Number of Foreign Interns in Japan Has Increased After Amendment of Immigration Act

Prior to the amendment of the Immigration Control Act of Japan, the Japanese government has been known to official restrict the country’s foreign workforce to only highly skilled professionals with a certain degree of expertise and knowledge on the particular sector or field that they specialize in. The former immigration policy has precluded foreign skilled workers and technical trainees from working and staying for good in Japan.


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With the worsening labor issues in the Land of the Rising Sun as a result of its aging population, low birth rate and a vast decline in inward migration, the government through its National Diet has amended the Immigration Policy in order to encourage and entice more foreign workers in the country. This measure is intended to address the chronic labor shortage in various industries and sectors in Japan.


It seeks to open more and more doors of gainful employment opportunities for foreign nationals who aspire to land a job in the country. The new immigration law is established in order to strengthen the laws protecting foreign technical intern trainees and specified skilled workers against abusive labor conditions such as excessive work hours and underpayment of wages.


Originally, the Technical Internship Training Program was launched in the year 1993 in order to enable foreign interns or trainees from developing countries to acquire technical skills and knowhow which they may bring to their country of origin in order to boost their economy. Over the years, the program was expanded to give aid to sectors that are suffering from chronic labor shortage.


Last April 2019, the Immigration policies of Japan was further amended so as to protect technical trainees and enable them to qualify as specified skilled workers with a bigger chance to acquire a green card or residency status in the country. As a direct consequence of the amendment of the immigration policy, the number of foreign trainees has increased by nineteen percent by the end of 2019.


Reference: Overhaul foreign trainee program


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