More Foreign Workers Needed In the Food and Service Industry

In recent years, the Land of the Rising Sun is dealing with one of the consequences of its aging population, low birth rate and decline in inward migration. The issue on workforce setback is becoming apparent in various firms and establishments in Japan. There are particularly fourteen sectors or industries that are identified to suffer from the most serious issue on chronic labor shortage.


Among the fourteen abovementioned sectors are nursing or care giving, construction, agriculture as well as food and service industry. In order to address the labor problems in these particular fields, the Japanese government through the National Diet amended the immigration policies in Japan that used to provide stringent requirements on foreign nationals who aspire to land a job and eventually reside in Japan.


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The revised immigration control act took effect last April of 2019. With the enactment of the said law, the Japanese government hopes to attract more and more foreign nationals in Japan who are willing to work and reside in the country specifically in the fourteen identified sectors that are said to suffer the most serious forms of labor shortage.


One of the most notable changes in the new immigration policy is the introduction of the Specified Skilled Worker visa. Under this visa category, foreign nationals may work for blue collar jobs in Japan provided that they meet the less stringent requirements imposed upon them.


The first requirement is to pass the industry specific test. In the case of food and service industry, the potential foreign applicants must first be able to take and pass the food and service proficiency exam.


Aside from the industry related examination, they must also obtain a proficiency level of at least “N4” based on the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). This is to ensure that they possess at least a conversation level in Japanese language.


Reference: A New Status of Residence has been created “Specified Skilled Worker”


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