politics

In major policy shift, gov't OKs draft bill to open door wider for foreign workers

38 Comments
By Linda Sieg

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38 Comments
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This is basically an admission that many jobs do not pay a living (any kind of life) wage and can only be done by people happy to live a minimal existence to squirrel away a sum that will go way further in their native country.

These foreign workers will be earning, it should be minimum wage, but they won't be spending. The economy, especially rural economies, need money to circulate. Saving the fish packing factory in inaka with twenty Vietnamese workers won't save the businesses around it.

The main crime concerning foreign workers will be people leeching off them as agents, underpaying employers, accommodation providers, etc. Such criminals will all be Japanese.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

I think Yakuza are heavily controlling segments of politics here, there is beyond 80,000 members, so it is strange to say foreigners would bring crime, considering all the money laundering, rackteering, expolitation of banks etc etc list goes on. Squeaky clean image, it is not.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Anything to keep wages down.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Get ready for mini ghettos to crop up as that will be the only place many of these blue color workers will be allowed to live. They won’t be assimilated at all, but then they’ll be criticized for not becoming part of the country. This will lead to complaints of public disturbances and the like. I can see it all happening.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

They are going to find 500,000 blue collar workers with Japanese language skills? Willing to be isolated from their families for five years before being sent home?

And they needed a heated debate just to OK that!

Think I will sit back and watch that one pan out?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

foreigners would inflate welfare rolls and crime rates

I think the Japanese are doing enough of this without worrying about foreigners.

The second category of skilled workers is an interesting one. You need all these professional and language to qualify for being given a desk and being told what to do. If you disagree, you’re fired. Japan needs skilled workers, but it needs them in management to break up this stupid sempai monopoly that is stopping Japanese business evolving.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

The old stooges figured out their robots that they keep saying would take over, are in no way sophisticated enough whether AI or bipedal motion etc to handle many jobs, humans need to attend to.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

the Diet is likely to adopt the revisions in the face of intense pressure from businesses battling the tightest labor market in decades

These are businesses that are making record profits, yet wages hardly budge.

If you want to attract workers, pay higher salaries, it's as simple as that.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

So let’s recap shall we?

Blue-collar (ie low-paid) workers only but must be at least educated enough to communicate in Japanese and have other unnamed skills to be enrolled in the exploitative and scandalous “technical trainee” system and cannot bring their family for up to five years

Those who are higher skilled (not blue-collar level??) COULD bring family and EVENTUALLY get residency

Did I miss anything. Are there plans perhaps to force them to volunteer for Olympic services as well?

So a racist (crime and welfare?? AND classist debacle already? Well done old men!

Why, pray tell, would people want to come to Japan to be treated no better than where they presently struggle?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

The government wants more taxpayers.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Ironic, comical and somewhat sad that this news is announced on a Premium Friday!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

No one in his right mind would say that bringing in 500,0000 blue-color foreign workers does not constitute an immigration policy. I’m beginning to have a serious doubt about Mr Abe’s mental acuity.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I hope it opens Japan's eyes to the rest of the world. Not all foreigners are criminals.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Its a race to the bottom.

Japan doesn't need more workers. They need to cut low end government welfare jobs.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

Many expressed concerns about crime and a negative effect on wages.

The tiny nationalist Japan First Party has protested against the changes for reasons such as fears foreigners would inflate welfare rolls and crime rates, it says on its website.

Oh! Puuulease! Wages are kept down regardless of the existence of foreigners. This is nothing to do with foreigners! Foreigners are just the typical, worn-out scapegoat.

Crime? Japan does just fine there, too. In fact, they excel more than most countries in certain areas...

The only way these statements could become remotely true is if the imported temporary workers (it is clearly not 'immigration') are marginalized and exploited (quite likely to happen) to a point that they take their financial and other matters into their own hands. This would squarely be the fault of the locals and nationals.

I really get tired of the constant fear-mongering attitudes against foreigners, when foreigners have done SO MUCH to help Japan become a better place.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

@ Whatsnext Japan doesn't need more workers.

That's right. What's needed is to cut all the ridiculous inefficient overtime, and start paying decent wages for those doing the toughest and lowest-paid work.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

For anyone considering taking up these temporary worker programs - for a multitude of reasons, I suggest that you don't! Save yourself a lot of misery.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Oh! Puuulease! Wages are kept down regardless of the existence of foreigners. This is nothing to do with foreigners! Foreigners are just the typical, worn-out scapegoat.

So true. The Oyaji-sans have been doing this for years and still to women. As long more Oyaji san and those being groomed to being Oyaji san are in office, not much will change.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Me too. That's why I'm taking my japanese wife and 2 japanese children and getting the hell out of dodge.

Good call, man! It's a sinking ship, but the crew are in denial about all the water coming in. And the Captain doesn't care, he's just taking a life-boat while they are still available, before the people realize there are not enough leftover...

Gonna miss you around the boards, though!

B.l. SharmaToday 02:48 pm JST

Timely changes introduced in the draft legislation for allowing foreign workers, in sectors facing labour shortages, by PM Abe' government. This step is surely going to spur Japanese economic growth in future and bring more prosperity in the country which will ultimately open the gates for PM Abe to continue as PM of Japan for the forth term in office.

I was going to write a logical response to this, but then I realized that it wouldn't be worth it...

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I am for more foreigners to come to Japan - for any reasons - to create a more diversified society. The end result, in the long run, will be a better Japan.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

And the Captain doesn't care, he's just taking a life-boat while they are still available, before the people realize there are not enough leftover...

To extend this metaphor, the Captain (Abe) knew full well that there would not be enough lifeboats, actively prevented the ship from adding lifeboats, but is all set to tell the steerage passengers that it's their own fault when they inevitably drown.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan is last place in Asia in attracting talent and with the language requirement it keeps it there

If a national can't do the job then foreigners should be paid more not less. This provides incentive on the company to hire locally first before burdening someone else

Given all the hiring scams and zero labour laws it's a wonder anyone goes

3 ( +4 / -1 )

For decades Japanese companies have imported Japanese descendants to work in factories for low wages.

What they want now is ability to "import anyone" regardless of race.

There's a large number of people in India, China and Philippines living on wages below $300USD a month... The intention is to import those people and pay them $600USD/month and they might come by looking at raw numbers.

What those people don't is that average cost of living in Japan is at least $2,100 USD/month and unless they live like slaves they won't any money to bring back home after 5 years of heavy work.

In other words, this is a bad deal for the foreigners and a bargain to Japanese companies.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Incompetent, useless, wasteful, outdated govt can be trusted for a new Japan.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

That's a very poor image for the story. Only legs? What's wrong with showing their faces, or nationalities?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Good call, man! It's a sinking ship, but the crew are in denial about all the water coming in. And the Captain doesn't care, he's just taking a life-boat while they are still available, before the people realize there are not enough leftover...

You pretty much summed up the whole country.

Gonna miss you around the boards, though!

Don’t you even dare think that! I’ll still be every bit as active on this board contributing from Canada the way I am now in Japan! And I’ll still be here supporting you and backing you up agentx!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wage suppression is the biggest factor holding backing the recovery. This measure threatens to make a bad situation worse.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Oh! Puuulease! Wages are kept down regardless of the existence of foreigners. This is nothing to do with foreigners! Foreigners are just the typical, worn-out scapegoat.

Yup

Crime? Japan does just fine there, too. In fact, they excel more than most countries in certain areas...

exactly

The only way these statements could become remotely true is if the imported temporary workers (it is clearly not 'immigration') are marginalized and exploited (quite likely to happen) to a point that they take their financial and other matters into their own hands. This would squarely be the fault of the locals and nationals.

100% correct

I really get tired of the constant fear-mongering attitudes against foreigners, when foreigners have done SO MUCH to help Japan become a better place.

Me too. That's why I'm taking my japanese wife and 2 japanese children and getting the hell out of dodge.

Blue-collar (ie low-paid) workers only but must be at least educated enough to communicate in Japanese and have other unnamed skills to be enrolled in the exploitative and scandalous “technical trainee” system and cannot bring their family for up to five years

Those who are higher skilled (not blue-collar level??) COULD bring family and EVENTUALLY get residency

Did I miss anything. Are there plans perhaps to force them to volunteer for Olympic services as well?

> So a racist (crime and welfare?? AND classist debacle already? Well done old men!

> Why, pray tell, would people want to come to Japan to be treated no better than where they presently struggle?

Its almost comical isn't it? How clueless the LDP idiots are.

They are going to find 500,000 blue collar workers with Japanese language skills? Willing to be isolated from their families for five years before being sent home?

> And they needed a heated debate just to OK that!

> Think I will sit back and watch that one pan out?

Not me. Like I said, I'm getting the hell out. Japan has reached the point of no return. There is no way for them to fix this now. Its too late. And I'm willing to bet they will not find the half a million they are looking for. That's my bet

1 ( +5 / -4 )

It appears that Japan has focused upon India as the source of it's imported Workers. Fair enough, at least it won't bring in an alien Islamic Culture, though as Indian's are rather insular, they may simply just end-up dominating the Industries that they have been imported for, cutting out the locals completely, such as has been progressively happening for the IT Industry. For sure, non-Japanese speaking Foreigner's are quickly being kicked out.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Get ready for a Baby Boom!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan can free up some workers from areas where there's over-employment - areas where more people are hired than actually needed

There's definitely areas like that - even the national police (e.g. thousands of police working on a single case)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The way this ''issue'' is portrayed and viewed is wrong and misleading. I will give you another perspective.

The government ''allowing'' more foreign workers to come to Japan is like the government allowing Japanese people to have more property rights. This is a property rights issue, and should be viewed as such. If i am an employer, and i want to hire someone from Indonesia, but the govt. tells me i can't do that, and i MUST instead hire someone from Japan, that is a violation of my property rights. It's my property, i built it, it's my business, i own the land, i ought to have the right to hire whoever i want from wherever i want. I pay the wages, it's my property. This is akin to the Tokyo government saying i can't hire people from Osaka, i must hire only people from Tokyo. That would be a clear violation of my rights, but it's the same when the central government says i must only hire people from Japan, and i am not allowed to hire people from foreign countries. They are violating my property rights. And what this bill is saying is that i am now ''allowed'' (mind you) to excersise my property rights a little bit more. That's like saying, i am allowed to have human rights on Monday and Tuesday, but not on Wednesday and Friday.

Same goes for international trade by the way. I want to buy something from Vietnam, but the government says - no, you must buy only from Japan, and if you want to buy from Vietnam, we will punish you by taxing you more for your item. Again, imagine the Tokyo government taxing people who buy from Osaka or Hokkaido, it's the same for people buying from foreign countries. The misconception is that nations trade with each other, and therefore this is a us-vs-them issue, and WE must protect OUR team by forcing OUR people to buy from US in order to support OUR country. But that is all false, because nations do not trade, only PEOPLE trade. Me buying the same item on a lower cost from other countries HELPS ME, i am better off, and that is a good thing for ME, it helps ME have a better life and a higher standards of living, same goes for ME hiring people from foreign countries on a lower cost, I BENEFIT, and my customers benefit, that's good for ME.

People need to start thinking in terms of INDIVIDUAL STANDARDS OF LIVING, and not this collective group image BS nonsense.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Almost foreign worker in JPN works sincerely & faithfully.I hope government to improve working condition.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Stop it, stupid govt. The problem is not that Japan has too few people. It is opposite, Japan has too many people. If some love to work for Japanese as they said, fine, let them to hire Japanese in their countries, as simple as that.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

It is wrong, very wrong, even criminal, for the govt to have a discriminatory policy toward people. You can't divide people into different groups and treat them differently. All men are equal, as well as women. Japan is a self-claimed democratic country, and proactively promote rule-based world. To create a rule that treat people differently is against the very basic principle of democracy.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

It is extremely insulting and inhuman to force people separate from their families for up to 5 years. I don't want Japanese be treated that way, and I don't want Japanese to treat others in the same manner. If someone stays for more than one year without bringing his family in, he should be arrested and deported. That is justice to his family.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

End of Japan with Japanese services just because of business greed.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Timely changes introduced in the draft legislation for allowing foreign workers, in sectors facing labour shortages, by PM Abe' government. This step is surely going to spur Japanese economic growth in future and bring more prosperity in the country which will ultimately open the gates for PM Abe to continue as PM of Japan for the forth term in office.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

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