business

Japanese firms reluctant to hire unskilled foreign laborers: poll

41 Comments
By Tetsushi Kajimoto

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have studied the theory of technology at university,

So they know how to use the fax machine then?

1 ( +13 / -12 )

If they accept opening to more and more foreign for business reasons, everyone knows that greed for always more benefits will eat alive the cultural heritage of Japan the same way that it is happening now to most Europe. Truth be told.

I was accepted in Japan and was wishing to learn Japanese more but company not cared at all. It wanted to make me work as a slave or to go away. No future outside more enslaved workers with no knowledge to learn Japan anyway.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

What you want, and what you get, are going to be two hugely different things, UNLESS you are willing to actually PAY for the skilled workers.

Don't just suddenly assume that any skilled workers are going to come here to Japan to work for you at slave wages!

17 ( +18 / -1 )

But in a society that has long prized its homogeneity, 

Perceived homogeneity! Reality is quite a bit different!

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

But just 38 percent favored allowing unskilled workers into the country to ease labor shortages.

Unskilled foreign workers already filled position in many small-medium firm like construction, agriculture and fisheries. For those firms they even can not survive if they don't have foreign workers. Other firms they still can attract Japanese workers, at least for now, having foreigners in their company is never crossed their mind at all.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Companies that are willing to hire foreigners who graduated from an university in Japan are getting people who they assume are willing to work the Japanese way (work to death, don't take holidays, make your way to work during typhoon, etc.) and have or willing to learn Japanese business manners. (...found out by accident that there are rules in place for walking into an elevator with co-workers/management and the pecking order for getting into a cab among other things)

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Yaburo* good point. This idea of homogeneity is like being drunk, a dulling of the mind and senses. There are those that get it, and then there are those that don’t! Those that want to move forward and know there’s a better way to do things, if you search , and then there are those that won’t.

The reason businesses don’t want to hire foreigners is they think they have gaijin pegged. Lazy, not on time, can’t soeak Japanese , untrustworthy , will never understand the intracacies of Japanese culture etc. it’s game over before it even begins! Thing is if you treat people like this off the bat they will become it! The way some people talk about how gaijin think and work, even though they’ve never left Japan is ridiculous . The minute you start treating people as individuals then bingo! A whole new world. Just takes effective leadership that’s all. Firm but fair.. Hmmm.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

The minute you start treating people as individuals 

Problem is that even Japanese themselves have a difficult time treating each other as individuals. If they can't do it themselves, how are they going to accept others?

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

I think most countries would rather have slightly skilled workers or somewhat well-skilled workers, or highly skilled workers rather than unskilled workers. Now if unskilled workers are all you can find, then most countries would rather have trainable workers rather than untrainable workers because after they are trained, they won't be unskilled anymore. Is there a high demand for unskilled workers somewhere on the planet? I don't see this as a Japan-only preference.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

One word : ROBOTS. The technology is already here.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

How dare Japanese companies only hire skilled workers like every other for-profit company on the planet! They should take terminal and irrational risks to their businesses and dependent staff by hiring unskilled workers, said no sane businessperson ever

9 ( +13 / -4 )

How dare Japanese companies only hire skilled workers like every other for-profit company on the planet!

I've hired unskilled workers, for positions that don't require any particular skills.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Is there a high demand for unskilled workers somewhere on the planet?

Dunno about unskilled but many euro nations (as well as the us) hired millions of low-skilled/poorly educated workers in the 70s and 80s to fill jobs nobody wanted to do.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

It's too late already. Even if the oyaji weren't in the way everyday and were trying to improve, there might be hope. There isn't. They are decades behind.

Skilled workers rank Japan last place in Asia ( https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-11-30/japan-wants-immigrants-the-feeling-isn-t-mutual ). You can't just flip a switch and get the skilled workers you want. Japan isn't an acceptable location. It's nice, it's good for limited visits, but working and living there require respect and enacted laws that show that respect ie: anti discrimination laws, housing, contracts etc. And those punishing deadly work hours. No human being would want that.

Japan is nearing its demographic cliff and already can't offer commiserate wages to attract skilled workers (pssst, it's because they're skilled!). Welfare bubble as more people will be retired than employed

Expect the brain drain to continue

As things get worse and worse, eventually just out of necessity Japan will open its borders more. But Japan will only get the bottom of the barrel

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Not sure what the problem here is. Obviously all companies would prefer skilled foreign workers, rather than unskilled. These workers aren't likely to stay in Japan long term, so why would companies want to spend their valuable time and money investing in foreign unskilled labour?

Australia does the exact same thing with its point based system for skilled foreigners

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Unfortunate for Japan this will get even worse as the no foreigners allowed restaurants and bars get noticed during the Olympics. It will be highly disproportionate to the wonderful restaurants and bars that don't behave this way, but you know it will happen, right? Social Media of 2020 will make short work of it. How are they going to repair that image? It's going to undermine any skilled worker perception about moving to Japan

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

It's good to see Japan have a rational and sensible approach to potential immigration. Unskilled immigration for the sake of virtue signaling is thankfully unacceptable in Japan and will remain so. Skilled workers and value-adders only

4 ( +11 / -7 )

@David Varnes

So they know how to use the fax machine then?

They said the "theory of technology", that means they probably know how

the fax machine works, but not necessarily how to use it lol

9 ( +12 / -3 )

This is simply not true, have a look at Subaru's annual report where they are "enjoying" the cost savings of these employees. Not to mention they can certify cars without a license and then bow later on saying "sorry for getting caught"

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Newsflash....if you want skilled white collar workers in any meaningful numbers you will have to start offering conditions that are way closer to what other advanced countries looking for skilled labor offer..look t what Canada, Australia etc offer in terms of salaries, visas/ citizenship opportunities , govt support etc.

Why exactly was this removed, moderators? Nothing off topic about it.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

foreign or not, who wants unskilled workers??

5 ( +9 / -4 )

BS. They are reluctant to give them/extend visas, but not reluctant to have them work illegally. There’s an older apartment building in my neighborhood that has dozens of South Americans staying on illegally and working for “Sha-cho”, who owns the building. I chat with some of them sometimes and they are happy to live and work here, but envy my permanent visa. They know they can stay as long as they don’t make a fuss or commit any crimes, but they also know they could be yanked out at any time. A few are Brazilian-Japanese who got permanent visas, but he rest are illegals or on one-year visas with horrid conditions.

Japan needs to make immigration and visas easier to get and welcome these people under good conditions. This will improve conditions of care for Japanese citizens, and better quality of life for most, if not all.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Wellington: “It's good to see Japan have a rational and sensible approach to potential immigration”

meanwhile they rank number one for labor trafficking in Asia and perhaps the world. This saves them a lot of money. Why would hey care about humane conditions?

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Not wanting to open the floodgates to unskilled labor, and only wanting skilled labor from other countries?

Pray, do tell, what exactly is the problem with that?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

The funny thing is, most of these unskilled foreign workers come to Japan under a traineeship to learn skills, but the companies want to hire skilled workers to put them on trainee schemes. In other words, they want skilled laborers to work for trainee salaries. TIJ!

0 ( +8 / -8 )

foreign or not, who wants unskilled workers??

Me - for unskilled positions.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Not wanting to open the floodgates to unskilled labor, and only wanting skilled labor from other countries?

Pray, do tell, what exactly is the problem with that?

Who is going to do the unskilled work? Not many Japanese want to.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

The arrogance on here is astounding.

Unskilled does not mean stupid or unable to learn new skills!

perhaps many have just never had the chance or had to put bread on the table rather than advance to further education.

People can pick things up pretty quick given the knowledge.

What does unskilled really mean anyway?

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Good to hear companies here are not as stupid as they are overseas. If you don't have work skills or certifications, can't speak the native language, or can't add value to the economy, then what value are you bringing to the country?

Only skilled workers should be acceptable

2 ( +5 / -3 )

De-population requires central government family focused policies.

Backfilling vacancies skilled or otherwise needs a comprehensive support structure. A budget, and a clear businesses need.

Skilled processionals will not fully commit i.e. relocate there families without the confidence of being able to integrate into society and culture.

.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

a severe labor shortage

I keep seeing and reading this all the time but I just don't see it. Anyone have info on this "a severe labor shortage"?

Sounds more like a globalists wet dream to me.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Good to hear companies here are not as stupid as they are overseas. If you don't have work skills or certifications, can't speak the native language, or can't add value to the economy, then what value are you bringing to the country?

One for the type of work that these workers are needed in their is little need for language skills outside of basic conversation.

Who needs JLPT1 to plant a field? To work on an assembly line? To work at a fish processing plant?

Also, tell me, outside of Japan, where is Japanese spoken? RIght only in Japan, and Japan needs these workers to keep the economy flowing, otherwise...bye bye.

This isn't an English speaking country, this is Japan and until you realize the problems that are coming up HERE, comments like yours are based upon ignorance and not reality!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Only skilled workers should be acceptable

And as noted, skilled workers are NOT going to come here to work for basically minimum wage.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Its a two way thing, one has to be prepared to fulfil duties at work , also to play an active part in the community.

To achieve this bridges have to be burnt. You must make an effort to learn the language, pay your taxes, fully comply with all the laws etc etc …..

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As some have said, yeah sure skilled workers, good, but how many are coming here, answer NOT MANY! Japan just isn't & wont ever likely be attractive enough to attract the numbers needed

There are too many MUCH better options, Japan has waited far too long to deal with these issues, sadly the country is dying at both ends, too many elderly, too few young, & BOTH are getting worse daily!

This is going to be hitting here much faster & harder than many seem to realize, even among foreign posters here!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I associate daily with foreign workers at factories to construction companies. I also know those who work at 711, Lawson's and Family Mart as well as shops at various train stations. I also know many of the owners and managers at those firms.

The primary problem for most foreign workers that I know have been the Japanese language. The second problem is their work attitude and their "expectations" as to what a job entails. Many expect that they will be told what to do all the time, but Japanese workers are "expected" to know what to do to begin with when they are hired.

The primary problem for the Japanese companies is their "expectations" which may be too high or too low. The second problem for the companies is that many Japanese companies are run on too tight a schedule on too tight a budget and over worked Japanese employees that are not willing to share their skills and knowledge with a foreigner because their own production may be affected or lose their positions within the company.

However many labor intensive companies do need actual physical labor that does not require much language skills or high technical skills. For such firms they often provide language and technical skill training classes.

Cannot say much about pay scales since computer and other highly technical firms such as NEC and Fujitsu pay foreign engineers much higher pay than even the Japanese counterparts. However, labor intensive companies do have a problem with lower pay scales for foreign workers without the needed language and technical skills.

Even with the influx of more foreign workers it will take much time for companies to adjust and adopt ways to accommodate and assimilate them into their workplace.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

> Ganbare Japan!Today  09:47 am JST

One word : ROBOTS. The technology is already here.

Based on which knowledge? :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ Yubaru

Only skilled workers should be acceptable

And as noted, skilled workers are NOT going to come here to work for basically minimum wage.

It depends how you define 'skilled'. I consider all low added value jobs as unskilled.

Does it sound a bell?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It depends how you define 'skilled'. I consider all low added value jobs as unskilled.

Does it sound a bell?

> Sure as noted in articles in the past Abe wants "highly educated" people to come. Businesses however realize that "highly educated" means paying more than what they pay their own so they changed the wording to highly skilled, with the intent that these workers still have to be "highly educated"

And as many here know, just being educated does not equal being skilled.

I also think people need to notice that all of the so called laborers that the government intends to target come from SE Asian countries.

He doesnt want to have "westerners" coming here in the same capacity!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And as many here know, just being educated does not equal being skilled.

I wonder... :)

I also think people need to notice that all of the so called laborers that the government intends to target come from SE Asian countries.

He doesnt want to have "westerners" coming here in the same capacity!

Japan probably thinks that low skilled workers from SE Asia are easier to manipulate than 'westerners'.

In my home country and neighbouring countries we've hundred of thousands Eastern Europeans working in green houses, factories, construction building, RLDs etc. working for the lowest wages and limited to none labor rights.

Problem is that even Japanese themselves have a difficult time treating each other as individuals. If they can't do it themselves, how are they going to accept others?

Personally I've only experience with cosmopolitan Japanese [colleagues] but I'm aware of the hierarchal situation in J firms and the position of J women on the labor market.

You can't treat an outsider equally when you don't have your own labor situation in order, more or less based on the same reasoning that you use on J individuality.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You can't treat an outsider equally 

Nor accept that an "outsider" can become Japanese either. That is something that far too many still can not wrap their minds around!

I know I am one. Naturalized Japanese that is!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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