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Diet passes bill to accept more foreign workers

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Imagine the uproar from the right had Hatoyama or Kan proposed or forced thru such legislation. Only a conservative government could have accomplished this. I wonder how these politicians will face their uyoku supporters going FWD.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/06/asia/japan-immigration-bill-foreign-workers/index.html

Japan needs immigrants, but do immigrants need Japan?

But the longer Levi lives in Japan, the less he wants to stay. Now a salary man, Levi clocks long hours -- just like locals. Earlier this year, the government limited overtime to 100 hours per month, but Levi yearns for better options.

Now he wants to move to the US or Australia.

She would stay in Japan, she says, if she could bring her parents to live with her. Failing that, she might move to Australia or Canada or go back to Vietnam.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Oh my gosh what a photo!

Oh, and welcome to Japan too :)

On the bright side most people here are pretty decent.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

This is one of those images where the old proverb "a picture is worth a thousand words" fits oh so well.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

 I wonder how these politicians will face their uyoku supporters going FWD.

Easy, we got you the "gaijin" slaves you wanted, "use them, abuse them, and send them home"

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Oh dear, all those faces look very unwelcoming,don’t they?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

So that photo is showing us Politicians fighting to keeps gaijins out or fighting to get gaijins in - hmmmmm

0 ( +3 / -3 )

More foreign workers for the Japanese companies to exploit. Send them to Fukushima and hope they'll contract cancer is what the Japanese Government is saying! The system is ruthless in it's current state!

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Easy, we got you the "gaijin" slaves you wanted, "use them, abuse them, and send them home"

Sure, the connected rightists and LDP cronies who employ people, the hypocrites. But there are obviously millions of others who don't want any others and can't see any upside to this. IOW, a sizeable chunk of LDP voters. Of course, what's their alternative, a more progressive party. Hahaha. That's the problem with state sponsored brainwashing that only one party can be your daddy--you have no conceivable alternatives.

So that photo is showing us Politicians fighting to keeps gaijins out or fighting to get gaijins in - hmmmmm

Not quite that simplistic. You have pols who want them in but only if they can be mistreated or exploited and shown the door when they're used up like a dirty sponge. You have pols who are unwilling to let them in unless certain rights are assured from the word go, not at some distant or vague date (read never). And I reckon a good portion from each party that doesn't want immigration, full stop.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

The opposed are worried "foreigners" 外人 (gaijin) turns "harmful people" 害人 (gaijin).

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

I don't get it. What is physical intimidation supposed to do if they have the votes? If they don't and wanted to stop it they should vote against it.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I think they are trying to stop the chairman declare "The bill is passed."

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Correction. the speaker rather than chairman.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Well it's not like the country has a history of slave labour and poor working conditions.... oh wait

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Lucky Japan! Why should they be missing out on all of the advantages that come with Diversity and Multiculturalism--- they may be able to enjoy a changed nation just as the people of Sweden, Finland, Norway , France, Holland have done---not to mention the Uk where the people are rapturous over the changes in that country.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

If I ever wanted to work in Japan, and saw that photograph, I would think that I am going to work in a zoo.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Unlike in Europe and in U.S., the bill is not arousing a big argument among people in Japan. It is an interesting phenomenon.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

If I ever wanted to work in Japan, and saw that photograph, I would think that I am going to work in a zoo.

you would not be mistaken

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Japanese Politicians doing their duty for Japanese Corporations that want to keep labor cheap in Japan. Who gets screwed the most.... the average Japanese citizen that might have finally gotten a decent raise but not now. I tell you what, why not just ship them in from the U.S. / Mexican border.... with the agreement that Trump will not be harsh on trade with Japan.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

What had happened to the caravan people after that? I do not hear about them now.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

But opposition parties have criticized the bill for failing to specify the types of jobs the foreign workers would engage in and for giving the government too much freedom to decide details later through ministerial ordinances.

So, the new workers could join the SDF, which is having a hard time finding and keeping recruits. These foreign workers WILL be used against the Japanese people eventually.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

SchopenhauerToday 08:02 am JST

Unlike in Europe and in U.S., the bill is not arousing a big argument among people in Japan. It is an interesting phenomenon.

Good point. I have raised this with Japanese friends and students and each time there is NO reaction.

They are simply seem to be not interested.

Gary

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@garymalmgren

They are simply seem to be not interested.

Ordinary Japanese aren't supposed to be interested in politics or vote. Politics are strictly for Japan's elites.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Seadog, I understand that was snark, and I also understand the myriad differences between a nation-state like the countries you mentioned (of which Japan is on) and a melting pot such as countries in the Americas. I for one am vastly stronger due to the polyculturalism of my upbringing in California. Nation states to me all seem so provincial.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

great they can bring in more low paid foreign workers to abuse

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Somebody has todo the work and pay the taxes as the Japanese get too old.

Since the Japanese seem to have forgotten how to make babies, this is the only alternative.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This quickly created two tier system seems hodge podgey.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Samit Basu

No. They are very sensitive about the welfare and consumer prices and maybe about the move of changing the peace constitution.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is a big win for Businesses in Japan. Pay foreign visa workers lower than current salaries, don't allow any families to come. able to send back to their own country if sick or injured, when no longer needed deport them back home. Reminds me of what happen to Korean and Chinese workers years ago.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Japan's sun has set, its manufacturing base has fallen behind. Yearly there are butter, potato, and other basic needs in short supply, this year another record for government spending, in a desperate move selling the water supply as it needs 130 years of maintainence. Population is rapidly declining, while national debt increasing. Importing low skilled labour is a grasping at straws idea. The LDP were told this was the future decades ago but instead of making policies to take advantage of the situation they maintained the corse and now are panicking. I believe it's called a spiral into chaos.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

While Japan needs more foreign labor and people in general, this is not the way to do it -- to rush through a bill without proper protections. As usual, Japanese law is rammed through without deliberation (well, when it suits the party in power... they've spent exponentially more time debating even what time to start the 2020 Olympic marathon!) and is so vague that they can do literally anything. A report JUST came out about mistreatment of foreign workers Under the trainee program, leading to more than 50 deaths, and they pass this; a law which will deny foreign workers the right to come over with family, which denies them proper protections, and which has such mammoth loopholes everywhere that companies can continue their rampant abuse practices PROTECTED by the government. I applaud the people who stood up and fought for there to be more discussion, but sadly, TIJ.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Pure theatrics!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Under such bad conditions good foreign workers would not come to Japan. Maybe bad workers would come but they would run away at airport and work illegally somewhere for many years at overstay.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Now let's watch working class wages stagnate, or even fall, while short-term corporate profits rise and the economy sputters, since 60% of its GDP comes from consumer demand.

That's called "progress" in the fantasyland of neoliberalism.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It’s about time for japan to open the country due to manpower shortage that itself will benefit for the growth of the economy. Years had passed lots of employee in japan are suffering for hard work due to shortage of workers.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What are these politicians doing? Looks like a wrestling match rather than a civilized meeting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is my understanding that the labor shortage can be more than made up by hiring women for traditionally male jobs. I also heard that 69 foreign workers have died in the last 3 years, suggesting the working conditions for some of these jobs are heinous.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A terrible day for Japan. This will only serve to accelerate Japan's decline to Third World status.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

@

Schopenhauer

"Unlike in Europe and in U.S., the bill is not arousing a big argument among people in Japan. It is an interesting phenomenon."

What does arouse a big argument in Japan....... not a lot from what i have seen.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I think they are trying to stop the chairman declare "The bill is passed."

Looks staged - like pro wrestling.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Have a look at that photo! How embarrassing! These are you leaders Japan! What a bunch of pathetic children!

They may may have passed the bill to accept more foreign workers, but they have done nothing to improve the conditions and security of these workers. It’s the old ‘build it they will come’ mentality. They might be very shocked to learn that people are not busting down doors to come to Japan and be enslaved by unscrupulous employers.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I wake up every morning and imagine what is worst thing the govt can do? Turn on the tele, and I was right.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I think Cricky is correct, Japan is now too far gone to recover in any meaningful way, I preached from the mid 90s that Japan should have thought of ways to allow foreigners to stay here, LEGALLY, with the same supposed rights as locals. Not a super easy way but reasonable, but NO WAY IN HELL THAT WAS GOING HAPPEN!!

Fast forward to today!! And now we have a new very shoddy system that is very half a$$ed & simply RIPE for more & MORE ABUSE!!

Japan continues to get it wrong, so horribly wrong!

The country is going to have to implode before it has a chance to start anew, hello then to life more like rural China or NKorea!!!  BUT I think a GREAT MANY Japanese would be happy with that!!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Looks like a real warm welcome based on that picture.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

3 EXCELLENT posts I thought should be quoted so people read them again! Right on the money guys!

Cricky

Japan's sun has set, its manufacturing base has fallen behind. Yearly there are butter, potato, and other basic needs in short supply, this year another record for government spending, in a desperate move selling the water supply as it needs 130 years of maintainence. Population is rapidly declining, while national debt increasing. Importing low skilled labour is a grasping at straws idea. The LDP were told this was the future decades ago but instead of making policies to take advantage of the situation they maintained the corse and now are panicking. I believe it's called a spiral into chaos.

Do the hustle

Have a look at that photo! How embarrassing! These are you leaders Japan! What a bunch of pathetic children!

They may may have passed the bill to accept more foreign workers, but they have done nothing to improve the conditions and security of these workers. It’s the old ‘build it they will come’ mentality. They might be very shocked to learn that people are not busting down doors to come to Japan and be enslaved by unscrupulous employers.

GW

I think Cricky is correct, Japan is now too far gone to recover in any meaningful way, I preached from the mid 90s that Japan should have thought of ways to allow foreigners to stay here, LEGALLY, with the same supposed rights as locals. Not a super easy way but reasonable, but NO WAY IN HELL THAT WAS GOING HAPPEN!!

Fast forward to today!! And now we have a new very shoddy system that is very half a$ed & simply RIPE for more & MORE ABUSE!!

> Japan continues to get it wrong, so horribly wrong!

> The country is going to have to implode before it has a chance to start anew, hello then to life more like rural China or NKorea!!! BUT I think a GREAT MANY Japanese would be happy with that!!

As for me and my japanese wife and 2 kids, we are looking to immigrate to Canada within the next 2 years. NO WAY am I raising my kids here. Like the 3 above have more or less said- Japan has no future whatsoever, and they only have themselves to blame.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

“Japan has no future whatsoever, and they only have themselves to blame.”

But they just say “sho ga nai” and everyone knows nothing will ever change. Look. How many decades & decades have the LDP held their power? It’s insane.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

They all are positioned for the photo

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But they just say “sho ga nai” and everyone knows nothing will ever change. Look. How many decades & decades have the LDP held their power? It’s insane.

Absolutely!! Well said!!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Now let's watch working class wages stagnate, or even fall, while short-term corporate profits rise and the economy sputters, since 60% of its GDP comes from consumer demand.

Is it this black and white? Say conbini or retail in general starts offering 2000 yen/hour, would there be enough Japanese wanting to do the work? Are there enough young people eager to be caregivers or factory workers or farm hands, even if wages rose dramatically? Are these latter industries even sustainable long term given the government's relentless pursuit of free trade agreements? The increased labor costs will be reflected in higher prices right, yet aren't all of us dedicated to buying cheap Chinese imports, Thai rice etc.

I'm basically sanguine about the whole thing. If Japan wants to see it's population drop 20% by 2050, so be it. My family won't be here. But wouldn't a more reasoned, nuanced and public debate benefit Japan in the long run. Part of that might just acknowledge that there have always been millions of foreigners and multi-ethnic people living in Japan, whether they're citizens or not. I know any such discussion would pop the handcrafted bubble of Japanese homogeneity, embraced by most here as well as many alt-right types in the West, but it's a fact.

As for me and my japanese wife and 2 kids, we are looking to immigrate to Canada within the next 2 years. NO WAY am I raising my kids here. Like the 3 above have more or less said- Japan has no future whatsoever, and they only have themselves to blame.

While I won't be able to find an exit quite that soon, I understand the sentiment and won't be far behind you. The rightists running this place are no more interested in hosting us than they are in poor guest workers. In fact, a la Ghosn, we're a lot less likely to put up with any s---. In the end, what's the old adage, a civilization is measured by how it treats its weakest members

3 ( +4 / -1 )

With many Japanese still living in Kasetsu Juutaku and others enduring Hinan Seikatsu, will the "New Arrivals" be given special accommodation? They will have to live somewhere.!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The flood gates have been opened to let the foreign workers in. Here come the Filipina’s

Pinoy's and Pinay's alike searching for a better life. God help them and hope anyone coming to work in these sectors are given a good deal and treated fairly. And not just upfront on the short term but for the long road.

The most important thing is these are people coming to work in a foreign land. They need to get right support from the hiring and dispatch companies or direct hires. Are given enough time to acclimate to the working environment and the Japanese culture.

The government has said it estimates Japan will accept up to 47,550 foreign workers in the first year for the No. 1 type visa and up to 345,150 over five years, including 60,000 for nursing care.

Thats allot of jobs!

Kawabegawa198 says:

A terrible day for Japan. This will only serve to accelerate Japan's decline to Third World status.

Really? Why is this so terrible for Japan? How is this going to accelerate a decline to a Third World status? This is an emmense chance for Japan to help herself. This is a chance for Japan to make some wrongs right.

Aly Rustom says:

As for me and my Japanese wife and 2 kids, we are looking to immigrate to Canada within the next 2 years. NO WAY am I raising my kids here.

Canada? That’s good. Why the wait then?

No secret Canada is riding high right now and as of now the unemployment rate is very low. At nearly 19 million people were employed in Canada in November, an increase of 0.5 per cent over the previous month. The question is when you and your family pull the trigger and go. Where will Canada will be at on the unemployment scale? And interesting write up about Canada here might give you second thoughts Then again may not.

https://www.thebalance.com/canada-economy-facts-and-outlook-3306344

You know, I left a very good GS job with the U.S. Government to work for a very old and stable Japanese company. Why? Because it was more stable than working for my own government at the GS level and other factors. Imagine that. I do not know. Maybe I live in a bubble and have it good. I cannot honestly share anything that negative about working in Japan. I can not comment on others lives and work life balance. But not once have I ever been mistreated in Japan at work. At times due to lack of Japanese fluency and comprehension in my early years. As well I might add not knowing enough about the culture, I may have felt I was being slighted. Does it happen? Well we can see it does in stories in the media all the time. The only downside about working in Japan is the long hours. But I look at it this way. Whats if I was running my own company again in America. Like my contracting company I had. If I compare hours worked. I worked allot of hours trying to get my Patio and Sunroom company off the ground in America.

As far as the photo above. Well somethings in Japan will never change. Our Japanese counterparts can be an excitable bunch when it comes to change and the gaikokujin.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Say conbini or retail in general starts offering 2000 yen/hour, would there be enough Japanese wanting to do the work?

Yes. And turnover would be a lot lower, and those hard-working workers would eventually be able to put a down payment on a house, perish the thought.

Do you think it's a coincidence that "labor shortages" are occurring at the precisely the same time as corporations have adopted models that stress "returns to shareholders," which invariably entail cutting labor costs to a minimum and destroying labor unions so that the shareholders get a bigger share of the corporate income, and workers less?

The classic evidence of a (real) labor shortage is upward wage pressure. This ain't happening. Economies that are properly functioning move toward equilibrium of supply and demand of labor, prices and resource allocation, etc., and so bringing in cheap labor from foreign countries distorts the dynamic. The super rich get super duper rich under the currently distorted arrangement. The majority do not.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Fresh perspectives power innovation.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"the plan lacks detail and may not ensure proper working conditions..." Actually, that is exactly the plan - it allows future governments to make it up as they go.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the government is considering applying stricter eligibility rules for health insurance system benefits.

What a give away.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Jeff, the reason I asked is I respect your opinion and as you know I'm no fan of neoliberalism. However, having spent most of my life in extremely tolerant multicultural communities--prior to coming to Japan--I'm less hostile to immigration. Anyway, I follow your reasoning and generally agree about healthy economies with more stable populations. But I wonder if the classic evidence is relevant to Japan. Has any 1st world nation, let alone the world's 3rd biggest economy, ever experienced what Japan is about to. Forty percent of the pop. will be over 65 in short order, some 30% of the overall population will be lost by century's end, and there is zero reason to believe more children will be born.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They are doing this because they know the invetiable is soon to arrive; millions of old people with nobody to care for them, as the labor supply for good jobs will be low (young people) but the demand will remain the same. Young people will never work in ryojin homes. Thats all this is.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As for me and my Japanese wife and 2 kids, we are looking to immigrate to Canada within the next 2 years. NO WAY am I raising my kids here.

Don't mean to make ad hominem argument, but the quote above implies, Japan has been still better than your own home country.

Folks, how exactly are you or your family members affected by the cabinet's shameful conditions like in the photograph? or by long-lasting one-party dictatorship? How exactly do you want to change Japan?

Anyone?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Population decline is a natural cycle for countries. If I recall:

Stage 1 - high birth rates, high mortality rates (no modern medicine or sanitation); population very slowly rises, with drops due to plagues

Stage 2 - high birth rates, low mortality rates (modern medicine and sanitation, industrializing with same amount whoopie); population explodes

Stage 3 - low birth rates, low mortality rates (as in stage 2, but with far less unprotected whoopie); population stabilizes and later falls to a sustainable level

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@showchinmono "Folks, how exactly are you or your family members affected by the cabinet's shameful conditions like in the photograph? or by long-lasting one-party dictatorship? How exactly do you want to change Japan?"

That's exactly what I'm sitting here thinking while reading through these comments. And Aly Rustom saying there's no way he'd raise his kids here, why not? Is Canada really that much better? I'm from the US (J-wife and fam too), but to me Japan seems like a much better place to raise my kids. Although I did grow up near gangland Chiraq so maybe that's why. These issues regarding foreign workers coming here are certainly not going to effect me on any sort of level. My real issue with this though is the exploitation that we all know is going to increase.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@jcapan

I'm analyzing this from a purely economic perspective. There is good and there is bad immigration policy, and the neo-lib version we're witnessing here is bad -- if not destructive.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wow, now I question if I am welcomed here or not. Kowai

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@mph 1212

depends on what you value in life. If its safety, conformity, conservatism, and stability, then Japan is the place for you. If its academic and employment opportunity, then its not.

you say you were raised around Chicago, understand the move but the US is a big place. I hear allot of people say "I moved from this or that place" but you can always move to another place within that continent. But if Japan works for you, to each his own.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

slickdrifter

As for me and my Japanese wife and 2 kids, we are looking to immigrate to Canada within the next 2 years. NO WAY am I raising my kids here.

> Canada? That’s good. Why the wait then?

Because I'm not canadian and it takes about 2 years for the immigration process (fast track)

No secret Canada is riding high right now and as of now the unemployment rate is very low. At nearly 19 million people were employed in Canada in November, an increase of 0.5 per cent over the previous month. The question is when you and your family pull the trigger and go. Where will Canada will be at on the unemployment scale? And interesting write up about Canada here might give you second thoughts Then again may not.

https://www.thebalance.com/canada-economy-facts-and-outlook-3306344

 It won't. Anyway, it won't be any worse than here.

You know, I left a very good GS job with the U.S. Government to work for a very old and stable Japanese company. Why? Because it was more stable than working for my own government at the GS level and other factors.

I don't blame you. I'd rather live in Japan than the US. And I'm not immigrating to the US.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

How exactly do you want to change Japan?"

That's exactly what I'm sitting here thinking while reading through these comments.

what makes you think you can change japan? There are people here for over 3 decades that haven't been able to.

And Aly Rustom saying there's no way he'd raise his kids here, why not? Is Canada really that much better?

Yes. A HELL of a lot better.

I'm from the US (J-wife and fam too), but to me Japan seems like a much better place to raise my kids.

I agree 150%. But I'm moving to Canada not the US. just in case you didn't know, the US and Canada are different countries. Thought I should point that out..

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well, looking at that picture, I can see why Japanese don't want to make babies anymore.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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