Japan to welcome half million foreign workers for labor shortage

Japan is finally opening its job market and the Japanese government decided Tuesday to welcome half a million foreign workers through to 2025 to compensate for the labor shortage in Japan’s specialized industries.


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s new economic policy will outline the plan in detail and is due in mid-June with legal revisions, if any, to be submitted to parliament later this year.


Foreign workers will need to pass tests showing skills in relevant fields as well as the Japanese language. However, those who chose the country’s foreign trainee program are exempted from the test and can stay for 10 years. The foundation will make progress into solving the labor crunch while creating jobs for foreign workers who have been limited to highly specialized positions.


photo credit to: https://www.dailymail.co.uk


Lawmakers within the Liberal Democratic Party continue to harbor worries about increased crime. Abe said in February that he does not intend to open the country up to immigrants just yet. The infrastructure will include the five-year limit as well as barring foreign workers from bringing family members with them. This is a clear reflection on Abe’s intents.


Companies that hire foreign workers must submit a support plan that includes assisting the workers find housing and take language classes. Small businesses may ask a government-certified organization for assistance.


1.28 million foreigners, a record in Japan, were working in Japan in 2017, more than double the 480,000 in 2008. And 29% of them were from China, followed by Vietnam with 19%, the Philippines with 12 %, Brazil with 9% and Nepal with 5%.


The country suffers from a severe labor shortage as baby boomers from World War II are leaving the workforce or are dying. Businesses have reported the worst conditions were in the 1990’s and have since deteriorated.


Reference: Japan to welcome 500,000 foreign workers to help plug labor shortage


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