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Japanese cities worried about receiving more foreign workers: survey

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Sad that you need to explain to some people the proper way to treat others.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Things will work out , foreign workers can assimilate with society as long as they respect japan and japanese will respect them too !

There's no particular reason why they have to assimilate, all that's required of them is that they do a job they were brought in for, and for the most part, will be paid the bare minimum for.

I don't consider myself assimilated, and nor do I particularly want to assimilate. It's always going to involve a definition that is adjusted to suit someone else's convenience.

If you're looking for "foreigners" to assimilate, you wait for the 2nd generation - the children of immigrants. Of course that's not on the cards if Japan operates a guest-worker system, and a non-family oriented one at that, with the intention of sending people "back where they belong" when their time's up.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It reminded me of the Japan-Filipino Committee that was formed to help Filipinos in Japan; it consisted of only Japanese members, not one Filipino member!

Many Japanese are afraid of losing control to foreigners. The same with Nissan and Renault.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"but don't learn a damn thing beyond, "I'm fine thank you. And you?" Japanese people should be seriously embarrassed about their lack of second language skills."

As if Westerners are known for their Japanese abilities?

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

@Peeping_Tom

Give some examples of what steps those countries took for you personally as a foreigner? What did the locals do for you?

If foreign workers have a bad experience they will leave the country or not come in the first place. Your fictional bias of Japan is not justified buddy.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Things will work out , foreign workers can assimilate with society as long as they respect japan and japanese will respect them too !

Japanese(language) is not easy or hard with practice they will learn to a basic N4 .....

I said all that as fellow gajin, that flew away from E.U.- regime :/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Whatever happened to all the robots the Japanese were supposed to develop? Oh yeah, Japanese women stopped having babies.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Well, go to live in France; then come back with the results.

Actually, my Japanese-Canadian friend who currently lives in Paris says pretty much the same thing. Outside of the snootiest of Parisians, the French are fine people.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"But the survey, covering all of Japan's more than 1,700 municipalities, also found 47 percent of them are in favor of having more workers from abroad, "

But that means 53% oppose having workers from abroad. Very Interesting.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

"Funny, when I've lived in Italy (twice), Mexico, and Albania, I took one step, and they took one step."

Well, go to live in France; then come back with the results.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

When I lived in Germany and Italy, I had to learn the language while working there, I didn't expect the local people to speak Japanese or to know about Japanese culture. Its stupid to think that way.

Funny, when I've lived in Italy (twice), Mexico, and Albania, I took one step, and they took one step. Not "gaijin take 5 steps, we take pretend half step and then complain you're not doing enough."

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

If you move to another country for better employment opportunities and a better life, than you should be the one responsible to learn the local language and culture Not the other way around. 

When I lived in Germany and Italy, I had to learn the language while working there, I didn't expect the local people to speak Japanese or to know about Japanese culture. Its stupid to think that way.

Just don’t imagine those trainee/blue collar foreign labor work similar to 9 to 5 white collar work. They work can be really intense, at least twelve hours a day are common among them. Beside that need to face extreme winter and summer outdoor environment. Even some of them even working in weekend. 

So if they back to their dorm or apartment to get enough rest and give little time language learning so they are able to work without having any fatigue in the following day is make sense.

Language requirement usually can be minimum since in workplace they will use similar vocab overtime.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If you don't speak the language it's reasonable to expect that someone might speak English....

Japanese is a difficult ask because of the written system and because it isn't spoken widely around the world. Obviously if you live in the country you should have motivation to learn the language though.

When I lived in Germany and Italy, I had to learn the language while working there, I didn't expect the local people to speak Japanese or to know about Japanese culture. Its stupid to think that way.

Why would anyone think that way? That's ridiculous

3 ( +5 / -2 )

If you move to another country for better employment opportunities and a better life, than you should be the one responsible to learn the local language and culture Not the other way around.

When I lived in Germany and Italy, I had to learn the language while working there, I didn't expect the local people to speak Japanese or to know about Japanese culture. Its stupid to think that way.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I guess Japanese should start learning new languages since they will become increasingly reliant on foreigners to prevent their country/society from disappearing.

Shenjingbing - Japanese spend 6 years failing to learn English. They are not going to all learn Indonesian on the off chance that a manual labourer cannot speak speak Japanese.

If you move to a country, the onus is on you to speak the local language.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Instead of Japan learning English, why doesn't Japan require level 1 or 2 japanese before the foreign workers come? Also, Google glass and Bluetooth can translate mostly in realtime now, both written and spoken.

Instead of Japanese being able to say even a few words in a language that they have spent at least six years learning, foreigners wanting to do a blue collar job in Japan should, as David Varnes noted, have to study Japanese full-time for several years to a level that is almost impossible living outside of Japan? L2 is probably graduate level.

You know this is impossible, so presumably are looking for a way to keep foreigners out of Japan.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

A cultural differences training class should be mandatory with the big differences spelled out between the home country and Japan. Especially for Japanese "common curtsey" elements.

I assume the mandate that workers have a few months of Japanese language training still exists?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Instead of Japan learning English, why doesn't Japan require level 1 or 2 japanese before the foreign workers come?

Because if Japan waited for someone to be N1 or N2 in Japanese before offering them a working visa, there wouldn't be anyone here.

Japan has to recognize that their language is an isolated, mono-national language. There is no incentive for anyone to learn it outside of wanting to already go to Japan. Since such a level of Japanese ability would take years of study, you're proposing that someone know, years in advance, that they want to become a temporary blue collar worker in Japan, and then subject themselves to years of study just to work in sub-optimal conditions.

Meanwhile, they could study any of a half dozen other languages, and have greater opportunity for success in multiple countries.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Sf2k:

Esperanto is euro-centric. It may (may) work for the EU, but not for Japan or the world. Curious how the EU will use English in the parliament and official statements now since the only English-speaking country in the EU is leaving.

Instead of Japan learning English, why doesn't Japan require level 1 or 2 japanese before the foreign workers come? Also, Google glass and Bluetooth can translate mostly in realtime now, both written and spoken. Talking back...that's another story.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I have been working in a Japanese company for more than 20 years. I am afraid Japan is not ready yet to mix with foreigners, could it be in Japan or abroad, could it be fluent in English or not.

The inner circles always dominate the behaviour vs. outer circles. Without getting rid of that... forget.

This principle is not unique to Japan but not to that extent.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Bungle, I think you understand my point: population is not a problem. The problem is laziness and unfair system. After WW2, Japanese work very hard to rebuild the nation on ruins, there were no labor shortage then, why now ?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@Akie

The problem is Japan's demographics. Firstly, to make up the labour shortfall, citizens would have to continue working well into their seventies. Now, if one is in good health and one enjoys what one does, that may not be too much of a burden, but what about those with age-related illnesses or people doing construction work? I wouldn't want to be labouring on a building site nearing eighty years-of-age! Secondly, there is the question of wages. Corporations would almost certainly demand that seniors take a hefty pay cut after a certain age in order to employ them. Most septuagenarians wouldn't work for sweat shop wages given the choice, but a poor Burmese/Laotian/Vietnamese might.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There is no path to citizenship for the workers and they won't be allowed to stay long enough to agitate for one so why worry?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Foreign workers policy in Japan is a joke. High population in 4 small Islands, Japan is one of the highest concentrated human camp in the world. Ranked top 10 countries among 200 nations, in term of population, if Japan lacks labors, how other countries could survive ?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

 foreigners could be more hard-working and loyal if U treat them like humans. No living human-beings are above any other human-beings.

That's true just treat foreign worker as their Japanese counter part, since so far they are not getting same treatment with harsh working condition.

Accident-related deaths of foreign trainees double rate of Japanese

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201812050041.html 

The government concluded Friday that four companies had used foreign trainees to perform work cleaning up radioactive contamination after the March 2011 tsunami triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/10/19/national/four-japan-firms-used-foreign-trainees-clean-fukushima-plant-nuclear-meltdowns-final-report/

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Nearly half of cities and towns across Japan are concerned about how to provide appropriate treatment to foreign workers

Here's a thought, why not treat everyone equally no matter what their citizenship. The xenophobia demonstrated in the article is very ugly.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

We suggest Japanese do what they want, but that negative action is not going to save Japan and really good Japanese. Do yr own dirty Job. Japanese cannot command just because U have Japanese birth rights. All Japanese must clean up, work their fair share like all human beings. God have eyes.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"concerned about how to provide proper treatment" my butt. They are just scared due to long held xenophobia and fear of change.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Why ???, foreigners could be more hard-working and loyal if U treat them like humans. No living human-beings are above any other human-beings.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Is it so difficult to provide livelihood support and salaries for a third of a million workers expected to come to rural JP from nine Asian countries, including China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam without their family?

Who is scared? Local bureaucrats vs central govt it seems.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Riyu Ken Tomioka - Japan is not an English country majority of the Japanese people cannot speak or understand English. And accepting people who can only speak their own language plus English is really hard for the Japanese to understand.

Classic! Blame the foreigners coz they can't speak Japanese. This is despite the fact that most Japanese study English for ten years through their secondary and tertiary education, but don't learn a damn thing beyond, "I'm fine thank you. And you?" Japanese people should be seriously embarrassed about their lack of second language skills.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

With the population shortage, the influence and presence will help Japan realize theirs more of the world than just a island nation that’s the size of California. To become more open minded to other cultures and give diversity that is truly needed to help this prosper. Respect is universal law any way you go. People are people, not robots.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

But the survey, covering all of Japan's more than 1,700 municipalities, also found 47 percent of them are in favor of having more workers from abroad, as many companies continue to struggle with insufficient workforces amid the country's aging population and falling birthrate.

47 percent is in favor but what about 53 percent that are not in favor? 

So they are facing declining work force population due to failing birth rate and aging population. Which mean less taxes for local government. What are their proposed solution? 

At least central goverment propose some measure so those area can still have work force for their local economic. While local government can earn some income from foreign worker through resident tax and tax from companies where those foreign worker work at.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'm curious, how does Japan go about bringing in Foreign workers. Send a delegation to an overseas Country and recruit X number of workers to bring back with them ? Or hire an Agency within that Country to bring a set quota of persons over ?

But even after that what then ?

I've seen a recent BBC Report upon how Thai Farm workers are treated within Israel, and begin to wonder how such a situation can be avoided here. Perhaps the local Governments are more worried about how they can avoid similar issues arising ? For example, exploitation by corrupt agencies - a good example of that would be the North Korean overseas workers within Europe who don't receive their Salaries.

This decision by the Government, which is much needed, is certainly raising some concerns by the local Governments who probably feel that the onus upon worker rights has been dumped upon them.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Some of the municipalities that are not so positive about accepting more workers from other countries said they think higher priority should be given to efforts to secure jobs for elderly Japanese people and women.

These municipalities just have no idea what kind of job those foreign workers need to face. Most of them involving lot of outdoor activities, that's including extreme days during winter and summer. Some of them need lift heavy object during work. Even if those elderly manage to do it, they can not do as fast as those young foreign workers. Beside that risk of those elderly will get injury can be high, due the nature of the work.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Combining the two figures, 47 percent of them are worried about how to coexist with foreign workers, with some citing the government's lack of specific measures as a major reason for their anxieties.

Anxieties? Lol! Double speak for "we have no desire to deal with foreigners, let along coexist with them, why is the national government forcing this on us! Let them deal with it!"

There will be an explosion of complaints about discrimination right from the start, watch.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Japan is not an English country majority of the Japanese people cannot speak or understand English. And accepting people who can only speak their own language plus English is really hard for the Japanese to understand.

Well too bad, English not only becoming global second language but also become national language in lot of countries. But Japanese, if you lucky you might find Japanese language speaker community outside Japan like nikkeijin communities .

Beside that some of foreigners picked up Japanese language through their university life but that's not the kind of blue collar worker individual that Japanese try to find to fill labor shortage.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Kanagawa, one of the prefectures with a long history of foreigners living within its boundaries, tried with a foreign residents committee, consisting of 24 foreigners representing the local mix, who attended monthly meetings in Japanese (their common language) with prefectural officers, to discuss ways to improve life for foreigners in Japan. However, from 2 years experience on that committee, the designated time period, it was more of a forum to discuss things and placate foreign residents, as few actual improvements happened. The prefectural staff decided the themes, not the foreigners, and these were repeated every two years with successive committees; rather than listening to what the foreigners wanted and acting on them. It was a real learning experience.

They had cupboards full of materials, printed and undistributed; as the officer who helped develop them had been transferred, and the replacement had no interest.

It reminded me of the Japan-Filipino Committee that was formed to help Filipinos in Japan; it consisted of only Japanese members, not one Filipino member!

If Kanagawa, one of prefecture that has resource and foreigners couldn’t make it, I'm not sure whether if other prefecture can make it. 

The prefectural staff decided the themes, not the foreigners, and these were repeated every two years with successive committees; rather than listening to what the foreigners wanted and acting on them. It was a real learning experience; as the officer who helped develop them had been transferred, and the replacement had no interest.

Usually it will become nice anual report with little things being implemented. Wait several years similar things happens again.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It reminded me of the Japan-Filipino Committee that was formed to help Filipinos in Japan; it consisted of only Japanese members, not one Filipino member!

Isn't it funny how all these committees purportedly formed to assist minority groups are usually composed of senior Japanese men...?

6 ( +10 / -4 )

People just need a utility language to communicate and Esperanto is easy to learn for both parties. 14 rules and no grammar exceptions.

I don’t think even the immigrants will be employed to flog a dead horse.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Kanagawa, one of the prefectures with a long history of foreigners living within its boundaries, tried with a foreign residents committee, consisting of 24 foreigners representing the local mix, who attended monthly meetings in Japanese (their common language) with prefectural officers, to discuss ways to improve life for foreigners in Japan. However, from 2 years experience on that committee, the designated time period, it was more of a forum to discuss things and placate foreign residents, as few actual improvements happened. The prefectural staff decided the themes, not the foreigners, and these were repeated every two years with successive committees; rather than listening to what the foreigners wanted and acting on them. It was a real learning experience.

They had cupboards full of materials, printed and undistributed; as the officer who helped develop them had been transferred, and the replacement had no interest.

It reminded me of the Japan-Filipino Committee that was formed to help Filipinos in Japan; it consisted of only Japanese members, not one Filipino member!

12 ( +15 / -3 )

This program is the stupidest thing the government has ever conceived. They should of just empty the shiakushou and prefecture office do nothing staff.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

People just need a utility language to communicate and Esperanto is easy to learn for both parties. 14 rules and no grammar exceptions.

It doesn't have baggage as it is not a native language of any country and there are clubs throughout Japan as well.

Until the "little fingers" of Japanese society screw it up, but until then it would actually work

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

Japanese cities worried about receiving more foreign workers.

aka worried that these dangerous gaijin wont kowtow and accept being treated like subordinates to the Japanese mindset.

9 ( +16 / -7 )

Looks like it was important to actually learn English, not replace Japanese with the hybrid Engrish no one has a clue about

6 ( +11 / -5 )

""many companies have no know-how about accepting foreigners" and called for support from the central and local governments..." Priceless. Absolutely priceless.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

...them and the tatooed "temporary foreign labor placement and management agencies"...

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Agree with other posters, just treat them like fellow citizens, respect each other, make an effort to learn about them and their culture. I hope I am right in that those workers want to contribute to Japanese clsicirty as well as look after themselves and their families just like the locals.

Hey, it’s been happening in the west for years!

:)

10 ( +13 / -3 )

"the city of Odate in Akita Prefecture said that "many companies have no know-how about accepting foreigners" and called for support from the central and local governments."

The companies will be the ones raking in the $$$ by employing people from developing countries paying them rock-bottom wages. Get those companies to set up and fund their own training and orientation programs and not muggins the taxpayer.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

All these foreigners will be paying taxes, utilitity bills, renting rooms and eating at restaurants. It’s instant population growth. More money for Japan

Just print up few more manner posters in foreign languages.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Japanese elderly citizen won’t even bother how much the only salary they could have. As long as they enjoy the company of co-elderly workers, and as much as they can avoid being home alone that can cost loneliness and sometimes can cost their sudden death. So the point of saving a job for elderly Japanese citizen is just for having employees who would never complain about salaries and can be deceived by all selfish companies.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Treat them like human beings. Start there

Anyone who’s spent any significant time in Japan knows that the practice of Japanese people looking down on people from other Asian countries is very widespread.

You can pretty much guarantee that the nationalists involved in making this decision don’t have the expectation that these immigrants will, or even should, be treated like Japanese employees.

12 ( +21 / -9 )

Unfortunately, this is going to be another situation where the Japanese government finds a solution without knowing the formula. For a prime example, look to the education industry.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Japan is the one in trouble - much more dire trouble than these foreign workers. So yea, Japan should open its eyes that sorry, Japanese is not the only language in the world. And if you NEED (not want) others to solve your problems, try understanding that you'll have to start learning other languages.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Some of the municipalities that are not so positive about accepting more workers from other countries said they think higher priority should be given to efforts to secure jobs for elderly Japanese people and women.”

I think they really don't need a caregiver and nurses at all. Lol.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Better airport security?

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Japan is not an English country majority of the Japanese people cannot speak or understand English. And accepting people who can only speak their own language plus English is really hard for the Japanese to understand.

-6 ( +11 / -17 )

I guess Japanese should start learning new languages since they will become increasingly reliant on foreigners to prevent their country/society from disappearing.

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

Which Countries will be these workers sourced from ? And how do they go about doing so ?

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Not having a plan and by not having any relevant laws to protect a large group of vulnerable workers is a recipe for disaster!

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Treat them like human beings. Start there

28 ( +32 / -4 )

Japanese cities worried about receiving more foreign workers

Yeah it's called, xenophobia.

they think higher priority should be given to efforts to secure jobs for elderly Japanese people and women.

Say what? Do they intend to put the old people to work in the construction and engineering industries? Or, do they expect them to work all night making bentos? These comments are utterly ridiculous and the make one wonder what kind of flipping idiots are running this circus!

21 ( +34 / -13 )

Badly planned immigration is not a recipe for success. Well planned immigration is a good idea.

Those in charge aren’t usually affected by the problems caused by badly planned immigration so no big deal.

Move along.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

concerned about how to provide appropriate treatment to foreign workers.

Start by not treating them any differently from local workers. Pay them the same rates for the same service.

Respect them and they will respect you. Do not discriminate against them and don't consider them to be less than you are. Follow those guides and you should do ok.

31 ( +40 / -9 )

When you develop a new drug.... you always have "side effects".

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

I can understand their concerns. The government is just making all these changes without properly implementing support programs. Companies are now required to do many things and make a lot changes and the government itself isn’t doing anything aside from creating more visas.

I think we need more government sponsored programs as well as subsidies in order to help these changes take root in a positive way.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

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