Visa system extension for foreign Japanese


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A new program for ethnic Japanese between 18 and 30 who have basic Japanese skills equivalent to the N4 level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test are required to have support from people they know in Japan like family members or employers, who can get in touch with them on a monthly basis.


Among those planning to apply are people who spent their childhood in Japan with their parents before losing their jobs during the 2008 global financial crisis. Some of their parents later returned to Japan but some of them remained in the countries their parents used to work in.


However, critics are sceptical and say the immigrants could be used as or end up as cheap labor workforce at factories or construction sites in urgent need of manual labor, especially since the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is fast approaching.


Demand for Japanese-Brazilian workers has been growing over the past decade, particularly in the manufacturing sector. According to the president of Avance Corporation, Takaharu Hayashi, a staffing agency that caters to ethnic Japanese in Aichi Prefecture.


When the economy finally slumped in the 2008 global financial crisis, the Japanese- Brazilian temporary work force were the first to be kicked out, leaving them jobless and possibly homeless, mentions Hayashi, who has been running his staffing business for over 30 years.


Japan saw a massive increase in Japanese-Brazilian immigrants following the revision of immigration laws in 1990 that granted second- and third-generation descendants the right to work with full-time in Japan with semi-permanent status.


The number of Japanese-Brazilians had risen to a record 310,358 in 2007, before the government offered them repatriation incentives during the financial crisis. In 2016, however, the number is now down to 176,391..


Hayashi of Avance said he has already received many inquiries about the program from fourth-generation Japanese-Brazilians.


Reference: Preferential visa system to be extended to foreign fourth-generation Japanese


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