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Japan's foreign worker population tops 2 million for first time

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And it will only continue as the native population shrinks and ages. I wonder if this will lead to gradual realignment with the rest of the world in terms of education, language and laws, or if it will instead become a kind of apartheid, like some other countries with huge numbers of foreign workers.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

The number of foreign workers in Japan as of the end of last October topped 2 million for the first time, government data showed Friday, as the country grapples with labor shortages amid an aging population.

More last gasp late stage capitalism by Japan Inc.

Yen depreciation and of course the harassment and abuse are making Japan less attractive.

Driverless tech is already being slowly introduced.

Agricultural work is being automated.

They are even advertising AI chatbots instead of those annoying English conversation teachers.

Many companies are just to lazy or hesitant to pay for the infrastructure costs of automation. Better to pay foreigners peanuts for a few years.

-20 ( +7 / -27 )

the technical internship program comes as the government considers scrapping the controversial scheme, which has been criticized as a front for importing low-cost labor.

Fact

-6 ( +9 / -15 )

Not good news at all.

-15 ( +2 / -17 )

the technical internship program comes as the government considers scrapping the controversial scheme, which has been criticized as a front for importing low-cost labor.

Those poor worker, unlike average foreigners who have engineer/specialist in Humanities/International Services visa, High Skilled Worker or PR, just can't switch job easily, why? Because system is designed to do so.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Japan-immigration/Japan-s-LDP-resists-push-to-let-foreign-trainees-switch-jobs-faster

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

@Abbey

Not good news at all.

Good news for local government, where they can collect residential tax. Good news for pension service, since they'll take those worker pension, even most of them won't stay in Japan until retirement. Their period just limited to 5 years, during those time they can't bring family. So no spouse visa will be issued for their wife nor husband.

https://quickjobsjapan.com/career-guide/starting-job/differences-between-specified-skilled-worker-and-technical-intern-training-residence-status

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

You see a lot of Nepalese these days. Many of the newly opened Indian curry shops are actually owned by Nepalese nationals. Their curry tastes good too.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

The more you see those foreigners, the more wage increase unlikely to happen. Why Businesses in Japan increasing their wage when they can get cheap labor from those countries.

-15 ( +7 / -22 )

And it will only continue as the native population shrinks and ages. I wonder if this will lead to gradual realignment with the rest of the world in terms of education, language and laws, or if it will instead become a kind of apartheid, like some other countries with huge numbers of foreign workers.

I wouldn't be surprised if it kind of became an apartheid.

Already we see many Vietnamese workers over here who only mingle with people from their own country, same with the Chinese and Brazillians.

I don't think there is much integration going on at all in Japan.

The Japanese tend to look down at people from developing nations so they have no desire to help them assimilate into society.

-14 ( +13 / -27 )

And the vast majority of them are earning less than ¥200,000 per month, before taxes and other deductions.

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

as the country grapples with labor shortage

I still maintain there is no shortage of labor in Japan.

If these companies, farms and factories raise their rates of pay, the Japanese people waiting on the sidelines will quickly return to the workforce and fill all these roles.

Importing cheap workers from poor countries is simply a strategy to boost profits.

6 ( +15 / -9 )

Fighto - interesting sentiments.

Dividing the total adult population by job vacancies is way too simplistic a measure to show that there are enough workers available. Some believe this to be a truth.

In certain fields like health/age/child care etc an increase in salary may be a drawcard, but I hazard a guess that a pay rise of ¥500/hour would still not drag people back into the areas of great concern - agriculture and regional low-skilled work.

The lure of city prospects - esp the metropolises - will not abate significantly to address the shortages.

As society ages, so then the situation will become more acute.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan should give to these third world country people that come here to help their economy also all the rights and benefits of every normal Japanese person.

It is a matter of human rights and also appreciation for their help.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Not good news at all.

If you live in Ishikawa and your house or your workshop, garage, or storehouse collapsed in the earthquake, it is BRILLIANT news. That's because it will be foreign workers who sort the debris into ten or whatever different gomi categories when your site gets cleared up. The only Japanese involved will be the boss of a subcontractor. The government (=taxpayer and money printer) will pay for this clearup. For a house, it will be house plus most of the old furniture and hoarded stuff in it, and likely to run to four or five million yen. It will cost more than regular demolition, which starts with an empty house and does not happen at a time of massive demand.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Abbey

Not good news at all.

Why? Is the number too low for you?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

We are on the way to 3 million. Let's remember these will be young, fit, and healthy workers who will pay tax to support the elderly and pay down Japanese debt. I think Japan has it right. Some immigration and a managed decline in the population to 80-odd million, as the older generation passes! me included! I don't want to see Japan fall into the trap of "we must only bring in HIGHLY QUALIFIED PEOPLE because they will realise,in the future, they are leaving the junk jobs for the natives, as companies go for the "CHEAP" option of bringing in immigrants and undercut the workforce. The UK has been similar, bringing in immigrants while not providing training for its population. EG plumbers, engineers, bricklayers, construction workers, drivers, doctors, nurses, x-ray technicians, computer engineers etc and got a lot of cheap labour from the EU, Africa and Asia. while cutting university places for some jobs..Not to mention the removal of the old apprenticeship places in polytechnics. Cause it's cheaper! and we can push students into debt for 20,30 years. ( and profit) I do understand the Japanese and UK university and job training systems are different though. Which I think works for Japan's strong points.

But it is good to see more people, like me and my kids.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Their curry tastes good too.

But Japanese curry is the best.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Japan's population aging & shrinking, while elderly population's stable, about 37M of 65+, that skews older every year. +80 ONLY growing demographic group.

Clearly foreigners needed to maintain economy. Most actuaries use net decline in domestic population of 20K per week for 2024, that accelerates for several decades to come as domestic population continues to shrink.

Other problem Japan's no rich, even with massive Govt. deficit spending, GPD about $30K/capita now or less half of 10 years ago and this includes some $2k/yr in Govt. debt servicing expenses, almost entirely principal.

Without foreigners Japan's economy will collapse, it's obvious. US GDP per capita about $70K by way of comparison and of course debt levels MUCH less.

Japan needs to globalize quickly, as Galapagos culture cannot effectively integrate into this connected world, really why Japan's becoming so poor.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A lot of scientists in Japan come from abroad. This is because Japan spends a lot on research and is an attractive country in terms of infrastructure, technology and safety. I think this will continue and will be good for Japan and the other Asian countries that supply most of the scientists.

But the question of long term acceptance and compatibility between Japan and other cultures remains a huge problem.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I looked at some other reports today regarding this. By 2040 the native population working will be down around 20%.

Japan would need about 11 million additional workers just to maintain current standards and operations.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I reckon Japan is going to feel like a very different place in thirty years.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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