Relaxed Immigration Laws in Japan Elicited Subdued Response for the First Six Months

In recent years, one of the greatest challenges that Japan has to deal with is its shrinking and aging population as a result of low birth rate and a decline in inward migration. Consequently, the Land of the Rising Sun is also suffering from chronic labor shortage particularly in fourteen identified labor sectors such as but not limited to agriculture, construction, nursing as well as food and service industry.


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To address these social concerns, the Japanese government has decided to open a lot of doors of opportunities for foreign nationals who are seeking for employment in the country. As a first step, the National Legislature or the Diet has amended the immigration rules in Japan early this year in order to relax the previously stringent requirements specifically in the fourteen identified sectors that greatly suffer from a labor crunch.


However, according to the Immigration agency of Japan, the recent revision to the skilled worker visa which was enacted last April 2019 which was supposed to attract more and more foreign workers in the country has only been availed of by two hundred nineteen foreign nationals as of the last week of September.


While it is true that the number of visa holders has multiplied by ten since the enactment of the new immigration laws, it still falls short of the target imposed by the Japanese government by March 2020. The underwhelming response to the new immigration laws in Japan is attributable to the limited number of test sites in foreign countries and various sectors tested so far.


For the first six months after the enactment and implementation of the new visa rules, texts have only been conducted in six countries including the Philippines Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia especially in the nursing and food service industry. Most foreigners who acquired the visa under the new law came from Vietnam. Meanwhile, there were twenty seven foreign nationals from the Philippines who availed of the benefits of the new immigration rule.


Reference: Japan’s new working visa acquired by only 219 foreigners in first 6 months


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