Thai men work at a farm in Gunma Prefecture. Photo: REUTERS file
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No. of foreign workers in Japan triples in decade to record 1.46 million

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That's a little under 1.5% of the population. That number percentage will have to increase to around 10% for it to have an affect on Japan's prosperity. At present, Japan is only importing blue collar workers to do low paying jobs. Japan is going to have to expend this to allow skilled and white collar workers into the country. However, they are going to have to offer more than a basic salary and strict visa conditions to attract white collar workers. The education and motivation levels of the current generation of graduates is going to put Japan in dire need of skilled and educated white collar workers in the very near future.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

I read of a computer model that predicted violence against minority groups, and I recall that as long as the minority group was a small percentage that there would be few violent incidents, but if it got above some threshold there would be violent confrontations with the majority group. As many of us live in Japan and experience relative safety, I think keeping immigration in check is important to maintain this. Japanese are very indulgent of foreigners in small numbers, but I think that could change for the worse if there are too many or appear to be too many.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Average wage and working hours?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

1.5% is hardly any. In the 1980s, Saudi Arabia had a population of just less than 8 million locals, but also contained more than 6 million overseas workers, who did virtually all of the work. Mainly 'Western' expats in supervisory or management positions, and the rest were TCNs (Third Continent Nationals) who did the manual worrk. They were terrified of a takeover!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

companies continue to struggle with a labor shortage.

There is no labour shortage and there never will be. The concept of a labour shortage is fueled by ignorance. What we actually have is a shortage of Japanese workers who are willing to accept wages below the market rate (presumably because they have better opportunities elsewhere) and companies who are not productive enough to compete at market wage rates. Instead of improving productivity or going out of business and making way for new competitors or different ways of doing business, they ask for a government bailout in the form of low-skilled workers to depress wage rates. It's outrageous.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Con artists extraordinaire . The first thing a good conman does to you is steal your trust and all else is downhill. None has been so successful before...... bandying figures around , Volunteer or aid " work " not withstanding .

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@wanderlust

The difference with places like Saudi Arabia and Dubai is that these countries are not democracies, and even if they were, foreign workers and their children have virtually no chance of ever becoming Saudi or Emirati citizens regardless of how long they've been there. In this way, they don't threaten to erode the political power of the existing population so you are likely to have far less hostility to foreigners. This is very different from countries where citizenship and voting rights can be acquired after just a few years and changing demographics can displace the political preferences of the native population.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

What we actually have is a shortage of Japanese workers who are willing to accept wages below the market rate 

Errr...

How many Japanese workers do you want who will accept wages below the market rate?

Instead of improving productivity

Withyou there - Japan has about the lowest productivity of any developed nation, although this probably has more to do with presenteeism than inefficiency.

But given the distribution of ages in Japan, there is going to be a bigger demand for kew grace manual work than there are available workers.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Errr...

How many Japanese workers do you want who will accept wages below the market rate?

Zero

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Now crime rates will triple as well. In every country with so many workers from foreign countries, we have seen crime rates soar uncontrollably. Look at the USA for example.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Foreigners = violence and crime

What is this equation?

Irrespect and poverty lead to crime and violence!

Switzerland has more than 20% foreign residents (2.1 millions for a total population of 8.4 millions) plus more than 300,000 foreigners commuting every day to Switzerland to work. And I am not aware of terrible crime and violence there.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Here in Brazil we have officially over 12 million people unemployed and there are over 160,000 Brazilians working in Japan earning at least 1,000 yens an hour. Brazil's minimum wage is equal to 164 yens per hour, not enough to pay for housing, food, basic needs.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Still remains to be seen if this is a good idea or not. I'm wary anytime unskilled or manual type labor types are allowed in, as can be seen what happens in other countries.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I have actually gone out of my way to talk to Indonesian fishers, Chinese fish prosessing workers and Nepali hotel staff.

All (and I asked if they had friends who had encountered trouble) are more than satisfied with their lot.

They are also aware that the labor reforms that will come into play pretty soon will give them mobility to quit jobs that they are not satisfied with.

Not sure if Miyagi prefecture has a better consultation system than other places but it seems to be mutually beneficial to both parties here.

The skipper of a fishing vessel from Chiba who was in at the workshop in Shiogama told me the Indonesians have saved his skin, and kept his industry alive.

Gary

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I just don't think many Japanese people (especially the more xenophobic ones) realize how much this country depends on foreign nationals. And no, they're not taking away jobs. They're doing something which nobody else wants to do. Go to the farms in the UK same story.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Using cheap labour from simple countries to do work that Japanese who are too lazy to do, tells a lot abt the Japanese people. Just because Japanese have a birth right in this country, do not mean that they can belittle people and use them when these Japanese do not have the brains and effort to do their work. How pitiful can Japanese be these days ???. No shame or heart in their lives. There are some people, who call themselves C.O.O OR torishimariyaku but goes to work at 9 am and leave office at 6.15 pm , works 5 days a week and others work hard. These are the kind of Japanese people , I am seeing in their 50s. Really sad people. When u complain , they just say, this is Japan. their only skills are yelling & because they can read and write and con people , their own Japanese people with sweet words and be mean and back-stabbing to their co-workers. They wants to pay 180,000 yen and get lots of work from foreigners. Really, sad & pitiful Japanese people in these days. Then they wonder , why nobody likes them and why people do not speak to them ???.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

As for the increase in foreign workers in Japan, yes there has been a noticeable increase in those holding low paid roles such as in 7-11 and other Convenience stores. I wonder however, within places such a Tokyo, whether it is the fixed 8 hours shift periods that have forced local people out of these roles other than those who come here from poorer Countries seeking to make more money to send back home.

For the 8000 yen (pre-tax) per day, you really can't support yourself in Tokyo, and travel costs somewhat negate travelling in from outside to do so long term, but for a transient coming from a low cost home country, it does make sense.

I think, the first impact will be upon the local Natural resources for roles - university Students. However, it's interesting to see that the number of Uber Eats (& competitor) riders has increased... which is I guess where they have gone. Yet the income there, isn't great. So the knock on effect will presumably eventually result in a lower rate of University admissions since people can't afford to send their kids there... or simply just don't have kids because of the expense they can't afford...

If you're going to be paid at the minimum wage rate, then the period over which you have to work should be reduced into fewer hours, which would allow for a more convenient work when you can approach. 2 hour periods per shift perhaps ? Just a thought.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Peeping_Tom

Nobody tells Japan to get only "ravage" countries people. Japan takes these ones because they are cheap and do whateverJapanese do not want to do. And mostly stay away from their sight.

But taking foreign white collars from less "ravage" countries - and safer... - means treating them equally, accepting to have a non-Japanese boss and so on.

Not sure Japan will ever be ready for that.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

There is no labour shortage and there never will be. The concept of a labour shortage is fueled by ignorance. What we actually have is a shortage of Japanese workers who are willing to accept wages below the market rate (presumably because they have better opportunities elsewhere) and companies who are not productive enough to compete at market wage rates. Instead of improving productivity or going out of business and making way for new competitors or different ways of doing business, they ask for a government bailout in the form of low-skilled workers to depress wage rates. It's outrageous.

Why do you think a part-time job as a store cashier pays wages that are ''below the market rate''? Who decides what is the ''market rate''?

What would be a ''market rate wage'' for a combini cashier? What exactly makes a Japanese store cashier less productive, and what do you think should be done to increase their productivity?

A business does not have go bankrupt for a new one to come. A business goes bankrupt because another one outcompetes them. Who is stopping another business from outcompeting these low-productive jobs?

How does low-skilled workers depress wage rates? Which industry's wage rates exactly do you think are going to be depressed, and for what reason?

Now, a little economics lesson.

The wage of a worker is the cost of their work, which is determined by multiple factors, primarily supply and demand of that particular set of skills, how much demand there is for that job, how much supply of workers there is. Another factor is the value you add to the work. Obviously some jobs allow people to add more value, some allow for less. A cashier can never be as productive as a Software engineer. That's why there are low-paying jobs -- jobs that are low-level, they offer services or products on a low cost, thus they pay low wages, and then there are high-paying jobs -- jobs who sell high level services and products on high cost, so their wages are higher.

Low-paying jobs such as part time service sector jobs, or construction, low-level manufacutring and so on are usually entry-level jobs for young people, or people who wish to change careers. They offer people job that requires low-value labor.

Low-level jobs drive up overall productivity in other sectors of the economy because they are flexible, they provide cheaper products, and they are easily adaptable to changes. It allows people to be much more productive, it allows low skilled people to climb the job ladder by providing entry level opportunities for people with no skills, it allows them to acquire skills on the job and climb the ladder. If you remove these jobs, you will deprive low-skilled people of opportunity to get a job on the labor market, acquire skills and climb the job ladder to a better paying jobs which require more skills.

One of the biggest problems of the Japanese economy is ther massive displacement of labor. High skilled people do low paying jobs. There is a mismatch of skills and labor in the Japanese economy. Low-skilled immigrants will fill in the jobs that require little skills, thus freeing the Japanese labor to pursue better paying jobs, such as management. On most cases, they do not even compete directly due to the language level gap.

Low-skilled immigrants will allow the low-level jobs that provide low-cost products and services to exist and grow. Their demand will also create many other jobs in other sectors. Just because an immigrant is low-skilled now does not mean he will remain low-skilled forever. Few months or years on the job will allow these people to increase their skills, thus allowing them to seek higher paying jobs.

If there is no labor willing to work on low-paying jobs, they will either close down or have to pay above market rate wages, thus increasing the cost of the products and services.

The point of an economy is not to provide high wages, but to provide low-cost stuff. The purpose of the economy is to produce stuff and provide services on a price peopl can afford it. You don't want high wage, you want low cost. Freeing the Japanese labor from doing low-paying jobs will allow them to do jobs that are better suited for them.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I am all for more foreigners in Japan. To that end, I am even willing to accept illegal migrations. The decrease in working population is the most serious problem Japan faces for decades to come. And diversity is what Japan need most in cultural transformation. This is the second 開国 (Opening of Japan). Be bold, Japan, and open up.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

the purpose of a recession is to weed out the failed business models and allow other models to thrive. By continuing government subsidy or any means necessary businesses that no longer have reason to be it makes any future crash all the more likely

2 ( +2 / -0 )

But taking foreign white collars from less "ravage" countries - and safer... - means treating them equally, accepting to have a non-Japanese boss and so on. Not sure Japan will ever be ready for that.

In some sectors it was read to do this decades ago. I took a regular tenured job in a Japanese university in 1999. Same pay and benefits as Japanese nationals. I was later asked to become department head. I declined but my Japanese colleagues were certainly open to a non-Japanese boss. There are a number of foreign nationals who are tenured academics in Japan. Some head departments. Some have headed their universities. You don't hear them complaining because they have nothing to complain about it.

Wow! 1.46 million slaves!!! Good Job, Japan!!!

If they are slaves, they are voluntary slaves. Some even go into debt in their home countries so they can go to Japan and become slaves.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@IloveCoffee

Why do you think a part-time job as a store cashier pays wages that are ''below the market rate''?

If a cashier is actually working at a store, then by definition whatever they are being paid is that employees market rate. What I'm saying is that the wages being offered by these companies are below the market rate for a significant number of Japanese people.

Who decides what is the ''market rate''?

The market decides. If you enter the labour market offering a wage that is accepted by a worker, you are paying the market rate. If on the other hand you have constant difficulties finding enough workers to accept the wages you're offering (to the point that you need to lobby the government to increase immigration from the poorest parts of the world to maintain profitability) then you are probably offering a wage below the market rate.

What would be a ''market rate wage'' for a combini cashier? What exactly makes a Japanese store cashier less productive, and what do you think should be done to increase their productivity?

Whatever the market decides. They are less productive because they produce less compared to the amount they earn. You could increase their productivity by either a.) working more efficiently, ie faster (which is likely impossible), b.) automating the stores and paying the person who oversees the machines a bit more for the extra skill needed, or c.) closing down the ridiculously superfluous number of convenience stores in urban areas and increasing profitability per store.

A business does not have go bankrupt for a new one to come. A business goes bankrupt because another one outcompetes them. Who is stopping another business from outcompeting these low-productive jobs?

Sure, but there are plenty of businesses which become unviable as the price of labour increases. The only innovation which could out-compete current convenience stores at this point would likely be a fully automated store.

A cashier can never be as productive as a Software engineer.

Not necessarily. A software engineer in India makes less than a cashier in Japan. As you correctly point out, it all depends on supply and demand.

That's why there are low-paying jobs -- jobs that are low-level, they offer services or products on a low cost, thus they pay low wages, and then there are high-paying jobs -- jobs who sell high level services and products on high cost, so their wages are higher.

Not true. There is no such thing as an inherently low or high paying job. There is also no reason why you can't earn high wages from selling low cost goods. It depends entirely on how efficient and productivity you are and on supply and demand. I've known lawyers who earn less than pizza delivery drivers simply because the supply of aspiring lawyers is absurdly higher than demand. Many are even forced to work for free.

There is a mismatch of skills and labor in the Japanese economy. Low-skilled immigrants will fill in the jobs that require little skills, thus freeing the Japanese labor to pursue better paying jobs, such as management.

This is probably one of the ugliest side-effects of mass immigration from third world countries. You end up with a native upper-class ruling over an immigrant under-class. I've witnessed this first hand in my life and I hope it's something that never comes to Japan. There are plenty of Japanese people who lack the cognitive ability to ever enter management occupations. Why should they be made to compete with an influx of immigrants for lower wage jobs while only the smarter elites profit?

Low-skilled immigrants will allow the low-level jobs that provide low-cost products and services to exist and grow. Their demand will also create many other jobs in other sectors.

OK, let me propose something to you. Let's lower the minimum wage to ¥100 per hour and open the borders. Would you support this? Why or why not? If we did this, we could create millions of jobs overnight. I for one would hire a full-time maid, a chef, a masseuse, a chauffeur, and also someone to transcribe printed books into audiobooks that I could listen to while I commute. That's 5 new jobs just for me.

Assuming you think this is a bad idea, why? It's essentially what you're advocating for; an artificially lower market wage fueled by immigration. If your complaint is that ¥100 is too low, why? What is your ideal number? Can we agree on ¥500 or ¥700?

The point of an economy is not to provide high wages, but to provide low-cost stuff. The purpose of the economy is to produce stuff and provide services on a price peopl can afford it. You don't want high wage, you want low cost. Freeing the Japanese labor from doing low-paying jobs will allow them to do jobs that are better suited for them.

Perhaps that's the purpose of the economy for you. It's not for me. I place a higher value on a socially cohesive society where my friends and neighbours can enjoy a comfortable standard of living without having to open the domestic service industry to third world wage competition. It's completely unnecessary and absurd.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So Japan is willing to bring in more foreign works but still doesn't make sure foreign workers get treated like the Japanese workers. English teachers still get screwed over with things like unpaid hours, no breaks, companies logging false hours to avoid paying for health insurance, low pay based on nationality,...ect. they should fix what's already going on before opening up to more people being screwed over.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The market decides. If you enter the labour market offering a wage that is accepted by a worker, you are paying the market rate. If on the other hand you have constant difficulties finding enough workers to accept the wages you're offering then you are probably offering a wage below the market rate.

You contradict yourself. By your very own definition, the reason why you can't find people to accept these wages is because they have better opportunities. The market rate as you said would be the amount people are willing to accept. The business have to compete with other businesses in the market, and they do that by cutting down the costs, if they can't hire people on lower wages, they would increase the wage, but also the price and probably have to cut the number of employees. The increased price would put them in disadvantage with other businesses who sell cheaply, especially businesses from abroad, UNLESS of course you don't lobby the govt. to put restrictions on foreign competitions so you can sell stuff on a higher price than the rest of the world. This is not going to benefit the ordinary people.

They are less productive because they produce less compared to the amount they earn. You could increase their productivity by either a.) working more efficiently, ie faster (which is likely impossible), b.) automating the stores and paying the person who oversees the machines a bit more for the extra skill needed, or c.) closing down the ridiculously superfluous number of convenience stores in urban areas and increasing profitability per store.

They earn what they produce. One of the reasons they are less productive than their American counterparts is because of lack of flexibility. It's difficult to fire/hire people, overwhelming amount of paper required for every single thing slows down productivity. A lot of this is government mandated. I don't know if it still exists, but there used to be a wall forbidding companies from firing people, or making it very costly for them to fire someone, that's why big companies would assign degrading jobs to people they want to fire hoping they would quit themselves. There are other ridiculous laws that slow down productivity. When it's hard for a business to fire someone, it's also hard to hire someone. All kinds of ridig regulations prevent flexible working schedule, which would increase people's productivity.

People claim Japanese culture is at fault for long working hours, but i would say 90% is government 's fault. If it was easy for people to quit and get another high paying job, they would never allow themselves to be abused. Government protectionist policies is one of the major reasons why there aren't enough good paying jobs in the service sector. Ridig regulations is another.

There is also no reason why you can't earn high wages from selling low cost goods. It depends entirely on how efficient and productivity you are and on supply and demand.

No matter how productive you are, you cannot pay a mcdonalds worker higher wage without raising the price of the burger, which in term will lead to less customers - less profits. I guess you could automate everything and only need to hire a single worker to operate the burger machine instead of 20 teens doing the burgers. But in that scenario you kill the entry level jobs, and you kill the opportunity for 20 teens to get a pocket money job. These are jobs for teens and entry level people, not a career job ,or a family supporting job.

You end up with a native upper-class ruling over an immigrant under-class. I've witnessed this first hand in my life and I hope it's something that never comes to Japan. There are plenty of Japanese people who lack the cognitive ability to ever enter management occupations. Why should they be made to compete with an influx of immigrants for lower wage jobs while only the smarter elites profit?

Not at all. This has never been the case in the United States, or in any other country for that matter. There are two underlying premises that you make that are wrong. The first one is that ''once poor, always poor''. Just because you lack the skills today, does not mean you will stay underskilled forever. People are not born skilled. Skills are obtained and learned by practice on the job. You get a job, you do a job, you learn new skills and before you know it, you have more skills that equal more pay. Most celebrities in America or even people above 50 would tell you they used to sell newspaper, or lemonade, or be a non-paid staffer, or something like that. All these jobs allow people to acquire skills, and more skills mean more money. That's how you climb the ladder. Many of these new comers will get a low paying job that equal their skills, as time goes by, they will learn the language, learn new skills, and then they will be able to seek different jobs that require different set of skills that pay more.

The second assumption you make is that new comers willing to work for less compete with native people. That is true for a tiny percentage of native Japanese. The vast majority of Japanese people will not compete directly with new immigrants because they have different skills. Just knowing the language on a native level alone puts you in a different economic bracket.

Furthermore, another thing you are forgetting is that, more people means more demand for stuff. These new immigrants are also customers, they will create demand, which means more supply will be needed in other sectors. They buy stuff, which means new businesses would be created to supply the new demand, or existing businesses will expand to provide the new demand, thereby hiring more local people in various industries.

Another thing you are ignoring is that many of these new immigrants would end up creating jobs themselves. Many will create stores that sell stuff, others will create business to supply a specific demand created by the new immigrants, such as language-related services and so on.

The elites will not profit, the ordinary people will profit because there will be more stuff on a lower price. There will also be more job opportunities created in the process.

OK, let me propose something to you. Let's lower the minimum wage to ¥100 per hour and open the borders. Would you support this? Why or why not? If we did this, we could create millions of jobs overnight. I for one would hire a full-time maid, a chef, a masseuse, a chauffeur, and also someone to transcribe printed books into audiobooks that I could listen to while I commute. That's 5 new jobs just for me.

I support having no minimum wage, and free immigration, that is anyone who wants to come and work and who can find a job to be given a work permit to stay and work. You said it yourself, if there wasn't a minimum wage, you would hire 5 people to do stuff for you. The minimum wage is what stops you, and it stops these 5 people from getting a job. It may not be a good paying job, but it would be a paying job, and a place to start. Having 5 people doing your choirs will also free your time to do other stuff, thereby making you more productive as well. Everybody benefits. The people you will hire for 100 yen will do your choir for a while, learn ethics on the job, learn some language, and when new opportuntiy araises, move to a job that pays 200 yen, then move to a job that pays 500 yen.. and eventually 1,500 yen and so on. You have to give people the opportunity to grow and learn, if you take that away from them, you are forever conditioning them to stay poor and do low level jobs or rely on welfare which is even worse.

Perhaps that's the purpose of the economy for you. It's not for me. I place a higher value on a socially cohesive society where my friends and neighbours can enjoy a comfortable standard of living without having to open the domestic service industry to third world wage competition. It's completely unnecessary and absurd.

What increases your standard of living is access to goods and services on a price you can afford. Imagine if japan had 100% tariffs on all foreign goods. Domestic prices on everything will double, tripple, even increase by 5x, wages on these industries will also increase 5 times, but so will the price. Now you will be able to afford 1 shirt and 1 pair or shoes, and nothing else because of the high price. Is that going to make your life better? The more people are free to offer you the cheaper deal, the more goods and services there will be for you to choose on a lower price. Now, you will be able to buy shoes, shirt, and have more to buy a new tv or a new computer. Isn't that better? Japanese people pay about 4 times more for agricultre than their American counterparts. Who has higher standards of living? Americans who pay 4 times less and have 10 times more choises, or Japanese people who pay 4 times more and have few choises?

Your life is not going to worsen by having people from Congo doing jobs for less money thereby allowing businesses to cut down the cost of their products, on the contrary, it will make your life better, because you will have more money in your pocket to spend on other things now, and it will also make the life of the immigrant better.

Japanese society on a whole will also be better because new people bring in new ideas, new ways of doing stuff.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This society is still poor in mind to accept foreign co-workers

But this is true, Japan need hug foreign workers

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Realization:

This society is still poor in mind to accept foreign co-workers

But this is true, Japan need hug foreign workers

Bring in more foreign workers, I say, and think about other problems later.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@IloveCoffee

Much of what you say is basic macro 101 theory so it's not something I'm going to be able to disagree with unless we look at very specific cases. Suffice it to say reality is often more complex than textbook theory and when it comes to immigration there are cultural, ethnic, racial and social differences/preferences which cannot be plotted on a curve or plugged into a formula.

You contradict yourself. By your very own definition, the reason why you can't find people to accept these wages is because they have better opportunities. The market rate as you said would be the amount people are willing to accept. The business have to compete with other businesses in the market, and they do that by cutting down the costs, if they can't hire people on lower wages, they would increase the wage, but also the price and probably have to cut the number of employees. The increased price would put them in disadvantage with other businesses who sell cheaply, especially businesses from abroad, UNLESS of course you don't lobby the govt. to put restrictions on foreign competitions so you can sell stuff on a higher price than the rest of the world. This is not going to benefit the ordinary people.

I agree with all of this except the part where you claim I contradict myself. I see no inconsistency with what I said.

One of the reasons they are less productive than their American counterparts is because of lack of flexibility. It's difficult to fire/hire people, overwhelming amount of paper required for every single thing slows down productivity. A lot of this is government mandated

Sure, but most people support government regulation in the areas such as labour, product safety, industrial pollution, etc. Economic activity would see a boost from scaling back most of this, but do you recognise that most citizens in this society place a value on having these regulations? Do you admit the possibility that since you cannot quantify the peace of mind that a worker gets from knowing they can't be summarily fired or that the product they purchase has been thoroughly tested, you can't make the argument that they would be better off without these regulations? This is essentially where economics collides with democracy and personal preferences. Polls show that most people in Japan also oppose the new immigration changes. Who are you to say that they would be better off by opening the borders?

Not at all. This has never been the case in the United States, or in any other country for that matter.

It's the case in many western European countries. Immigrants from places like Africa and the Middle East are sweeping the streets, emptying trash bins and driving taxis. Relatively few are working in posh offices or in elite occupations. Even if this is the result of racism, it's an intractable problem. Do you really think immigrants from these places will be mainstreamed into Japanese society?

Many of these new comers will get a low paying job that equal their skills, as time goes by, they will learn the language, learn new skills, and then they will be able to seek different jobs that require different set of skills that pay more.

Another thing you are ignoring is that many of these new immigrants would end up creating jobs themselves. Many will create stores that sell stuff, others will create business to supply a specific demand created by the new immigrants, such as language-related services and so on.

I see 3 problems with this argument. First, the recent proposals for immigration into Japan are not going to allow for this mobility. These immigrants will be restricted to working in specific industries for a limited period of time.

Secondly, Japan is essentially at full employment. This argument that immigrants will create demand for new jobs is not a great selling point. There is already a 'labour shortage', remember?

Third, you are essentially arguing that immigrants will not become an economic underclass and that they will not suppress overall wages in the long term. If you are correct, how then will immigration help the competitiveness of Japanese business? Business is looking to immigration for a longterm reduction in wages to lower costs. There seems to be a fundamental contradiction here.

The elites will not profit, the ordinary people will profit because there will be more stuff on a lower price.

There is also likely to be more crime, less social cohesion, racial, religious and ethnic tensions, increased housing costs. The effects of mass immigration are no longer theoretical at this point.

I support having no minimum wage, and free immigration, that is anyone who wants to come and work and who can find a job to be given a work permit to stay and work.

I'm actually also in favour of abolishing the minimum wage, but not mass immigration and open borders. The destruction of social cohesion, the increase in crime, and the eventual erosion of political power of the native population are basically externalities that companies which benefit from low wage labour are foisting on the rest of society. To put it in libertarian terms, they are violating the non-aggression principle.

You said it yourself, if there wasn't a minimum wage, you would hire 5 people to do stuff for you. The minimum wage is what stops you

Wow. You sound like either a first year economics student or someone who's overdosed on Milton Friedman compilations on Youtube. Where would these 5 people making ¥100 per hour live? Under a bridge, in a tent, or in a slum? Are they going to poop in the river because they lack running water? This is where basic economic theory becomes slightly ridiculous when applied in reality. Next you're probably going to point out that these people will create jobs for local companies who manufacture tarpaulin and other materials used to build the shanty towns.

Your life is not going to worsen by having people from Congo doing jobs for less money thereby allowing businesses to cut down the cost of their products, on the contrary, it will make your life better, because you will have more money in your pocket to spend on other things now, and it will also make the life of the immigrant better.

Why is Congo one of the poorest countries in the world? Why haven't companies set up factories and invested in infrastructure there to take advantage of the cheap labour?

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Economic activity would see a boost from scaling back most of this, but do you recognise that most citizens in this society place a value on having these regulations? Do you admit the possibility that since you cannot quantify the peace of mind that a worker gets from knowing they can't be summarily fired or that the product they purchase has been thoroughly tested, you can't make the argument that they would be better off without these regulations? This is essentially where economics collides with democracy and personal preferences. Polls show that most people in Japan also oppose the new immigration changes. Who are you to say that they would be better off by opening the borders?

I don't think these regulations give people a peace of mind, i think most people live a very stressful life knowing any mistake or deviation from the norm would get them fired, and once they are fired, they won't be able to get a good paying job anymore. I think people would have a peace of mind if they know they have good alternatives to their job at any time. Having more alternatives will also incentivize employers to treat their employees better.

I do think that these safety agencies give people a sense of protection, but it's a false sense of protection, just like the airport security, but i am not saying they should be abolished, i am talking about the excessive redtape imposed on all businesses and other forms of protectionist policies on foreign and domestic competition.

If people really like regulated working environment, then they would prefer those businesses over the more flexible ones, and the flexible less regulated ones will lose, however what i suspect will happen if there weren't any government mandated rules is that new businesses will offer a very flexible and less-rigid working conditions, and they will be more productive, and attract more people than the rigid old businesses. So at the end it will turn out that Japanese people do not in fact prefer endless meetings and tons of paperwork, but instead prefer a flexible working schedule with more free time for themselves.

Which polls are you looking at? I just googled it and this is what i found: https://www.asahi.com/articles/ASLCW4KF1LCWULFA012.html It says most people are in favor of expanding the foreign workers program.

I know they will be better off by allowing more foreigners to come to Japan and work, and even settle, because i can cite previous examples from other countries, and i also know the economic effects that increased labor supply will have on the economy and people's standards of living.

It's the case in many western European countries. Immigrants from places like Africa and the Middle East are sweeping the streets, emptying trash bins and driving taxis. Relatively few are working in posh offices or in elite occupations. Even if this is the result of racism, it's an intractable problem. Do you really think immigrants from these places will be mainstreamed into Japanese society?

I don't know what is your definition of ''western Europe'', but are you sure you've been to countries like Germany, France, Belgium, Sweden and Italy? I was in Italy last year and you can see Africans, visibly foreign, selling junk on the streets illegally. The moment the police shows up, they pick up and move to another corner. Lots of homelessness and ghetto neighborhoods. I did not see any street sweepers, taxi drivers or bin collectors of African or otherwise foreign origin. The vast majority of these people are refugees. You can make the case that they are really economic migrants, but they have a refugee status. Most of them do not work, just live off the welfare and other social programs. Last year i saw on the news a Belgium-born Moroccan retires at 40 after spending his entire life on welfare. In France, it's even worse. In Sweden the police is orderder not to arrest refugees.

The problem with these countries is not the refugees, but their idiotic policies. First they impose a minimum wage that makes it impossible for anybody to hire a refugee or unskilled migrant, then they give them a welfare check that exceeds the minimum wage, and then they wonder why are they not intergrating. Let's forget about the fact that very few of these people can actually get a job for that minimum wage, even if they could do that, they would have to be really stupid to want to work on a minimum wage when they can instead NOT work and collect a welfare money higher than the minimum wage. And that's exaclty what they do, and they form ghettos which the police is not allowed to enter. That's why they don't integrate, not because of their culture, it's because these countires do everything humanly possible to discourage them from working, and encourage them to not work.

If you look at Germany and England, you would see that there aren't any ghettos there, and foreigners are much better integrated. In Germany the business association lobbied the government to exempt the refugees and other immigrants from the minimum wage law, and instead assign them to various working programs, and not welfare programs. In England, they have a much more flexible minimum wage law, and much less welfare programs, and much more low-paying jobs, that's why immigrants there are better integrated.

Yes i do think immigrants from any place can get integrated into the Japanese society, because many already have. There are a lot of immigrants from countries like Iraq, Iran, Lybia, Syria and even Nigeria and Kenya. I have not heard of any crimes committed by them.

Of course it also depends on your definition of ''integration''. If by that you mean giving up your values and beliefs, and conforming to Japanese social norms, then i think very few non-Japanese can do that, i think even many Japanese fail to properly ''integrate'', and that's why the suicide rate is so high. By that definition i don't think even you have been integrated into Japanese society.

I see 3 problems with this argument. First, the recent proposals for immigration into Japan are not going to allow for this mobility. These immigrants will be restricted to working in specific industries for a limited period of time.

Secondly, Japan is essentially at full employment. This argument that immigrants will create demand for new jobs is not a great selling point. There is already a 'labour shortage', remember?

Third, you are essentially arguing that immigrants will not become an economic underclass and that they will not suppress overall wages in the long term. If you are correct, how then will immigration help the competitiveness of Japanese business? Business is looking to immigration for a longterm reduction in wages to lower costs. There seems to be a fundamental contradiction here.

First - yes, that would be a problem, but my argument is to just give people a work visa and let them be.

Second - more competition for labor = higher wages. Plus, i don't think Japan is at ''full employment''. But there will be a lot of labor dislocation. Like i said before, too many Japanese work jobs they shouldn't be working.

Third - many jobs that currently provide services and products on low price have labor shortages because Japanese don't want to work for that wage. Immigrants will fill in these jobs thus the businesses will not have to raise prices. Also, because many immigrants with little skills will be willing to work for less than a Japanese, they will be hired in mostly manual labor jobs, and those industries will cut down the costs of their products which will benefit all people. Few immigrants will compete with natives, because few are in the same bracket. Some natives will be replaced most likely, or see their wage slightly reduced, but those are very specific cases, and overall it will be positive for the economy because on one hand the new people will create more demand so more new jobs and opportunities will be created, the price of many products and services will go down, so more people will have more money to spend, which in tern will create more jobs in other sectors. The increase demand will also increase wages in other sectors as well.

There is also likely to be more crime, less social cohesion, racial, religious and ethnic tensions, increased housing costs. The effects of mass immigration are no longer theoretical at this point.

Why do you assume there will be more crime? About 30% of Switzerland's population is foreign-born, yet Switzerland's crime rate is probably lower than that of Japan.

In some areas there might be increased housing costs, but that's only because government regulations restrict the supply of private housing. But on the bright side, Japanese landlords will benefit.

The issue of ''social cohesion'' is really the most important for you, isn't it. I think social cohesion in Japan is a facade. The illusion of cohesion has come on the expense of suppressing individual expression. Many people live in fear not to be different, even though they are. Many feel soul-crushing stress to conform to social norms, even though they don't want to. I don't think that's a ''cohesion'', i think that's coercion. Yes, with the increase of foreign-born population, or even 'haafu'', it is likely that there will be some tension over social norms, but i see that as an unavoidable process in the the transition of every country from homogeneous to heterogeneous society. In the process, new norms will emerge, ones that stress more importance on tolerating and accepting differences. I think these new norms will be more beneficial to people than the current norms that do not accept individual differences.

I'm actually also in favour of abolishing the minimum wage, but not mass immigration and open borders. The destruction of social cohesion, the increase in crime, and the eventual erosion of political power of the native population are basically externalities that companies which benefit from low wage labour are foisting on the rest of society. To put it in libertarian terms, they are violating the non-aggression principle.

Why do you take it for granted that there will be more crime? Also, what's the difference between accepting 1 foreigner per year, and 100,000 foreigners per year? Isn't it just time? As i see it, you would have to forbid any foreigners from living in Japan to avoid disturbance, you would also have to forbid the internet, since a lot of young Japanese get new ideas from the internet. Isn't that going to lead to disburbance in the cohesion of society? You would have to be like China and forcefully stop people from obtaining outside information. I think one of the ways Japan can remain ahead of China is having more diversity. Diverse economy and diverse society. The children of immgrants will be ''native''. How is the NAP violated?

Where would these 5 people making ¥100 per hour live? Under a bridge, in a tent, or in a slum? Are they going to poop in the river because they lack running water? This is where basic economic theory becomes slightly ridiculous when applied in reality. Next you're probably going to point out that these people will create jobs for local companies who manufacture tarpaulin and other materials used to build the shanty towns.

Obviously i was talking in principle. If you have enough money to come to Japan, you should support yourself. My point is that, your income is based on your skills, and you have to allow people to learn new skills.

Why is Congo one of the poorest countries in the world? Why haven't companies set up factories and invested in infrastructure there to take advantage of the cheap labour?

No rule of law, no private property protection, no legal contract enforcement, no stability. Look at Botswana 10 years ago then look at them now.

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