Legend Blue Basketball Shoes Mens White Black Size 41-47 In the UK online,," 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 Sale 2015 Nike Free Run 3.0 V2 Men Shoes Dark Grey Black In the UK online,Puma Evospeed 1.5 Mixed SG Football Boots Black/White/Red - Men's ShoesDiscount Sale 2015 On Sale Air Penny Hardaway 5 V Mens Shoes Cheap Black White Blue In the UK online,.

Nike Roshe Run 2015 Suede Yellow White Shoes 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 Sale 2016 Latest Nike Air Jordan Imminent Basketball Shoes Blue White Black Mens Sneakers In the UK online,Adidas Crazylight Boost Bad Dreams Trainers Black/Scarlet - Men's ShoesDiscount Sale Air Max 2011 Leather Mens Shoes Wholesale white grey In the UK online,.

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 Sale Air Max 90 Mens Shoes Discount Black White In the UK online,Lacoste Misano Sport 116 Spm Trainers Grey - Men's ShoesDiscount Sale Best Fashion Nike Air Max 2011 Mens Shoes New Air Max Shoes In the UK online,.

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 Sale Buy Cheap Nike Lebro 11 XI Low Grey Green Mens Shoes In the UK online,Adidas Originals Superstar 80S Clean Trainers Crystal White - Men's ShoesDiscount Sale Cheap Sale For Sale SHopping Air Jordan 3 III Cement Retro Mens Shoes for Winter Fur White Blue In the UK online,.

Nike Shox NZ Black Gray Shoes Internet company Rakuten, based in Tokyo, has been actively recruiting foreign talent. (Photo by Yasunori Okamura)

Discount Sale For Sale Cheap To Buy Nike Shox Roadster 12 Mens Shoes Grey Yellow In the UK online,Adidas Originals Court Vantage Trainers Black/Dust Pearl - Men's ShoesDiscount Sale Men's Air Griffey Max Shoes in 22958 In the UK online,. 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 Sale New Arrival Nike Mens Roshe Running Shoes Wool Skin Black Blue Cheap In the UK online,Adidas Originals Tubular Runner Trainers Black/White - Men's ShoesDiscount Sale Nike Air Griffey Max Sneakers For Men in 46435 In the UK online,, 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 Sale Nike Air Jordan Aero Mania Mens Shoes Black In the UK online,Asics Tiger Curreo Trainers Light Grey/White - Men's ShoesDiscount Sale Nike Air Max 87 Hyperfuse Mens Shoes Silver Red Cheap for Sale In the UK online,.

Nike Air Max 90 50% Discount 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 Sale Nike Air Max 97 Men Shoes Discount Blue White Online In the UK online,Asics Tiger Gel Kayano Evo Trainers White - Men's ShoesDiscount Sale Nike Air Max TN Cushioning Mens Shoes white yellow In the UK online,.

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 Sale Nike Air Penny II For Men in 70559 In the UK online,Deakins Napa 2 Trainers Black - Men's ShoesDiscount Sale Nike Free Run 4.0 V3 Mens Shoes Breathable Black Green In the UK online,, 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 Sale Nike Ken Griffen Max Mens Shoes 2014 Blue White In the UK online,Nike Lebron Soldier Xl Trainers White/Black/Metallic Gold - Men's ShoesDiscount Sale Nike Roshe Run Mens Shoes Breathable For Summer Black Red In the UK online,.

Family ties

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

Nike Air Presto Shop Online 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, Discount Sale On Sale Popular Nike Air Jordan 14 XIV Mens Shoes White Black In the UK online,Nike Mayfly Leather Prm Trainers Legion Green/Black/Light Bone - Men's ShoesDiscount Sale To Buy Hot Sale Nike Air Max 90 Men Shoes Black Red In the UK online,, Care Port Itabashi.  

Wholesale/Retail Adidas Predator Absolion LZ TRX AG Men Artificial Grass Football Cleats With Green,Puma Disc Blaze Ct Trainers High Risk Red - Men's ShoesAdidas Terrace Court SA Derrick Rose 3.0 Basketball Shoes 90s Throwback Edition T67p5407 Online Shop,, 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. 

Nike Kobe 11 Elite Low Sneakers Get Exclusive Deals

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. Wholesale/Retail Adidas Predator LZ TRX FG Men Firm Ground Football Cleats With Silver White Black I,Reebok Cycle Attack Cycling Shoes Black/Green/White - Men's ShoesAdidas Porsche Design Bounce VI Running Shoes Green Black V72k6651 Best Price,.  

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, Adidas ZX 750 Men Running Shoes Grey Black Q16h4973 cheap retail,Reebok Gl 6000 Mid Crab Pack Trainers Mystic Maroon/Chalk/Graphite - Men's ShoesAir Jordans 5 Basketball Shoes "Wolf Grey" Light Graphite White Wolf Grey For Men On Sale M34k4568 S,. 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," Air Jordans 9 Basketball Shoes Black Red White For Men For sale Y66g1135 Outlet On Sale,Reebok X Kendrick Lamar Classic Leather Perfect Split Pack Trainers Black/Cloud Grey/Gum - Men's ShoUK Asics Onitsuka Tiger Mid Runner White White Shoes K24k4718 outlet online,."

Best Price New Balance NB 999 Seal dark Grey Yellow White For Men shoes Online Shop E98z1988 Store W,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

Nike Air Max 2016 Men's Navy/White Running Shoes Online J47j4036 Good,Wood Wood Rib Beanie Black R92l2654Nike Air Max 90 Men's White/Varsity Red-Grey Running Shoes On Sale F92u8070 outlet at discount,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Nike Air Max Light Men's Grey/Anthracite-White Running Shoes On Hot Sale S72s9195 Factory Outlet,

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

3 months for $9

Nike Air Max Wright Men's White/Black Running Shoes Online Shop L100o4136 Collection,Adidas Snapback Hats Black N48k6263Nike Lebron X Basketball shoes for Men Black Gray N29f7661 Shop For The Best,
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

Nike Zoom Kobe VI Basketball shoes for Men Black Red G98b6050 Official authorization,Paul Smith accessories Leopard Spot Socks Grey Q69d2437Nike Free Run 4.0 V3 in Pure Black and Lemon With White Logo Men's Running Shoes A37z7731 Good,

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

Cheap Nike Air Max 2017 Blue White Black Men's Running Shoes,Ralph Lauren Three Pack Boxer Shorts N54f6835Nike Air Max Zero Dark Blue White Shoes,
Nike Air Max 90 Prem Tape Glow in The Dark Limited White Snake Shoes,adidas Performance Men's Galaxy Elite Running Shoe Black/White P58p7372Nike Air Max 90 Hyperfuse Prm Blue Shoes,
  • Authentic 183838 Nike Free 3.0 V2 Men Blue White Shoes
  • Emergency Cheap Timberland Naples - Casual Lace-Ups - Black Iris H34b2624
  • Grizzly Men Shoes Navy 580926
  • Cheap Mens Nike Air Max 2017 I Kpu Black Red Sale
  • Dark Team Red Men's - Track & Field - Nike Zoom Rival Waffle - Shoes - Total Orange Wolf Grey 6IG1145
  • Yeezy 350 Boost V2 Black Blade top quality
  • Nike Air Max 90 Perfect Fit
  • Nike Kobe 11 EP Lower Merion Aces 836184 006 Men basketball sports shoes sneakers
  • Puma WMNS Suede Platform Mono Satin (purple)
  • New Trendy Nike Air Force 1 '07 W Low Top Trainers White For Women
  • Colourful Nike Nikelab Air Max 97 wholesale Mid x Riccardo Tisci Black Gold 913314 Official 001
  • 2017 Shop Nike Shoes Women's Nike Hyperdunk 2014 Midnight Navy/Photo Blue/White/Metallic Silver Shoes Canada RHE3004306
  • Pumps & Heels Women Enzo Angiolini Cuteshoo Pump Black/White New Arrival Fashion
  • Package Air Jordan 6 Men Nike Air Jordan 6 Black Infrared Kixify Marketplace Air Jordan Shoes 6 Compare Prices and Stores Air Jordan Retro 6 Carmine Foot Locker
  • Mens Adidas Shoes Adidas ZX 8000 Shoes Deep Blue No.2142
  • Boots Men Dr Martens Pascal 8 Eye Mens Boots Black Very Cheap
  • Mens Puma Speed Cat Big Trainers Black Silver White
  • Nike Jordan Air Imminent Off Court Shoes Men Grey/Red/Black
  • Nike Air Max 2017 men 0028
  • King Push x Adidas Originals Eqt Guidance 93 B90u5566