business

No. of foreign workers in Japan tops 1 mil for first time

39 Comments
By Minami Funakoshi

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39 Comments
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what about all the "foreigners" in Japan on PR? He forgot to add them into the equation, as most of them work too!

When this was reported on the TV news last night, the word used for workers was 労働者, which has connotations of labourer, not just someone who works. I also made a similar comment to yours about PR, and Mr cleo said most PR probably weren't 労働者. Makes the whole 'problem' of foreign workers/labourers stink even more of insularism, entitlement and selective racism. White faces in offices Good, Brown faces on building sites Bad.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said more Japanese women and the elderly should work first

Maybe I should warn my 92-year-old MiL that Abe is after her, she fits both categories. He can find her a job on a building site.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Protect these workers. Do not let them be exploited. And if they would like to stay long-term, give clear pathways to do so.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Interesting use of statistics, and the end of the article says it all. Mildly surprised that someone who actually was the head of immigration would make this comment here. Spot on too!

“It’s not right that exchange students working part time and trainees who are supposed to be here to gain skills are counted as foreign labor,” said Hidenori Sakanaka, former head of the Tokyo Immigration Bureau.

Yup....

“The government may be trying to inflate the numbers and turn its eyes away from the fact Japan closes its doors to immigration. What we need to do is to work toward accepting immigration.”

Maybe? It's obvious, Abe will twist these to his advantage.

Oh and what about all the "foreigners" in Japan on PR? He forgot to add them into the equation, as most of them work too!

10 ( +11 / -1 )

I know a few Filipino "trainees" personally. They were hired as construction workers. Those poor bastards work long hours six days a week, and are only paid between 70K and 100K a month, depending on their position. With that pittance, they must pay for their own housing and food, and try to send some money back to their families. We even feed them sometimes, out of pity and as a gesture of thanks for the blessings we have here.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said more Japanese women and the elderly should work first before accepting immigrants

I wonder if Shinzo-kun is aware that most elderly would be mostly useless on heavy construction sites. And when it comes to heavy lifting as in the photo provided, how many females would be required?

Increase in foreign workers are not in the service industry - they're in the jobs 'normal' Japanese do not want be they female, male or RETIRED (having worked their entire lives, Abe wants them to work MORE).

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I have been trying to find work in Japan. My would like to move back to her home country, but so far no luck for me finding work unless I teach English at a low wage.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

A Reuters investigation last year showed how asylum seekers banned from working were in fact working on public works projects amid a shortage of Japanese construction workers.

An essential read, both as a terrifying glimpse into the true reality of Japan today and as an example of high quality investigative journalism that seems to be so lacking in this country.

http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/japan-subaru/

3 ( +4 / -1 )

My wife and I.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan have the workers. Just that living in a Major Japanese City is not economical unless you live 15 to a aparto. The money is crap. I have worked in all sort of heavy construction around Major Building and Major Mines, So my services of Just a trade non managerment is $150,000 annually. I would lucky to earn $50,000 in Japan in the same position and pay for my own way as well. I was only prepare to drop my wage and condition if Mitsubishi won the Aussie sub contract to stay in Japan. Just curious too Know the % of deaths in construction pre Game construction to present Numbers. I lay money the % has also increased. With the more unskilled labour being hired to cover the lack of trademans to proform task not to their level, It would have had to a increased in constrution deaths.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan has maybe the loves number of foreign workers of any industrialized nation throughout the world. And this mainly due to an extremly segregative system. People living here for over a decade, being married to native Japanese and having children born here fail to be given Equal rights and permanent residency. They are not protected and live at the mercy to the system its humor To get their tree year visa renewed. In Germany refugees are given permanent residency as soon as their status has been checked out. They also get free language classes and government support in all industrial countries, except for Japan and China. Foreigners enjoy equal rights and opportunities throughout Europe and Canada as well as South America. Something that would be Unthinkable in Japan.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Is it posted in jobstreet or jobsdb?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@ Joe, I feel your pain. When I first started looking for work in Japan, I literally submitted more than 100 online resumes, and was only called for three interviews. It's a board of education requirement that Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) have (any) four year degree before they can be hired to work in public schools. Otherwise you're stuck doing eikaiwa like with Nova or Gaba, Update your resume to emphasize your "teaching" experience, even in other fields.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

J govt has never been good at making the labor market attractive to foreign workers (unless you come from a 3rd world country and are desperate).

A de facto partner visa with full work rights (as an example) would be a start and would encourage foreigners who have been in a relationship with a J national for years (outside Japan) to give Japan a go without having to a/get married or b/find a J company willing to sponsor them (from overseas). Would kill 2 birds with one stone i.e a youngish, often bilingual J national back home plus his/her partner (as an added bonus ;)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Permanent residency is available to spouses after five years in Japan. Single people can apply after 10 years.

There is no set rule for this, some get it sooner, and some it takes longer. It's decided case by case, someone reading this is going to get the idea that it's automatic and it's definitely not.

I have a friend, whose only "guilt" is that he is from the Philippines, it took him nearly 25 years to get PR status and a hell of a lot of frustration along the way.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is basically as I've understood it. But when my single friend went to apply after nine years, they told him to wait a year as he needed to be here 10 years. But that was a decade ago, and maybe it was just a rule of thumb.

I was here a little over 7 years, went to renew my visa, and the immigration folks handed me PR paperwork instead.

That was close to 25 years ago. So I would say it wasn't a rule of thumb, it was as I wrote earlier, case-by-case.

Anyone who has been here long enough should come to the understanding that there is NO rule of thumb when it comes to Japanese immigration.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Since the torism numbers have risen I would expect that some of the increase is from workers in the travel and tourism sector would account such as tour guides and duty free shops.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I think him and me are in similar straights, can't find a job in our field and are told to teach english.

My problem is age and not being a native english speaker.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said more Japanese women and the elderly should work first before accepting immigrants,

The elderly? In what capacity? Working how many hours? The elderly are not a long term solution at all. This is just a fantasy of Abe.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ahem. Even here in back water Miyazaki city hall offers free Japanese lessons once per week in 2 hour lessons. The International Center in Miyazaki City has free Japanese lessons twice a week.

If you need the services all you need to do is seek them out before deducing "There are NO JAPANESE LESSONS ANYWHERE IN JAPAN."

Looking through the web pages of Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Kyoto, Sapporo, Saitama, and Fukuoka i see on their English pages that Japanese language lessons are available either free or very low cost. The interwebs are your friend.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

PR and longer Visa don't come automatically, you need to apply for those.

Still miss the Otemachi Immigration Office great Staff.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You MISS Otematchi, that was a hell hole!! Yuck!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Philippinom educated and technical people are employed in top corporations. But Japan is still griping more workers are needed. It tries to employ more women but women are not easy to recruit in Japan, many corporations grioe. Everybody go to college in Japan. Corporations are gladd many foreign people come to work for them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I have been trying to find work in Japan. My would like to move back to her home country, but so far no luck for me finding work unless I teach English at a low wage.

There are other jobs available in hotels and resorts, if you have the language skills.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People living here for over a decade, being married to native Japanese and having children born here fail to be given Equal rights and permanent residency.

Permanent residency is available to spouses after five years in Japan. Single people can apply after 10 years.

In Germany refugees are given permanent residency as soon as their status has been checked out. They also get free language classes

Most city halls and wards in the country offer free or very affordable language lessons.

Foreigners enjoy equal rights and opportunities throughout Europe and Canada as well as South America. Something that would be Unthinkable in Japan.

Which rights specifically are we denied?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

As said 5-10 yrs or having a 3yr visa. Bit of paperwork and you are good to go. Ask beforehand which papers are needed as it varies between Applicants.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are shortage of info tech trained people in Japan. Also, construction companies have own employment office on their construction sites. If you are foreigners, start from bottom and work better than coworkers to get recognized to be promoted.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have been trying to find work in Japan. My would like to move back to her home country, but so far no luck for me finding work unless I teach English at a low wage.

Joe D,

I suggest you be VERY careful about pulling up & moving to Japan, ESPECIALLY if you have never lived or worked here. If you have little to no experience here is a VERY risky move for you.

If your wife is happy living with you in your country I suggest you make sure she gets PLENTY of trips back to Japan for her to stay connected & happy. DONT be cheap on this!

If you 2 move to Japan it will be a HUGE change for you, especially if you end up moving in with her family, if they live in the country a bit, finding even a decent English teaching job may be REAL HARD. Major life style changes are likely a reality, especially if you live WITH or near her relatives.

And the wife you know now WILL change a LOT when you get to Japan.

NOT all of this is BAD, a lot can be good, GREAT even, but it sounds like you would be in for some major changes. I have seen some try this it isn't easy

And if you already have kids.......

Wish you the best, try to read up on others who are doing this, its no picnic, more like a rollercoaster!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

which has prompted calls from the International Monetary Fund to accept foreign workers.

What does the International Monetary Fund have to do with Japan? Ridiculous.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said more Japanese women and the elderly should work first before accepting immigrants.

In Construction Abe-kun? Get those elderly up on the rails and women can carry their babies papoose style while riveting girders and such?

HUH? Boy oh boy...you are lower functioning than I ever imagined.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Permanent residency is available to spouses after five years in Japan

I was awarded mine after three years to the day, So your imformati0on is incorrect. Even the immigration official who stamped my passport said "you're lucky"

I'm pretty sure you can apply after a year. You have to have been married for longer, but the time spent in Japan is only a year.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Better than Shibuya.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I was awarded mine after three years to the day

I stand corrected. And congratulations, that's pretty fast. They didn't even give me a three-year visa until I'd been married three years.

There is no set rule for this, some get it sooner, and some it takes longer. It's decided case by case

This is basically as I've understood it. But when my single friend went to apply after nine years, they told him to wait a year as he needed to be here 10 years. But that was a decade ago, and maybe it was just a rule of thumb.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Don't brag you speak Japanese at interview. Just be polite and sincere. Restaurants and hotel business employ foreigners better. Southeastern people work for inexpensive to go place, then they get mobs for cheap testau rants' waiter, etch and graduate to fancy restaurants.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Skilled labour shortage is an inevitable economic phenomenon resulting from varying population policies of different countries in the past several decades and the situation is bound to worsen in the years to come in many countries such as Japan where the shortage will persist for a pretty long duration until automation becomes an order of the day. Also, many out-dated manufacturing practices will fade and be replaced by improving technology. Until then, during the transition period, the affected countries will witness unusual economic aberrations.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Contact univ. you graduated in your country to send your transcript and copy of the degree you received. Don't assume you will be teaching in Japan just because you are from English speaking country such as USA... If yooou don't have degrees,, try labor job in Japan. There are plenty construction jobs everywhere. Kind hard for former GIs trying to get a job in Japan unless they take advantage of GIBill to train to become Info technologist.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If there is a labor crunch, why aren't wages rising?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some people think if they can''t get job, they will get job to teach English with low wage. In Japan, teachers usury major a subject and study teaching curriculum additionally to get teaching certificate. Unless they understand how you can becoeteacher, you will not get any desk job because you don' even have common knowledge of culture. And don'''t think your wife get job easily because she is a Japanese. Tight now, Japanese efer ppbillipinoand Thai maid.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Permanent residency is available to spouses after five years in Japan

I was awarded mine after three years to the day, So your imformati0on is incorrect. Even the immigration official who stamped my passport said "you're lucky"

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Send them packing as they are taking your children's jobs and sending the money home to their countries. instead of spending it in the country they earnt it .

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The government may be trying to inflate the numbers and turn its eyes away from the fact Japan closes its doors to immigration

If so, then why would Abe be preaching that women and elderly should work before immigrants are accepted? Either this is a case of the right hand not talking with the left, or it's just a standard announcement about employment statistics. The broad meaning of the word "government" is the problem with this statement.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

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