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As Japan OKs law to let more foreigners in, tiny rural town wants to go further

33 Comments
By Linda Sieg and Ami Miyazaki

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33 Comments
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Solving the problem is simple!

Just have the youth of Japan mandatorily work in manual labor for a year or two-after high school or university would be fine.

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

Abe-san is implementing stealth immigration. I have been here since 2003. The increase in foreigners is obvious and substantial. Japan is actually an easy place to live if you work and don't cause trouble. Beautiful women, great food, safe environment, etc.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Just have the youth of Japan mandatorily work in manual labor for a year or two-after high school or university would be fine.

Easier said than done, particularly here!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The government backed media fully pushes xenophobia and fear of foreigners and nationalism in Japan.

Nuff said!

If Japan was genuinely genuine about it then things would be different. But I think the vast majority of people are indoctrinated with this us vs the world mentality.

Your average opened minded person here does know better, thankfully, but there just isn’t enough of them and their voice is small in comparison.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Resident since 98. Permanent Resident now. It’s not actually that hard if you’re employed and keep your nose clean.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The truth of the matter is the central government is not basing acceptance of foreign workers on the premise of long-term residence

Lots of casual workers on short-term contracts who will only stay (or be allowed to stay) if the work is there. That's the plan. Not to let them stay permanently or give them proper jobs. The real gain will be to those Japanese who can make money from cheap labor, not rural Japan.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Yes, it is true that Japan does need to subsidize its work force with foreign labor. However, Japan also needs to give them a reason to come to Japan. Offering people a salary of around ¥200,000 and then taking around 40% in taxes, health insurance and pension and the rest is very quickly soaked up by rent, utilities and food does not make it a very attractive deal. Add to this the mistreatment, exploitation and abuse of these foreign workers, which is becoming quite infamous internationally and there is no reason for any foreigner to come to Japan.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

After three consecutive years out of a total of five years they should be granted permanent residency right away with the right to sponsor relatives afterwards. That would create incentive to live in Japan rather than just work and leave.

Even with the changes there's still no reason to stay

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Offering people a salary of around ¥200,000 and then taking around 40% in taxes, health insurance and pension and the rest

The cost of living is high, but I would be amazed if anyone on 20 man a month pays 8 man a month in government-mandated offtakes.

This site calculates it as 4 man, with employment insurance and local taxes included. A takehome of 160,000 a month is not a fantastic amount, but is livable in many parts of the country. In a company dorm, you could save a fair bit, in mainland Asian terms at least.

https://ten-navi.com/hacks/article-61-13259

This post simply points out some real world numbers and is not meant in any way to condone the practices of black Japanese enterprises that clearly overwork and exploit immigrants, sometimes both Japanese and immigrants.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Abe is right, Japan needs to encourage foreign workers, but he is fighting to change a deep rooted cultural bias. These things take time so may be he is emulating Fabius Cunctator?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Resident since 98. Permanent Resident now. It’s not actually that hard if you’re employed and keep your nose clean.

Right, not everyone can say the same, and it's not about whether or not you keep your nose clean but who your sponsor is and where you come from as well.

I knew of a guy, god rest his soul, was born and raised in the Philippines, his was was Japanese, he was NEVER given PR status even after living here over 50 years. Never in trouble, had his own business, paid taxes, built and paid for his house, 3 kids, never got PR, even though applied numerous times, and had to keep renewing his spouse visa every 3 years. He passed away a couple years back.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Abe is right, Japan needs to encourage foreign workers, but he is fighting to change a deep rooted cultural bias. These things take time so may be he is emulating Fabius Cunctator?

Abe is not fighting anything, he just wants people to fill positions that Japanese wont and get rid of them afterwards.

He doesn't care about them, as witnessed by his not taking the time to ensure this legislation has proper guidelines included

Abe and the LDP dont give a crap about encouraging foreign workers, he just wants Japan Inc to keep working.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Just have the youth of Japan mandatorily work in manual labor for a year or two-after high school or university would be fine.

People are not property of the state, nor are they tools for the state to use.

They are individual people with freedom and free will. As such, they should be allowed to make their own choices in life.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Just have the youth of Japan mandatorily work in manual labor for a year or two-after high school or university would be fine.

Of course this silver bullet you propose would work great if it wasn’t for the fact that the whole labor shortage is caused by there not being enough youth of Japan graduating from high school to begin with. And of course of that gradually shrinking demographic the vast majority of them are going dire tly into work after graduation already anyway so forcing them into some manual labor scheme would just be delaying their entry into the normal workforce, further exacerbating shortages there.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

kohakuebisu - The cost of living is high, but I would be amazed if anyone on 20 man a month pays 8 man a month in government-mandated offtakes.

Actually, the figure of ¥40,000 is not correct. The city tax is ¥15-20,000 per month depending on where you live. The health insurance for young people is around ¥20,000 per month (10% of salary). Then add income tax of 7% and you are up to at least ¥50,000. Add to this the pension, a further 7-10% and unemployment insurance another 7-10%. This adds up to sound 40% of one’s salary. And, you expect someone to live in a dorm for 3 or more years? People whose salary is under ¥250,000 per month live month to month with no savings or disposable income, unless hey are living on ¥100 cup noodles three times a day. Even if they decide to quit and go home, they would not be making enough money to pay for a plane ticket. This is just a trap for any young person who is mislead into thinking this is a lucrative deal. This is without mentioning the mistreatment and prejudices they would face in their jobs.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Another point is, these people will be coming to Japan in short-term visas and the vast majority will not stay in Japan. However, they will be made to pay 10% of their salary into the Japanese pension scheme/scam. This is money they will never see again and they should not be made to pay it. You can only apply for a refund after living outside of japan for a year and you are only entitled to a third refund. The really crazy thing is though, the application can only e made in Japan and the amount of red stamps and hoops to jump through make it nearly impossible to achieve. Foreign people on short term visas should not be made to pay into this scam.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

All the 3rd world countries with whom Japan Government signed the MOC are waiting for clear directives. Even on the existing technical internship program under which the interns are sent to Japan for training and work...most of them are used as menial laborers, under paid, and poorly treated. There is corruption and huge payments collected from the interns in home country.

How well the new policies,rules and frame work will protect the poor workers from the developing countries ?!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

産んで、産んでくれ!That's the only real long term solution! Japanese young people need to marry and have BABIES! 産めよ!It'll take a few years, but Japan desperately needs more babies.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Japan wants a revolving door - more new foreigners every year, but leave after a few years, to be replaced by the next batch of new foreigners

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This too will change. It’s just a matter of time for people to get used to our foreign faces, companies to need us irrevocably, paying for training their labor, etc. By then the Japanese population will have decreased even further. Business would scream. By and large foreigners, like locals, are a fine bunch. Just need to get used to - us.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

bullied at school, teacher and parent need to do a better job.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The problem is that Japan Inc wants to keep profits high and automation high rather than come to terms that its economy is naturally contracting on lower population

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Japanese just need to gut through this demographic change. Their standard of living will decline to a certain extent and they will have to swallow their pride as they watch China become a global economic super power.

Instead of importing massive numbers of foreign workers that will eventually totally transform a culture that took thousands of years to develop just encourage bigger families in any and every way possible. Maybe restrict abortion to the first 20 weeks and open orphanages to encourage mothers to go through with their pregnancies if it’s possible.

I love to visit Japan and live in the country. I just have no desire to change it culturally. Admitting large numbers of foreigners will inevitably change Japan, a predominantly urban nation, into a copy of New York or London. These places are based in many differences but are becoming bastions of conformative thinking. Think long term Japan.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Actually, the figure of ¥40,000 is not correct. The city tax is ¥15-20,000 per month depending on where you live. The health insurance for young people is around ¥20,000 per month (10% of salary). Then add income tax of 7% and you are up to at least ¥50,000. Add to this the pension, a further 7-10% and unemployment insurance another 7-10%. This adds up to sound 40% of one’s salary. And, you expect someone to live in a dorm for 3 or more years? People whose salary is under ¥250,000 per month live month to month with no savings or disposable income, unless hey are living on ¥100 cup noodles three times a day. Even if they decide to quit and go home, they would not be making enough money to pay for a plane ticket. This is just a trap for any young person who is mislead into thinking this is a lucrative deal. This is without mentioning the mistreatment and prejudices they would face in their jobs.

It seems you skipped including misc. deduction in calculating taxable income for both national and regional tax, base income for national health insurance etc. Total government-mandated off-takes (Tax, insurance, pension) should come down to around 42000 for 200000 salary. The fact is there are many Japanese people who're on such level of payrolls, some single mothers I know with kids.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There will be problems, but nothing is more problematic than lack of workforces in Japan. Welcome the foreign workers in any forms. Just treat them fairly. And think all other problems later.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

As long as they have their bags packed the next time the japanese government decides it doesn't need foreigners anymore. Hey, it's a precedent they've set numerous times.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Abe is not fighting anything, he just wants people to fill positions that Japanese wont and get rid of them afterwards.

> He doesn't care about them, as witnessed by his not taking the time to ensure this legislation has proper guidelines included

> Abe and the LDP dont give a crap about encouraging foreign workers, he just wants Japan Inc to keep working.

The most accurate and best post on this thread.

Japan wants a revolving door - more new foreigners every year, but leave after a few years, to be replaced by the next batch of new foreigners

You hit the nail on the head. Exactly!

As long as they have their bags packed the next time the japanese government decides it doesn't need foreigners anymore. Hey, it's a precedent they've set numerous times.

absolutely

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Incentivise young Japanese to have more kids.  and incentivize them to take on more productive work than the part time and useless stuff so many of them seem to drift into.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Another idea could be what they do in Australia for working holidays. You're free to stay for a year, and you have the option to extend as long as you do 2(3?) months of farm work.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Curiously even Japan has not only regional but eco-geograhic (eg. rural/urban) variations.

Perhaps the good old days of 我々の日本 realistically are gone, though SO many would deny or simply just not realise that.

Interestingly Australia is moving, again, far more significantly in the same direction, promising residency to semi-skilled workers who would go to remote or rural areas. But hitching a 12 hour ride on a dirt road to the neares (very small) town is not the same as a bus or single-carriage 1-2 hour trip to a largish center as in Japan. Language issues might be easier to deal with though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Dartora Taniuti" is a Timorese name, but not a Brazilian name, while "Leonel Maia" is a Brazilian name and not Timorese.

I'm pretty sure in this article you have by accident switched their names and nationality.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Take it or Leave it.

If that's what Japan wants to deal with foreigners, then why cry and even comparing with other developed countries? Choose other countrie.

Japan, Don't be like Britain, where (mostly) Indian people are working high class with high salary in office and white British people are cleaning in the same office with low salary, in their own country. Just because of high skilled?

Some people can't be high skilled no matter what they try, it's just happened to be like that in their life.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I am a nissei, my father came to Brazil in 1958, and my mother´s family came to Brazil in 1917, about 101 years ago. One century ago Japan had to send people abroad due to the difficulties in their economy. Brazil has the largest Japanese community outside Japan. Now Japan is prosperous, rich, is sad to read that Japan population is shrinking, that every year the Japanese population decrease, gets older, so, the need for foreigners to fulfill the workforce. The USA became the stronger country in the world because opened their territory to immigrants, to people willing to work. It is good to know that there open minded Japanese that want Japan to be a destiny for people that wants to work, live in peace, study and make Japan a multicultural nation, a world leader.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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