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Japan's foreign workers hit hard by pandemic

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Gaijin are disposable.Use and flash.

38 ( +44 / -6 )

Japan kind of works on a ,’if you don’t like it, you can go home’ policy.

32 ( +39 / -7 )

The union's chairman, Hojo Hirooka, said, "Although the government says it is seeking the coexistence of (Japanese) people and foreigners, it only provides limited support for the latter. It has not taken action."

Just like Ken said, use and flash. Japan try to fill position through trainee program and skilled labour visa but once they don't need those people. Those people just left to survive by their own.

26 ( +28 / -2 )

Getting a driving license can be done in another language, not just Japanese. False reporting.

24 ( +39 / -15 )

"To fundamentally solve the problem, it is necessary to establish a better set of working conditions and environment, to make it easier for both Japanese and foreigners to work," said Saito.

Realistically speaking, when government and business do nothing to improve working conditions for the average Japanese, with more and more nonregular staff and exploitative hours and illogical rules and power harassment; there is little hope for foreign workers.

Both are disposable resources, just one a little more easily than the other.

22 ( +23 / -1 )

Japan kind of works on a ,’if you don’t like it, you can go home’ policy.

Except if you’re Japanese where whether you like it or not you can only go home after your boss has gone home.

20 ( +23 / -3 )

Getting a driving license can be done in another language, not just Japanese. False reporting.

It really depends on which driving license center you go, rural area like the one in this article, usually they don't have support for non-Japanese language.

18 ( +23 / -5 )

I’ve really got to feel sorry for the long-termers with families. Many foreigners are becoming financial prisoners of Japan with no way out. I consider myself very lucky I returned to Australia in December 2019 about 3 months before the poop hit the fan. My original plan was to leave in April 2020. I’m so glad I changed my plan or I too would have been on the list of financial prisoners of Japan.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

"Why are we (foreigners) the first to be fired when companies are in a pinch?" she said.

Because that is the way it has always been in Japan.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

@dagon

Agree. The government doesn't care about neither J nor non-J people. It just can get away with more when it comes to foreign workers, especially citizens of lower income countries.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

The driving license center is in Tsu, 10 minutes on food from a Kintetsu station. The written test is in English.

17 years in Japan? Got to try harder.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

"As I barely make ends meet, I just wish I could work," said Garcia. But her chances of finding a new job have been hampered by the fact that her limited literacy skills in Japanese make it difficult for her to get a driving license, limiting her to infrequent public transport in the Mie Prefecture area where she lives.

I wish her good luck. Other than its substantial purpose, a driver's license is also one of the most credible docs widely accepted for ID verification in Japan. The acquisition process is also challenging to many native Japanese. In other words, the license may prove your language proficiency and acculturation.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Gaijin are disposable.Use and flash

Well, like the Japanese. Depends on the contract. Sure for temporary factory workers. If you have a permanent contract, it will be difficult to fire you without paying compensation.

The problem for foreigners is that it is harder to get family support.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

My company had the great idea of firing all its non-japanese workers one day before they were entitled to be made permanent under the 5-Year rule in 2018.

I don't expect the pandemic has encouraged many companies to treat disposable foreigners in any more of an ethical manner. Look pretty, say yes please and thank you, then disappear is the mantra for too many J-firms.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

@Ken, re "Gaijin are disposable, use and flash".

Do you mean use and flush?

10 ( +11 / -1 )

The result of this discriminatory treatment will be that foreigners just will not choose Japan as a destination for work.

The winners will be the robotics industry and the tax coffers will be in a negative situation...

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I used to do some work with a manufacturing company with a plan in Ibaraki.

When the 2008 crisis hit, they let most of their Brazilian staff go, people who had been working with them for many years.

Another company which went through a downturn stopped working with vendors they viewed as foreign, even if it was a Japan registered company.

So foreigners are seen as expendable, hire them when there is demand, fire them without thinking of the consequences!!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Everyone’s expendable, sad to say.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I don’t know the statistics but probably 1 in 100.000 people is successful in moving to Japan. That alone is an extremely hard thing to do. Getting settled is even harder. That should earn our respect.

Good luck to us all and for those of you facing difficulties, be strong.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

One problem with foreign workers in Japan is that Japan is an island country and they cannot return to their countries using easy transportation.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

"My company had the great idea of firing all its non-japanese workers one day before they were entitled to be made permanent under the 5-Year rule in 2018."

That's why the 5-year rule was introduced - so that companies and institutions could shed staff who they'd otherwise have had to employ for life. Literally millions of Japanese employees have suffered from it, as they were the intended targets. You and your colleagues were simply collateral damage from a plan aimed at citizens by their own government.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

I worked six days a week my first six years in Japan and still went to Japanese class.

Yes I got tired but I did it. I quit going twice a week, since I was getting burned out, but continued to go once a week.

Went to the DMV in Yokohama by myself after four years to apply for the driver's license.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

@Hiro

Your comment does not take account of the reality of many foreign workers in Japan...

7 ( +16 / -9 )

The Japanese government has been reluctant to give enough support to its own citizens. How do you expect it to support non-Japanese workers? Laid off foreign workers should go back to their countries and find new opportunities there.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Kind of sucks , but I bet there's plenty of new people waiting to come.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

-The government doesn't care about neither J nor non-J people.

-The Japanese government has been reluctant to give enough support to its own citizens.

You're on the wrong track. This problem stems from corporate greed, not govt malfeasance.. Companies expect first-world profits by exploiting third-world labor.

> unemployment benefits whose amount is 50-80 percent of the average salary of the past six months of one's previous job.

That's not bad. So the govt is doing something. The greedy companies are not. If they can't survive without their impoverished laborers, then they should be allowed to fold, and do everyone a favor.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

As is often the case, this is a worthy article greatly diminished by referring to a case study of questionable relevance, here the Filipina who was working as a dispatch worker. The whole point of using dispatch workers is to have people you can axe when you need to cut costs. Japanese dispatch workers are equally disposable and I'm sure they will be many in a similar situation. To have a proper foreign angle to the story, it would make more sense to talk to people on the technical training schemes to see how they have been affected.

It's vexing to see articles like this, because most comments end up talking about the individual cases given as examples, not the topics which are worthy of our concern.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The Japanese here seem to think foreigners have no right to complain despite the fact we pay the same taxes as they do without the same protections or rights.

They also want Japan to be treated and respected like other developed countries but do not want to act in the same way.

In Europe, Canada, Australia,etc.non citizens have the same right (with the exception of voting), the same protections under the law as citizens something Japan doesn't offer.

So you want to be treated as equal then start by acting as an equal.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

simian lane:

Japan kind of works on a ,’if you don’t like it, you can go home’ policy.

Japan also has a 'we need foreigners to do these menial jobs because we do not want to do it ourselves' policy.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I think any country, whether Japan, China, the US, or others, should be ashamed of importing indentured servants from poor countries and using them as slave labor .

6 ( +9 / -3 )

EXpat:

 Literally millions of Japanese employees have suffered from it, as they were the intended targets. 

That may be the case, but at my former employer, every Japanese member of staff was retained, as they were on permanent contracts from day one. On my last day there, after 18 years of service, I was presented with a bunch of flowers the size of my fist by a girl who'd been there for less than 6 months, but, being of pure blood, was retained. Every single non-Japanese member of staff was let go - and this was before the pandemic provided a convenient excuse.

I doubt COVID has led to more ethical conduct.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Why are we (foreigners) the first to be fired when companies are in a pinch?

Seriously, who should be?

5 ( +11 / -6 )

You're on the wrong track. This problem stems from corporate greed, not govt malfeasance.. Companies expect first-world profits by exploiting third-world labor.

You're right, but it's the government that enables this behaviour. The new visa programme from a couple of years ago was nothing more than that. It was a huge fail even before the pandemic, which could be partly because word has spread of what kind of treatment these overseas workers get here.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I am very sorry to put the wrong number in my comment. 69 thousand is correct.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Came to Japan in 2003 yet only has limited Japanese ? ! Sad !

That's up to you. I came a couple of years later and I was able to pass JLPT N2. Never limit yourself, nor let other people limit you.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

No, they had it very difficult already before. This time the Japanese workers have hit themselves additionally. Although working hard, overtime, until karoshi sometimes, they now have to stand lockdowns, job loss, home office, decreasing incomes...and there is not even some support or a cheapest vaccine from above. I wouldn’t let treat me so bad.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I, myself, lived in Japan for almost twenty years and had basically mastered the language after four years at a university

And I rest my case on people with money not understanding the situation these workers live in.

They are not here going to university, they don't have that luxury.

They are brought here to do manual cheap labour work often 6 days a week long hours low pay doing the job you lucky university graduates will not do.

First worlders clueless about how others live.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

her limited literacy skills in Japanese make it difficult for her to get a driving license,

Japanese language proficiency not necessary for the Japanese drivers license test. You can take the written in other languages, including English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and a few other languages. The behind the wheel test is possible with a few driving phrases in Japanese. I did it.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This is so typical, 9 years as a contracted worker.

How is that possible still?

Laws were changed to avoid this and theoretically after 3 years as a contracted worker in the same place the company is by law supposed to directly hire the person away from the contracting company.

My wife was outsourced for many years and once she got to the 3 year mark was told she could either leave or become direct full time employee but then my wife is Japanese.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Roblib, do you think being a citizen helps? we are still gaijins regardless.

I tried explaining that to a friend about 15 years ago before he dropped US for Japan.

He didn't believe me and now totally regrets it, he thought no more Gaijin cards, no more police stops and check but now has to carry around his Japanese passport to avoid being taken to the station and having his wife bring his password to prove he is Japanese.

Oh and I have had to go do the same with my mixed children.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Antiquesaving

I know what you are saying and a lot of it is correct. I guess having lived here on two different occasions and now have built a house here and have a mixed child in elementary school, I kind of know the disadvantages already. I've accepted them, don't usually complain, and just go with the flow. Yes there is discrimination and the system is not "as fair" as in other more diverse countries (I'm American) but when I weigh the negatives vs positives, I'm still happy here and will deal with the challenges as they come. Life overall here is pretty comfortable, safe, and cost of living not bad at all. Compared with the state of affairs in USA and Europe, I'll take Japan and it's imperfections anytime.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Roblib

Been here over 30 years, raised 2 mostly on my own.

Had to deal with a lot and it gets tiring to watch many make excuses and say leave if you don't like it.

My children are Japanese but are not threaded equally and the treatment I got/get impacted on their lives by association.

When I have to sit in a meeting with a teacher telling my child she has no right to be Japanese and this in a public school and those in charge do nothing then the country has a problem.

This extends to work, foreigners raising Japanese children lose their jobs impacts the lives of the Japanese children and I have been regularly told in government offices it would be better to take the children and leave Japan to where we (including the children) belong.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

After 3 years of teaching, I could find a job here in a major Japanese company thanks to my past experience and a Master's degree. Then once you got that on your resume and speak Japanese, things get much easier to find a decent and regular job. Of course, it is needed to work on yourself to fit with the culture

Over 30 years here heard this more times than I care to remember usually followed at some point by total disbelief when they are the first to be cut despite being higher up, being there longer, better qualified than the Japanese not cut.

Oh and the sudden firing just before they get close to retirement and only get a small severance package instead of full retirement.

Then the " I cannot get a job, they all say I am to old".

And then they finally get why I totally gave up and started my own little business, don't make a lot of money but at least I know I have a job and a small regular income.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

JP government support for families with a child - very low, nothing systematic really.

JP government support of foreign workers vs support of Japanese workers, who both pay same taxes - very low, Japanese first.

JP government support for foreign/part foreign families with a child being born in Japan and being Japanese = none. And it all starts in elementary schools and kindergardens, where your child is being told (s)he is not Japanese.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I don’t know the statistics but probably 1 in 100.000 people is successful in moving to Japan. 

There are 1,700,000+ foreign workers in Japan as quoted in the article.

Your number, plucked out of your imagination, implies 170,000,000,000 people attempted to move to Japan. Butb

But that's OK. After all, 68.325% of statistics are made up.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Very disturbing and sad, I am aware of many foreign workers who are struggling to make ends meet before the pandemic, and now even worse. They can only rely on the help of their Japanese best friends and family to find work and food.

The Japanese government is helping but not enough, the factories that brought these workers to Japan MUST BE held responsible for the well being of these workers.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Koreans do well in Japan. Honestly in about 45 years Japan will implode and become a haven for expats. The old guard is dying off and the up and comers are few and far between. They will have no choice. I suspect you will see a huge influx of Chinese, Mongolian, Korean and Indonesian people. The Japanese will be a minority.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Maybe she would have to go to Tsu, then she could go to their Office. Maybe they have the test in English.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

HiroToday  07:42 am JST

Let's be honest. Is not like choosing to fire nationals first is gonna do the company any good either. When it comes to laying off staffs, is natural that the foreign workers are cut off first. Is done all around the world. Sure is awful because they need to send money back to their country, but the nationals also have families and are actually in this expensive country. At least what they hope for is that the company will try to give them priority first over of subcontractors. At least the foreginers can return to their nation if things get bad enough, while we ourselves have nowhere to go once we get lay off.

But i do hope the government can provide relieve aid to everyone equally in these difficult times.

Spoken like a true Japanese person with the whole "us against them" mentality that all foreigners are constantly being reminded of on a daily basis!

It doesn't matter where they're from. Treat us all as humans, Japan! We also are in the same ship as Japanese people druing these times.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

 The acquisition process is also challenging to many native Japanese. In other words, the license may prove your language proficiency and acculturation.

Okay, so do you think a language test is a good way to check driving ability? Why should a driving test see if I have enough gaman spirit to survive the cost, the bureaucracy and the ridiculous hoops you have to jump through? That is totally self-defeating, because provincial Japan is where the labour shortage is greatest, and workers need to be mobile to get to and from work in places not served by public transport.

By all means, test knowledge of rules of the road, but make sure all candidates can take a test with written questions in a choice of languages. You can make the practical test all Japanese too, so candidates need to show enough knowledge to follow those instructions orally. Many, many other countries do common sense things like this, to find a balance between flexibility, and needing some level of Japanese to do things. The central government can make sure every driving centre in the country can do this, not only to help foreigners integrate, but to ensure Japan's own economic future. If they stick with a ridiculous 'this is Japan' attitude, they are ensuring that they will weaken the country economically and socially as the labour shortage bites deeper and deeper.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If the government is serious about slowing Japan's economic decline, they have to address the issues that make it difficult for foreign residents to integrate. Becoming independent enough in Japanese is a long, long process, and for many people already with dependents, slogging away hours and hours of extra overtime just to make ends meet, it can take years longer than someone with a more stable salary and fewer family commitments. Out in the countryside, information and support is often much harder to come by, let alone the chance to study and practise Japanese in your few free hours.

Japan should value and develop workers who come here and help keep the economy and society moving, not use them and toss them, and prefer to hire someone fresh off the plane to someone who has put up with tough conditions, and unstable contracts, often for years.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Sanorina

Actually it is 3 years now has been for a few years now. I worked for on of the major Japanese placement/recruiting companies and my Japanese wife has worked many outsourced jobs and it is 3 years.

Here present full time employment was just that at 3 years she had to either leave or take the job and she is in The hr section and all the outsourced workers fall under that rule.

Things changed years ago but few seem to keep up to date.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'm sure Japan couldn't care any less. I guess "shrinking workforce" is no longer in their vocabulary.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@as_the_crow_flies

Ask Japanese drivers what many of the convoluted road signs in Japan mean and 9 out of 10 couldn't tell you!

I actually went into a Koban with my Japanese wife to ask the police to explain the parking/no parking signs and 4 officers came out looked at the signs read them and still they were not sure.

Not wanting to get a ticket we insisted they find out, do they called the main police station and again no one knew, the only answer we got in the end was to contact the ward office the next day and ask.

I mean seriously the explanations on many road signs in Japan confuse even the best native Japanese.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Sad for the lady but not surprising that any country would think to protect their citizens first and everyone else after, just how it is unfortunately. Until you are officially a citizen, you are just a guest here and in times of crisis, we have to go to the back of the line unfortunately. Same in most countries.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Unless you have an affinity for Japan and its culture, you are essentially a carpetbagger working in Japan because the financial rewards are greater 

Sure a as you put it Carpetbagger that do all the dirty jobs the Japanese will no longer do.

The guys that collect the garbage and recycling in my ward area are all foreign students only the old man driving isn't and he was complaining that if they have to leave Japan because their schools close due to covid, they will have no one to do the work because the Japanese now see that a type of work as beneath them.

The lack of workers has reduced garbage collection to 2 days a week and recycle to once a month now.

Wait until more of the so-called Carpetbaggers leave and do not return once things get better and see how things go, will we be down to one day a week garbage collection and once every 2 month for recycling?

Japan wants the cheap and dirty work labour but not the responsibility that goes with it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

have an eight grade level mastery of English. 

I don't know if that's even needed. I knew a Spanish guy who was an English teacher, with broken English.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I think that Japan should look after there foreign workers a lot better then they are doing, If they all start to migrate back home, when the economy picks up, the news head lines will be " were strugeling for workers" "total labour shortage" thats because they have all gone back home! they probably wont come back because they might have got work else where and they know that they will be treated like ***p again. Like Ken said the first poster, wipe and flash, you cant have it both ways.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@sakurasuki

You are wrong....in mie the driving test written is offered in at least 5 languages...check the mie perfecture info.... False reporting on the part of the reporter or pure laziness on the part of the woman interviewed

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think that Japan should look after there foreign workers a lot better then they are doing, If they all start to migrate back home, when the economy picks up, the news head lines will be " were strugeling for workers"

For some strange reason they don't seem to care.

As (very) recent news reveals, even Japanese are not treated fairly ... 

As I pointed out, when both my children graduated University they were given a verbal list of companies that do not hire foreigners or mixed Japanese (my children).

It is fully tolerated, my daughter's 3rd year jr high public school teacher would openly say that mixed children had no place in Japanese school and should not be citizens, he even tried to block her from getting into high school.

The other teachers knew this the school principal knew it even going to the high school she applied to and told them to ignore her teacher and anything he says, but he was never disciplined and kept his job despite doing this every time he had a mixed child in his class.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

After 3 years of teaching, I could find a job here in a major Japanese company thanks to my past experience and a Master's degree. Then once you got that on your resume and speak Japanese, things get much easier to find a decent and regular job. Of course, it is needed to work on yourself to fit with the culture

Subcontractors, whatever nationalities and countries, will be a victim of that economical cycles, especially the ones on a non-regular job and with low qualifications. Unfortunately, once they start to work in that way, it is difficult to get away from. With the covid, the J news did often portray Japanese also suffering and being disposable.

As it was said just above

when it goes bad economically most companies are firing first the less needed including foreigners. This is around the world the same.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Antiquesaving

Yeah I hear you, hearing those things would definitely suck and seeing it affect the kids is even worse. I don't have the answers and while I agree with you and hope things will improve here, I still have to wake up everyday and keep pushing forward. I work for myself luckily so I don't deal with a lot of the Corp BS and so far our school experience has been great and my son is doing well. I think things will change and the younger generation are more interested in traveling and meeting foreigners and learning about our culture. As the older people in charge start to retire and or die off then new blood comes in with new ideas and ways of looking at things. We just have to wait and see, it's the only choice really or move to another country if it's too much to handle. Good luck with everything regardless.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

For those saying things like she should have learned Japanese, gotten a driver's licence before, etc...

Have any of you ever heard of a working holiday visa for people from places like the Philippines?

NO, Right?

Guess why? Because they are not like the West rich and able to just come here and work a few hours a day then drink, party and travel.

You compare your privileged lives to that of people that are working far harder, way more hours, for far lower pay than the lowest language teacher get per hour in jobs few of you would lower yourselves to do.

I have far more respect for her working the way she did away from her children so she can give them a better life and education than any of you lot that came here with the luxury of easy work, better pay or the money to pay for going to school and university.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

That means study more, network, etc. A driver’s license is nice as an ID but if one cannot afford a car I guess it is not a priority.

Do you live in the city or in a place where the work is the local large factory (AKA factory town). Have you been a contracted assembly line or factory worker or any kind of manual low pay worker.

If you have and somehow managed to find the time and money to do what you say should be done, then goodbon you.

If you haven't been any of the above then perhaps before saying what these people should have done, you should learn about the conditions they live and work in.

I have, I have been in such manual labour situations, been paid the local outside Tokyo minimum wage working 6 days a week just trying to keep my children fed and a roof over their heads.

Far to many here critical of the situation these people are in who have never been in any type of situation like they have had to live and work in for years.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Buddy, I think Japan doesn't care about tax amount if you can print unlimited amount of money.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It's a tough situation. But Foreign Workers in Japan are hardly the only ones suffering from the economic impact of the Covid19 pandemic. Non-foreign workers are also suffering, as are the many business' that are forced to let go of their workers. Vaccine or not, there is still no outlook as to economic recovery for many companies.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It seems that if you want to get better at Japanese you need to pay for it. It helps if you have the time.

I know a teacher who studied at a school for 6-12 months to get to N2, but you have to work at least part-time and use your savings. I just go to the volunteer places but it is hit or miss. Just being Japanese does not mean they know how to teach.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I knew a Spanish guy who was an English teacher, with broken English.

And I know a Japanese friend that works for the Japanese government in infrastructure road department.

He has never driven a car, no drivers license and has a Japanese literature degree from university nothing to do with infrastructure, road design, etc... But then he graduated Today and that is all that counts. That is how it works in Japan western foreigner = English teachers.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

some comments are true and still get many -.

But when it goes bad economically most companies are firing first the less needed including foreigners. This is around the world the same. If I look in Europe or America it will be the same.

it has an impact on people who get fired and finding work during this economic situation is difficult.

When a foreigner has a PR status and contract can request for government support such hello work.

For others it is difficult since going back cost money or people made debt to come and work in Japan. But staying cost also money. But also local people (especially student or starters) have a hard time also.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Koreans do well in Japan

This is the same in most countries where there is a significant minority more often than not located in a concentrated area.

They deal within their community, they support their own minority businesses they even finance their own groups needs because they have to and this leads to separation mistrust, etc... between the communities.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I don’t think they use contracts in Japan except to limit your rights. A contract has a set term. No contract is better.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That means study more, network, etc. A driver’s license is nice as an ID 

Why need that as ID seeing as a foreigner you must at all times have your Gaijin card on you, anything else is if no value unless you need to drive.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

You can tell how much the Japanese value their foreign workers by the photo: The shut the heat off in the classrooms to save money. There are no Japanese students in there, so they can be cold. To hell with 'em. They're expendable.

I hate to say it, but Japan is just going to be another poor little insignificant somewhat backward Asian country in 30 years' time. They just can't get out of their own way.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don’t know the statistics but probably 1 in 100.000 people is successful in moving to Japan. That alone is an extremely hard thing to do. Getting settled is even harder. That should earn our respect. 

Good luck to us all and for those of you facing difficulties, be strong.

Excuse me. I should’ve pointed out that my comment was made from a white guy’s perspective. Which can be completely different from a southeast asian’s perspective. I’ll recognize that. Your life conditions and the way you’re treated by Japanese can change depending on where you come from.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Japan has the certain public livelihood assistance. 1.3 million foreigners got it in 2015, according to the attached article. Maybe, the number is increasing.

https://yomidr.yomiuri.co.jp/article/20161221-OYTET50036/

0 ( +1 / -1 )

RareReason

thank you for enlightening us with your knowledge.

what you should’ve known is that it was just my way of expressing the following: *“moving to Japan is really difficult(!)”*

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Wow. I thought I like Japan a lot. I will never live there after hearing these comments.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

"Why are we (foreigners) the first to be fired when companies are in a pinch?" she said.

Because, we are not Japanese.

She is getting up to 80% of her salary. She sends most of her money outside Japan so not contributing to Japanese economy during a time of pandemic.

She wants a drivers license. Do we also have to buy her a car with tax money? She Sounds too snobby to use ordinary public transportation like normal Japanese? Does she know how much a shaken, snow tires, maintain, fuel, parking cost?

if she is working so long in Japan and exploiting our economy, she must be very rich in the Philippines. I’ve been to the Philippines and worked closely with Philippines here. In the countryside they can build a house with land for ¥50000. In Manila, a 2 story house with swimming pool and driver, cook and gardener in gated community for around $30000.

But I can’t generalize. Others must be stuck here in abject poverty.

(BTW. I'm a foreigner with no job because of Covid19)

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Came to Japan in 2003 yet only has limited Japanese ? ! Sad !

Unlike the westerners coming from rich countries, arriving here as either expats with fancy benefit packages, or to study because they have money or even language teachers paid at least ok with plenty of off time to go to school.

These people are brought here and placed in jobs with lower wages and long hours often 6 days a week with little time to or money to study.

They are lucky to get enough sleep.

This is a typical things said by those that have never really had a hard day in their lives.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

There are flights operating at quite reasonable prices.

If you think life would be better in your home country...... Make that choice.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

"But then he graduated Today [?] and that is all that counts."

JT poster 'Antiquesaving', do you mean 'Todai' or Tokyo University? If so, then your comment would make more sense...

But your input is very interesting!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Foreigners being treated equally and fairly?

As (very) recent news reveals, even Japanese are not treated fairly ... particularly 'minority' Japanese such as women, the handicapped, the young, the aged, burakumin, Ainu, Ryukyu islanders, the under educated, the over educated, the working poor, single mothers, those who are temperamentally easy targets of bullies.

The unconnected.

Even among Japanese, one's entrance and security in the work force is determined more by who you know, not what you know or what you can do.

Foreigners are an afterthought ... a copy-paste-erase edge to an unforgivenly rigid, authoritarian paradigm.

All nation-states have their myths and cultural conceits. American 'individuality and freedom', for example, is only as good as your financial assets.

Japan's conceit? Neo-Confucian 'harmony', no matter how superficial, and the faux-meritocracy on which that harmony depends — otherwise there would not be so much political and corporate corruption in the news every day.

Every.

Day.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

If you’ve been at a company for 9 years and still can’t speak and write the language then the problem isn’t the government or the company or the society.

More from the western elite in Japan that know nothing about the work these people do or how the live.

Let me guess you think this woman was working in some nice clean office, perhaps you think she was working as an ALT.

Well maybe a reminder is needed.

Filipino who worked at a Sharp Corp factory in Taki, Mie Prefecture 

Does that help? Not much talking or writing on a factory assembly line but I don't expect the western elite expat to know that.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Does that help? Not much talking or writing on a factory assembly line but I don't expect the western elite expat to know that.

Ok. You think only western elites (read: white people) can find time to study outside of work, and do multitasking in general, and navigate the challenges of life. Great perspective you got there.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I think the problem is that people get complacent. When there is a crisis people have to learn to adapt. The longer you stay here the harder you have to work. That means study more, network, etc. A driver’s license is nice as an ID but if one cannot afford a car I guess it is not a priority.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ok. You think only western elites (read: white people) can find time to study outside of work

Just to make it more factual. Manual worker in a factory all day often 6 days a week vs Westerner teaching English, doing office work nothing manual at much better pay and actual time off.

Perhaps you should go see just how these people work and what they do.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If I could help.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

But her chances of finding a new job have been hampered by the fact that her limited literacy skills in Japanese make it difficult for her to get a driving license

If you’ve been at a company for 9 years and still can’t speak and write the language then the problem isn’t the government or the company or the society.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Hire a good Lawyer.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The government. What does that mean, if anything? Layoffs are determined by the company. It is Japan. So. No surprise that non-natives are dismissed before nationals. Companies, corporations are autocratic and hierarchical. The determining factor is profit. The bottom-line. As for individuals working in Japan and sending money homeward, the problem is not in Japan, it is in the country where you are a citizen and reside. Unless you have an affinity for Japan and its culture, you are essentially a carpetbagger working in Japan because the financial rewards are greater or employment is more viable. If the desire is to live in Japan because you want to make it your home, that is far different from being recruited to work in a factory or any other industry, including education.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Let's be honest. Is not like choosing to fire nationals first is gonna do the company any good either. When it comes to laying off staffs, is natural that the foreign workers are cut off first. Is done all around the world. Sure is awful because they need to send money back to their country, but the nationals also have families and are actually in this expensive country. At least what they hope for is that the company will try to give them priority first over of subcontractors. At least the foreginers can return to their nation if things get bad enough, while we ourselves have nowhere to go once we get lay off.

But i do hope the government can provide relieve aid to everyone equally in these difficult times.

-3 ( +16 / -19 )

I don’t know the statistics but...

No. No you certainly don't.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Very disturbing and sad, I am aware of many foreign workers who are struggling to make ends meet before the pandemic, and now even worse. They can only rely on the help of their Japanese best friends and family to find work and food.

The Japanese government is helping but not enough, the factories that brought these workers to Japan MUST BE held responsible for the well being of these workers.

Nonsense. Why is ANY company responsible for providing you with a job? If they can, great, but if they can't they have to cut somebody. Responsible to send them back to their home countries if they can't continue to employ them? Sure. Responsible for more than that when they are financially unable? Socialist ideology garbage!

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

@El Rata

Yes, and that is everywhere in the world!

First priority goes to the countries nationals.

This situation is everywhere!

If it is good or correct is another topic....

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

@Abbey

It is sad. It goes to show she has made no effort to acquire the language.

I, myself, lived in Japan for almost twenty years and had basically mastered the language after four years at a university. I then went on to work in the Japanese workforce for a Japanese company and within a few years was native fluent and could also read and write the language as if I had been born and raised there.

It took me great effort, but I did it, and I'm proud of the fact I made an effort to do so.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The faux outrage on display! Lambaste callous Japan all you like, but too many of those now in a precarious position, surely knew or should’ve known that life is no bed of roses. There were no guarantees when you came, so don’t expect them now. Covid has been a salutary reminder of certain harsh immutable truths, too easily forgotten when times were good.

If need be, sell off some of those assets that living and working here in the good times enabled you to acquire. Demand some financial support from the extended clan whose fortunes got a jump start over their neighbors through the money you sent them. Call in favours from those who owe you.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Came to Japan in 2003 yet only has limited Japanese ? ! Sad !

-5 ( +12 / -17 )

"this is Japan and Japanese nationals should be given priority...." Name me a country that puts the good of non-citizen residents ahead of -or on a par with - its own citizens, and I'll show you there's no such country...

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

@tooheysnew

these people will continue screaming as long as they’re receiving their full salary

Exactly!

As Long as I get full paid, of course I like to stay home! Very nice life, dont go to work but get full salary!

In my home country, one of my friends lost his job because of the lockdowns. He has 2 kids and his wife is pregnant with the 3rd kid.

I think I dont need to explain how his life is going on now...

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

Japan kind of works on a ,’if you don’t like it, you can go home’ policy.

Which is an awesome thing, this is Japan and Japanese nationals should be given priority.

-10 ( +13 / -23 )

Foreign workers who have lost jobs due to the economic downturn are financially struggling

But let us all continue to scream for Lockdowns until everyone lost their jobs...

-11 ( +15 / -26 )

"My company had the great idea of firing all its non-japanese workers one day before they were entitled to be made permanent under the 5-Year rule in 2018."

LOL, it was always 10 years. There was never a five year rule.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

@monty

yes, & these people will continue screaming as long as they’re receiving their full salary

-12 ( +6 / -18 )

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