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Highly skilled foreigners to be allowed to stay permanently in Japan

102 Comments

A revision to the Immigration Law has been passed in the upper house of the Diet, enabling foreigners with special work skills to stay permanently in Japan.

The Revised Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law says that foreigners with advanced skills will be eligible for permanent residency after staying in Japan for three years instead of the current 10 years for most foreigners (or five in some cases where certain conditions have been fulfilled), Sankei Shimbun reported.

The revised law, which was passed on Wednesday, is aimed at attracting IT workers, engineers, company managers, medical technicians, scientists and researchers. An applicant's annual income and academic background will be taken into account and if successful, they will be given special status. Spouses of successful applicants will be allowed to work, and they will be allowed to bring their parents and housekeepers into Japan with them, Sankei reported.

The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is hoping the revised law will bring more highly skilled foreigners to Japan to reinvigorate the economy in the lead-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The government and private sector are currently redeveloping the Shinagawa and the Toranomon areas with the aim of turning them into IT hubs that will attract hundreds of foreign companies.

The revised law also simplifies immigration procedures for tourists from abroad. Repeat visitors, whose fingerprints have already been registered, will be able to pass through automatic gates, without having to have an immigration officer stamp their passport. The gates will be set up at international airports and ports where cruise ships dock.

© Japan Today

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102 Comments
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H'mmm better late than never I suppose, but I think they will have less takers then if they did this in the late 80s or early 90s........

Will be interesting see how many take the bait!

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Finally! Good move..

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I am curious to get a hold of the Immigration Law that defines "research" like what kinds of researches?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Onwards and upwards!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Good news! I am impressed!

Spouses of successful applicants will be allowed to work, and they will be allowed to bring their parents and housekeepers into Japan with them, Sankei reported. So does this mean that those of us with PR already can also do the same?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Too little too late really, they will need to wider the scope of this to cover construction and factory workers too if they want to pull themselves out of the darkness they are staring in the face in the way of shortage of workers and population.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

with this, i'm guessing the government's work in this area is done for the next 10 years or so

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Wow seriously a step in the right direction :)

0 ( +5 / -5 )

but there are not enough builders, tradespeople, civil construction, nurses, carers.......

10 ( +14 / -4 )

The government and private sector are currently redeveloping the Shinagawa and the Toranomon areas with the aim of turning them into IT hubs that will attract hundreds of foreign companies.

Bwahahahahahaha! Hundreds? Really? Have they paid any attention to the recent failings in all the electronics and IT companies in Japan? Japan does not control the electronics market anymore and companies have no reason to come to Japan for it. They can go to Taiwan.

This decision only effects a handful of of foreign workers in Japan and only the very elite. If they seriously want to attract foreign companies they have get rid of their antiquated and prejudiced legislation so for setting up companies in Japan.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Housekeepers too? Seriously?

People who like to have live-in housekeepers are precisely the types of people I would prefer did not become permanent residents.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'll gladly take the bait. Tokyo graduate student atm tho.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Disillusioned

If they seriously want to attract foreign companies they have get rid of their antiquated and prejudiced legislation so for setting up companies in Japan.

Actually they did reform this in 2006. Its relatively easy to do now, at least not any more difficult than most other countries. You might want to look into it again if you are interested.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Good, next to anti-discrimination. If you allow someone to sit in your home, you need to be willing to make them feel comfortable.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

The Revised Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law says that foreigners with advanced skills will be eligible for permanent residency after staying in Japan for three years instead of the current 10 years for most foreigners (or five in some cases where certain conditions have been fulfilled), Sankei Shimbun reported.

That's the permanent residency, right? What about Naturalization? I can get one after five years, so I really wish they would drop that to three years. It might be better to make the Naturalization process a little faster because some could take up to a year. Since Thailand is already lost to dictatorship and it will soon become something like North Korea (no offense to Koreans), I rather to be part of Japan with Japanese citizenship than to be part of a dictatorial country. My goal is not Permanent Residency, but it's Naturalization, so this Naturalization really means a lot to me.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

StormR:

" Too little too late really, they will need to wider the scope of this to cover construction and factory workers too if they want to pull themselves out of the darkness they are staring in the face in the way of shortage of workers and population. "

Do you really think Japan will benefit from following the European and US example of allowing massive, unskilled, and non-integratable immigration? Visit some of the ZUS (zone urbain speciale) in France to see where that gets you. Or North London, for that matter.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Some people still associate Japan with the decline of Japanese consumer products. Japan should have gotten out of consumer products a decade ago. Where we are strong is advanced materials and components (advanced electronic circuitry and the like), and there is tons of research on M and C, and it is the only real money spinner for Japanese electronic companies. So YES, there will be a lot of foreign takers on this. Japan is still the best place to be for M and C.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Until Japan drops the ridiculous single citizenship law I won't be naturalising.

That being said, once Im a permanent resident I can't see why I shouldn't be able to vote having dumped millions and millions of yen into Japan over the last 6 years..

Anyway step by step, there have been positive changes since I arrived.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Dual citizenship would be nice.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

The government and private sector are currently redeveloping the Shinagawa and the Toranomon areas with the aim of turning them into IT hubs that will attract hundreds of foreign companies. They could attract people, IT and other specialists but not companies, until they decide to lower corporate tax rates which are very high comparing to the rest of the world, making Japan unattractive for businesses and investments. But still, I'd try and "take the bait", as someone saidXD

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Spouses of successful applicants will be allowed to work, and they will be allowed to bring their parents and housekeepers into Japan with them, Sankei reported.

So does this mean that those of us with PR already can also do the same?

Are they like you?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So people voting me down.. You think the following scenario is fair?

Live in Japan from now for the rest of my life, have Japanese wife and Japanese children, pay all my taxes legally and fully, but because I don't want to give up my citizenship of my birth country (which isn't actually possible so just a big pain anyway) I am unable to have a say on how my collected taxes are spent, what happens for my children's education and so on?

What is the issue with dual citizenship?

11 ( +17 / -6 )

Yeah, there does seem to be quite a lot of focus on the Toranomon area recently, I know of heaps of people who've had their companies move offices around that area.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good move. Almost came out of nowhere!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

WiiiB I am not talking about letting in the scum i am talking about letting in skilled qualified workers not 3rd religious types

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Are they like you?

I have zero idea what this is supposed to mean. Are they like me in terms of PR status? They would be so my question is, if these folks are allowed to bring in their parents and helpers, are those of us already with PR allowed to do the same?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Wonder if that includes Chinese skilled workers?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

no language specialists? なんでー?。゚(´つω・`。)゚。

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I have resided in Japan for now 27 years and well a few years back I put in for permanent visa, but after submitting my application and all the forms required I got a letter saying Denied, okay I had not paid my local taxes due to losing my good paying job due to the company I worked for going bankrupt and I working a local job paying only 980 an hour, with no health insurance and so on and so on, But I did pay like for over 22 years and have been here for 27, so I was like DUH? But I spoke with the immigration last time and now I have paid my taxes and lets see if I can get my P.V. now is 28 years living in Japan..

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Yongyang... Are suggesting that people should expect everything to stay the same and never improve?

It already has changed a fair bit.. As I said step by step.. I have been in japan long enough to know it takes time.

Besides which is was never my intention initially to say but now my life, family and job is here.

And I asked do you think it's fair... Not asking for a confirmation of how it already is.. I'm quite aware of how it is.. And clearly I have decided to stay inspire of this issue.. Doesn't mean I can't hope for better.

On top of which japan is facing a massive population crisis in the future.. Perhaps you should consider a change of attitude if you would like japan to be successful like Ii hope it to be for my family and friends and my adopted home.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is great news for us foreigners. We should be grateful. I know a lot of ALTs who could benefit from this. It's such a hassle to have to renew your visa yearly at the immigration office. Not to mention the jobs offered are contractual jobs. If you lose the job, you lose the visa sponsorship as well. No wonder, many foreigners marry japanese to get a visa.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I wish they did this 10 years ago!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Highly skilled IT professional who are good enough for Silicon Valley are mostly from I which is representing India and T which is representing Taiwan. I am not sure about Taiwanese. However many Indians IT experts want to live in Japan because it is clean, modernized, low in crime rate and orderly. India has no bullet trains, cherry blossom and mouth Fuji. There is no other place like Japan which have longevity and politeness.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

This is a step in the right direction for sure. But it raises another question:

Why on earth would a highly skilled foreigner want to stay in Japan?

This is the relevant question for talented gaijin in Japan. Why not go to HK or Singapore? Higher wages, more English, lower taxes and more foreigners. Japan needs to also change working conditions for domestic and foreign workers, if they want to compete. Japanese engineers (and foreign engineers in Japan) are paid far less and worked far more than their counterparts in many nations.

After 3 years in Japan, I must say that I am going home to America. I'm sick of living as a second-class person and perpetual outsider. Sick of working until 2200 to impress the bucho, and sick of making 1/3rd of what I could make in SF Bay. Many of the jobs I've interviewed for were low pay (under 4 million yen) or short-term abusive contracts. Even by major Japanese companies.

While this is certainly progress, and an important step, for me... It's just too little too late. I think Japan needs to do something more to make itself a more attractive hub for foreign investment and for foreign workers.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

It isn't a question of who owes who what, the question is how can Japan and J-companies make themselves marketable to globe-hopping IT professionals. In my opinion, this is something that should have been done 10 years ago or more, before the labor crunch happened.

The question now should not be whether the Japanese government wants to allow foreign engineers to stay long-term or not, but rather what they are willing to do to incentivize that. Highly talented people have the option of starting their business or career in any country, not just Japan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Ooh, good thing I'm a highly skilled foreigner, it would be a real bummer to be a not highly skilled, but just a hard-working and tax paying foreigner!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

hats off to the upper house of the diet for this new and positive change in the law!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

symbolism not substance

For highly educated, skilled workers (30's or older) the prospect of living in Japan is not enticing. Most highly educated, skilled workers in technical fields will concentrate on their field; not learning Japanese.

In developed countries, there are few examples of highly successful workers migrating to other developed countries unless it's a company transfer or startup operation (DEVELOPED COUNTRIES). It simply isn't worth the risk to these highly skilled foreigners. Let's face it, this segment consists of older, educated, skilled workers who probably own a house, have families, have financial investments and are fairly affluent.

Just more government propaganda welcoming foreigners and foreign investment. If nothing, this is extremely effective marketing by a government and business culture that excludes foreigners and foreign investment. Nice try

2 ( +5 / -3 )

" Highly skilled " Isn't this a form of discrimination ?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@tmarie

Are they like you?

I have zero idea what this is supposed to mean.

Sorry, I should have been more specific.

Would they enjoy living here or would they spend an inordinate amount of time online complaining about the country, or preaching to locals how they should change their ways?

Would Japan actually benefit by their presence?

Even if they have the right to stay, it's better for the country if they fit in. And for them too.

I'd say this makes sense for anyone emigrating anywhere.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Disillusioned:

"The government and private sector are currently redeveloping the Shinagawa and the Toranomon areas with the aim of turning them into IT hubs that will attract hundreds of foreign companies.

"Bwahahahahahaha! Hundreds? Really? Have they paid any attention to the recent failings in all the electronics and IT companies in Japan? Japan does not control the electronics market anymore and companies have no reason to come to Japan for it. They can go to Taiwan."

"This decision only effects a handful of of foreign workers in Japan and only the very elite. If they seriously want to attract foreign companies they have get rid of their antiquated and prejudiced legislation so for setting up companies in Japan."

I agree:

Shinagawa and the Toranomon areas (JT Mori bldgs) ? that means a lot of IT people from INDIA,Bangladesh,and Shri lanka , as was similar the case before... will accept those wages

BUT Shinagawa, Toranomon and other parts of Minato-ku sits on reclaimed land...perhaps very vulnerable siesmic events in the future..

GW: "H'mmm better late than never I suppose, but I think they will have less takers then if they did this in the late 80s or early 90s......."

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm a senior computer science student graduating next year, hoping to have some luck finding entry level positions in Japan.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

All that's needed now are the jobs for such individuals. The IT market in Japan is still pretty lacklustre in terms of good opportunities compared with other global centres of IT unfortunately. Such jobs generated by the 5 ring circus are going to be haken at best. Would be fine if contracting in Japan was like everywhere else!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Would they enjoy living here or would they spend an inordinate amount of time online complaining about the country, or preaching to locals how they should change their ways?

A wiser person would look at newcomers with fresh eyes as an opportunity to improve things. The wise can discern (and ignore) the person who only lives to complain. But even the chronic complainer often has a valuable insight or two Only a fool who thought his country was in no need of any change or improvement would express the above worry.

I don't know what country you are from but if yours is the prevailing attitude, they are either having serious problems or headed in that direction.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

When you can off-shore your IT work for much less, does it make much sense to higher a foreigner locally and pay higher wages?

With the aging of farming communities, what Japan really needs is to attract farming families and to boost the self-sufficiency rate, which is precariously low.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@zenpun----Highly skilled IT professional who are good enough for Silicon Valley are mostly from I which is representing India and T which is representing Taiwan. I am not sure about Taiwanese. However many Indians IT experts want to live in Japan because it is clean, modernized, low in crime rate and orderly. India has no bullet trains, cherry blossom and mouth Fuji. There is no other place like Japan which have longevity and politeness. Indian answering you listen :yes boss Indians want to live here because they are highly paid for their high skills,yes we do not have bullet trains because we are still progressing.have you seen India?India is beautiful in its own way,we do have Mount Everest n many many polite n calm places,do not judge if you r lacking knowledge.whatever,India is India and we love japan..so???

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

IT work wages since the crap hit fan back in 2008 has headed down so far that today if you can make 60% of what you were getting paid before, you can consider yourself well off.

Now, if you actually worked in IT in the financial sector and didn't lose your job when they started letting people go, then chances are you are still at your old wage which is much better than trying to get hired back at the same job and wage when you left. Sadly, Japan is not the worst for this so this loosening up may actually help bring in fed up and underpaid IT workers from gouging countries.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Now for the government to open the immigration doors to 200k people a year to keep Japan's population afloat.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm a senior computer science student graduating next year, hoping to have some luck finding entry level positions in Japan.

This is the problem with Japan's wages currently, you'll get paid the minimum a foreigner is allowed to be paid to hold a visa in Japan which is around 200,000yen a month. You'll work 10-12 hours a day, with no overtime, so if you want to be paid around 850yen an hour which is less than you would working in McDonalds welcome to Japan.

Japan needs to seriously address this issue, just look at the crappy paid jobs on gaijinpot

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Abe's policies are really very good steps in the right direction and I applaud this latest move.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2014/06/05/can-immigration-reform-really-save-japan/

This is a good article on the subject.

Yes, easing PR requirements is a baby-step in the right direction, but there's very little substance to it. The sectors that need a greater influx are the less-skilled laborers where there are significant shortages. Also, this does not even address the path to Naturalization nor recognizing multiple citizenship(I have three and would be a fool to relinquish two of those).

There was also a very good article in Financial Times June 2nd if I can find the link again.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Arigatoo gusaimasu Does these years including studying period? Or working only?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

http://on.ft.com/1hRB707

There's the FT link.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@tezbo2014JUN. 12, 2014 - 07:38PM JST I have resided in Japan for now 27 years and well a few years back I put in for permanent visa, but after submitting my application and all the forms required I got a letter saying Denied, okay I had not paid my local taxes due to losing my good paying job due to the company I worked for going bankrupt and I working a local job paying only 980 an hour, with no health insurance and so on and so on, But I did pay like for over 22 years and have been here for 27, so I was like DUH? But I spoke with the immigration last time and now I have paid my taxes and lets see if I can get my P.V. now is 28 years living in Japan..

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

You can not blame this new proposal because you were denied in past/ Ii suggest you uopgrade your skill to qualify to be classified as highly skilled person and reapply again. Just upgrade your talent.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This is the problem with Japan's wages currently, you'll get paid the minimum a foreigner is allowed to be paid to hold a visa in Japan which is around 200,000yen a month.

Actually, unless I am mistaken, the 200,000 yen a month minimum was abolished quite a few years back and now there is no minimum required for a visa. That is the reason for the horrible wages you see now.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Are they keeping that "significant contribution to Japan" requirement? It seems hard to fulfill--you almost need to basically win an award or be internationally recognized to really ensure that you qualify.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan needs dual nationality, anti-discrimination laws as in other grown up countries and strict enforcement of all labor laws. Will never happen and these new rules are doomed to failure

10 ( +10 / -0 )

If Japan wants to see more skilled workers staying in Japan, they need to encourage companies to get their heads out of the sand and create less oppressive working conditions (less unpaid overtime, better salaries, less Orwellian office environments).

8 ( +8 / -0 )

It's a good step, but I wonder why the government didn't consider it earlier (they might do so though)? At least, I feel that decision makings are always slow and actions are kind of late most of the time (most of the actions by the government had to be taken earlier). I haven't seen much change through my life. I guess due to the above reason. They are not as effective as those taken at the right time. Anyway, good movement! Gambare, Japan!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@toshiko

That was Hilarious but a respectful way of saying something bad!!!

" I suggest you uopgrade your skill to qualify to be classified as highly skilled person and reapply again. Just upgrade your talent".

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Spouses of successful applicants will be allowed to work, and they will be allowed to bring their parents and housekeepers into Japan with them, Sankei reported. So does this mean that those of us with PR already can also do the same?

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Nothing mentioned about people who work as PR employees. It is obvious Public Relation workers are not included.

There is no mention of 'except Chinese". So, Chinese people are not excluded from this new guide.'

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Hiroumi Ozaki

It's a good step, but I wonder why the government didn't consider it earlier (they might do so though)?

Probably because it is somewhat redundant. It caters only to people already working in these fields who have probably never had problems securing or renewing their visas, and these high skill workers (doctors, lawyers, researchers) are not generally dependant on and at the mercy of their employers. I see alot of comments from IT workers here who assume they will be considered high skilled, but I'm a bit sceptical. The fields listed in the similar immigration points system are mostly limited to those with masters degrees. Unless you are skilled on paper, you will probably be considered unskilled. Also, just to give you and idea of what they are looking for, the threshold for being allowed to bring a domestic worker with you is a salary of 10m plus yen per year.

Let's be clear, this isn't opening the door to Japan for people who want to come here. It is simply making life a bit easier for those who are already here and working in these high skilled, high paying fields in order to entice them to stay.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@milaneseJUN. 12, 2014 - 09:12PM JST " Highly skilled " Isn't this a form of discrimination ?

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

What's to got with discrimination? Are you suggesting uneducated and unskilled foreigners should get open welcome?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"Highly skilled foreigners to be allowed to stay permanently in Japan"

"The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is hoping the revised law will bring more highly skilled foreigners to Japan to reinvigorate the economy in the lead-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics"

Interesting but: why does he say:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STSmFZeE50E

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I hope this will apply to me even though I'm fresh out of college as a business administration major.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Progress, however slight, is progress nonetheless. Japan is taking baby steps, but at least they're taking steps and not sitting on their diaper waiting for someone to carry them.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Awesome; are you going to get MA in Tokyo or Keio? Aren't Business Administration degreed people have been treated dime a dozen in Japan's corporation world? Sorry but entry level business administration people are not considered experienced corporation managers for IT, Development, Marketing, etc. You have to learn intertwined corporation culture and you will not be able to find which side of top you will choose. Univ does not teach how to survive "Habatsu" in corporation life.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't see this helping attract really high quality IT people like those in Silicon Valley. The benefits of working for some of the IT companies there are a 24 hr gym, a 24 hr cafeteria, set you own hours, get stock incentive especially for start ups, and the weather is almost perfect. Go sailing anything time, in the winter you can go skiing after a 4-5 hr drive in some of the best snow in the world, some the best continuing education programs, and places like the Tech Shop that teaches and lets you design and work with the latest technology for you hobbies; includes use of laser cutters, 3D printers, cad systems, etc. If you like tech, Silicon Vally is heaven on earth. Also within an hours drive, you can get fresh farm produce. I don't see how Shinagawa and the Toranomon areas can compete. Not to mention I don't see a Japanese company allowing you set your own hours. Japan is too anal and traditional for innovation.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"Nothing mentioned about people who work as PR employees. It is obvious Public Relation(s) workers are not included."

Toshiko, 'PR' in this case refers to Permanent Resident visa status.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I hope they lower their guidelines too. If this is the same thing than their 70 points thingy you need. You need 10+ years experience, but be under 30. Earn more than 80K, a patent with your name on it, master or doctor degree, level 1 on Japanese proficiency test.

I feel unless you are Einstein or an 29year old IT guy with Japanese parents, living in a G7 nation, you won't qualify. Still, baby steps...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Of course, construction tradespeople are left out of it, and they're the backbone of growth. Considering what I've read here on JT about the aging of that particular sector of the economy, I'm stupified at the government's ignorance.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Kajima and other large construction companies have foreign univ studied Japanese designer, architect, IT etc. There are subcontrators but they use sub-sub contractors. usually lowest level yakuza laborers kumi. So, construction field, not much you can get in unless you know how to intimidate laborers. Beside that, there is no enough lands in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ReformedBasherJun. 12, 2014 - 06:11PM JST

Dual citizenship would be nice.

I was just rejected about two weeks ago by the Ministry of Justice. Japan never believes in this.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Toshiko

Nothing mentioned about people who work as PR employees. It is obvious Public Relation workers are not included.

PR means permanent residency, not public relations!!!

This is a good gesture by the government, but the key issue is why would highly skilled foreigners WANT to come here in the first place. Until Japan is seen as a welcoming country with opportunities to make good money, it is destined to fail. Most professionals migrate to where the money is, not to start at the bottom faced with language issues.

If I remember correctly, the last "big gesture" the government made maybe last year attracted less than a hundred applicants, some of whom were already here (related to bringing family / domestic help I recall)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

All my friends and co-workers are now living in Hong kong and Singapore. They have no desire to come back to Japan.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Naturalization in Japan requires the applicant to renounce their current citizen

1.Continuous residence in Japan for five years or more

2.At least 21 years old and otherwise legally competent

3.History of good behavior generally, and no past history of seditious behavior

4.Sufficient capital or skills, either personally or within family, to support oneself

5.Stateless or willing to renounce foreign citizenship

Applicanrs musat be able to speak and express himself/herself in Japanese and be able to answer the interview questions in Japanese. The interviewer will ask questions about the form applicant filled and about why applicant wants to acquire Japanese citizenship. At the end, there may be a written test at an elementary school second grade level.

After the documents are sent to Tokyo for processing at the Ministry of Justice headquarters, it can take from 8 to 10 months (or longer depending on the applicant) from the first application. The applicant will be called by their interviewer about the decision once the interviewer gets the results from Tokyo.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

toshikoJun. 13, 2014 - 08:59AM JST 1.Continuous residence in Japan for five years or more

Word "Continuous" is a problem. This rule might be a deal breaker. We all have changes in thoughts, and some of these people will need a break similar to what U.S. greencard or H1-B holder offers. The J-goverment should be more flexable if they want to attract top talents to stay in Japan for long term.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I do know several highly skilled and successful people whose PR applications have been turned down. Not only are these people successful, they are also highly keyed into Japanese society, studied in Japanese schools, and have Japanese partners.

I agree with a previous comment that progress, however slight, is progress nonetheless. Grabbing low hanging fruit like this creates its own momentum, and makes going the next level easier to achieve.

To emphasize something, this law came out of the blue. This means Japan's legislative cauldron is bubbling with ideas. What's next? Gay marriage? Nikkei visas? These are (relatively) low hanging fruit that would contribute their own momentum.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

To add info: it is usually said that getting Naturalized is easier than getting PR. The reason is that the PR system is handled by the nasty people at Immigration whose mission is to turn away people, while Naturalization is handled directly by a Justice Department section whose main mission is to welcome new Japanese citizens.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Qslip330, @shinsaku,ai, I wrote old laws. A revision to the Immigration Law has been passed in the upper house of the Diet, enabling foreigners with special work skills to stay permanently in Japan. Japanese Govt and industry is revising now. I doubt very much dual citizenship will be approved but highly skilled gaijins will have more chances if they want to be a Japanese or they want to work in Japan, But, if you are American, don;t you love to work in USA? Bunch of jobs with higher pays if you apply to Japan Incs in USA. Wider streets.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Pratima Gojanur

yes we do not have bullet trains because we are still progressing

That progress take too long and causing many injuries and deaths. During the peak hours, many people risked their lives for travelling on the roof top of trains. Many foreign contractors proposed the modernization of Indian railway system since 1990s. However it is still progressing for many decades.

have you seen India?

Of course! I have been to Amritsar, Jalandar and Chandigarh. I have seen impressive Bangalo and Hyperdad universities. On the contrast I have seen Mumbai Slum and inequality and injustice for people leaving behind. There is nothing can beat the efficiency and accuracy of dabba wallahs (lunch delivery for office workers).

do not judge if you r lacking knowledge.

If you read my post again, I am welcoming about Indian immigrants rather than whinging westerners. Many Indian army of professionals are leaving India everyday. In my knowledge, it is not only about higher pay and higher living standard. It is escaping from pollution, traffic congestion, corruption and inequality.

India is beautiful in its own way

Golden Temple and Taj Mahal are beautiful in own way. However they are men made. When I watched Aradhada Indian movie, I noticed that Kashmir is very beautiful. When I watched Sholay, I realized that sholay rocky area are exotic and intimidating. When I watched Nagin ( Indian snake folk tale), forest sence are beautiful. Yadon Ki Barat is one of my favorite india movie and I saw the beautiful scenes too. I did not say India is not beautiful. Japan is a bit more beautiful.

whatever,India is India and we love japan..so???

I love both! However I want to see India is more modernized, orderly and stamp out the criminals. Indian young women professionals are safer in Japan rather than India.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In other words......if you don't have a degree, get out! Pretty standard if you ask me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Here is an additional incentive to get and KEEP skilled labor from abroad: TAX incentives! Cut our taxes PLEASE

0 ( +0 / -0 )

only 20years to late. so many countries offer better work conditions, better salaries & better living conditions, easier visa requirments than in Japan. why would skilled professionals want to come to Japan!?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

it really seems a stretch that many foreigners will go for this the numbers will likely be utterly insignificant & will mostly apply to those golden ghetto types already here looking to bring family over & domestic helpers & of course any new expat types sent over by their companies.

But I don't see this driving any real NEW investment, its still far too little & WAY WAY too late.

I noticed a few young people expressing interest in coming to Japan after Uni.............after 2+ decades I cannot recommend any young person to take the dive into Japan, Japan has lost so much since I have been here & is losing ground more & more over time, sadly the bottom line is Japan is no longer anywhere NEAR what she used to be & doesn't look set to ever return again.

So you young folks should really keep that in mind. I know us old farts........yada yada, but I am telling you IF you come to Japan you had better have an exit strategy BEFORE you arrive, stay no more than 2-3yrs TOPS.

Unless you are really kicking butt in Japan any extended stay here WILL NEGATIVELY AFFECT YOUR CARREER BIG TIME!! There are lots of foreigners here who are stuck in mediocre jobs married with kids & NOT enjoying themselves.

Again 2 years max THEN GET OUT!! If you stay longer in Japan you WILL mortgage your own future! Yeah some can make it but I am telling over 90% will end up wishing they left after 2yrs, you young'ins should heed the advice on this thread. A lot of the people myself included LOVE Japan, but she is going down, & she aint goin done slow!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I can see a lot of take up on this. Japan might have lost some attraction to many of the western foreigners, however its still very attractive to young educated asians in the region.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

From when this new rules will be applicable?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is a small step though a good one it is far from what Japan needs in terms of opening the doors to more immigrants to help spruce up the population.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A bit too little and a bit late. "Highly skilled" workers don't want to live in Japan (at least most of them) . What does Japan has to offer them? Not much. Those workers choose the USA, Canada or even Singapore over Japan. Japan should focus on young educated people. Europe for example has a very high level of youth unemployment. Portugal, Spain, Greece all have lots of well educated young and motivated people. Many young Portuguese go to Brazil for example. Japan should try to get those people. Offer them free or discounted air tickets, free language training and many might be interested to come, live her and build a family.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

GREAT! I have to renew my visa next year...Time to apply for PR!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

**Would they enjoy living here or would they spend an inordinate amount of time online complaining about the country, or preaching to locals how they should change their ways?

Would Japan actually benefit by their presence?

Even if they have the right to stay, it's better for the country if they fit in. And for them too.

I'd say this makes sense for anyone emigrating anywhere.**

Oh, someone who pays more taxes than the average Japanese person, speaks two languages, does volunteer work, abides by the law. well educated AND has critical thinking skills? Yes, I think Japan does indeed need more folks like myself.

Fit in? You're having a laugh if you think visible minorities can "fit in" here.

You seem to spend an "inordinate amount of time online complaining about" foreigner who refuse to drink the koolaid and see there are many issues that need to be addressed here. I like Japan but I don't think it is near as wonderful as you'd like to believe. Then again, I don't know where you are from. My home country consistantly ranks higher than Japan in all aspects of life, health care, education so... perhaps it's just different experiences and perspectives as to why you think this place is fantastic.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

March 2011 incident happened in March 2011 and after that Japanese Companies and Undercover Japanese Govt rule systematically eliminate foreign skilled workers by eliminating their Jobs, kicking on their ass, dumping them for no reason, resulting in most of them fled the country with mindset of never return again..

And now Govt amending laws to retain them, dont they think the damage is already done? All this they are doing to support their aging population ?

While on the other hand Govt still hiding the truth about FUKUSHIMA disaster , who will trust on Japnese Govt. http://trendinghot.net/this-shocking-report-from-fukushima-will-leave-your-jaw-on-the-floor/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

After 5 years in Japan I envoy living here but not enough to give up my AU citerzenship even if I could speak and read Japanese which is not likley to happen seen as all my communication for work, social life and home is in English, as well as all the Japanede news media, directions me use and so on I require are in English. I Japan or any other country requied immigrants for population growth or maintaing, then surley the must realize that it's the unskilled labour that is required to fill this jobs and keep costs down. The repatriated Brazilian etc Japanese had problems because they were seen as nonJapanese Japanede, not Non Japanese. It is the 1st generation of migrants that work to build and earn to give their children the education and other opertunities sort after by those motivated and smart enough looking for a better life for their and their children's future. Transient labour practiced in Japan has posed all sorts of problems and successes for those on retern to their native lands leaving a vacume.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If the government simply allowed dual nationality, the long-term effects would be much better for Japan than the current policy of hyping programs designed primarily to siphon tax money from rich one-percenters. Oh, I can bring my housekeeper with me? That tilts things in favor of Japan; I think I'll move there! ...said very, very few people in the world.

Stop aiming for the big fish and start looking at regular, non-wealthy-but-net-taxpaying people. They're the ones that will be good for Japan.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

If you are highly skilled why would you choose Japan when there are so many better choices to immigrate to?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

BABY STEPS!? thats the problem with Japan everything is done in baby steps while the rest of the world is running to compete for the best minds/talents. Japan need to pick up the pace of change a lot more if they want any chance of matching other countries offers to skilled foreign nationals.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Does being skilled at working at a host bar count? I'm a waiter here in the states, but when I go to japan I wanna do that

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Had the Japanese government made this move in the 1980s things in Japan might look quite different today.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Michael HartJUN. 14, 2014 - 06:49AM JST Does being skilled at working at a host bar count? I'm a waiter here in the states, but when I go to japan I wanna do that

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Read article, Japan already specified IT, etc.. you will be lucky if you get a visa to come to Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think Toshiko is right. As an American living in Japan, it's with a heavy heart that I leave here next month to return home. But IT work in America pays much more than Japan. The working conditions are also less Orwellian.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

what they are doing now is exactly opposite to what they did after March 2011 incident. Japanese Companies kicked, fired, cut throat of their Gaijin / Foreigner employees with the aim of sending them back... so that local / displaced from FUKUSHIMA will take their place...but this already proved to be disastrous for some company and they are trying to reverse their decision. While there is no guarantee that another march 11 will not going to happened again.. foreign worker are cautious about immigration to Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

After 5 years in Japan I envoy living here but not enough to give up my AU citerzenship seriously i know many gaijin living in Japan, American, Australian, Pakistani, Iranian, New Zealand, Dominican, Trindadian, Singaporean, English, Canadian, Russian. and none of them have ever expressed the desire to become a Japanese citizen. I mean seriously there is nothing I can think of that would even remotely tempt me in doing so.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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