politics

Japan approves measures to help make life easier for foreign workers

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Very interesting. Where are these so called one stop consultation centers going to be set up? In the ward buildings of the prefectures where the work is?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The so-called one-stop consultation centers will offer services in 11 languages, including English, Chinese, Vietnamese and Indonesian.

This should have been implemented at every city hall decades ago. My local city hall has an English speaker 3 days a week, but you still cannot get any information about city tax, garbage collection, infrastructure, etc. in any other language. This initiative is a step in the right direction, but Japan still has a long way to go before it can be considered 'foreigner friendly'. They still have to overcome cultural prejudices and mistreatment of foreigners, which may never happen. I've lived here for nearly twenty years and it hasn't changed at all in that time. The empty seat on the train is still the one next to the foreigner.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

"Foreign workers will be encouraged to enroll in Japan's public health insurance programs, which cover a portion of medical expenses,"

"Encouraged" how about "requiring" them to have the insurance.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

why are foreign workers needed in restaurant business? this idiotism just further worsen economical situation of young Japanese, now they wont be even able to find low paid restaurant work because some Vietnamese will be doing it for 60% of the pay....

I want to hear what exactly is done for the Japanese youth within same program... , single mothers , students and so on... or this gov doesnt care about anything except filling their pockets with backpay from firms that will profit on cheap workers?

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

why are foreign workers needed in restaurant business?

The same reason why foreign workers are need on British farms or Japanese nursing homes and convenience stores. Locals don't want to do these low-paying jobs or are just plain lazy.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

@Pukey2

Locals don't want to do these low-paying jobs

No, it's not that locals don't want to do these jobs, it's that they can't afford to do them. And importing more low-wage workers to put yet more downward pressure on wages isn't going to help solve that situation at all.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Locals don't want to do these low-paying jobs

They dont NEED to be low paying. it's the owners that just dont want to pay a living wage. My son is in Tokyo and Family Marts there can not get people to work the nighttime and overnight shifts, so what did the franchise owner do?

He jumped the hourly wage to 2,000 per hour, and evidently got flooded with applications.

Point is, pay enough, and folks WILL come!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

why are foreign workers needed in restaurant business?

Because not all of us are climbing the corporate ladder or teaching English. Wages need upping, of course.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

No, it's not that locals don't want to do these jobs, it's that they can't afford to do them. And importing more low-wage workers to put yet more downward pressure on wages isn't going to help solve that situation at all.

Yep. Unfortunately, those who hold this very logical view often get dismissed as racists.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@disollusioned

This should have been implemented at every city hall decades ago. My local city hall has an English speaker 3 days a week, but you still cannot get any information about city tax, garbage collection, infrastructure, etc. in any other language. This initiative is a step in the right direction, but Japan still has a long way to go before it can be considered 'foreigner friendly'. They still have to overcome cultural prejudices and mistreatment of foreigners, which may never happen. I've lived here for nearly twenty years and it hasn't changed at all in that time. The empty seat on the train is still the one next to the foreigner.

In what part of Japan do you live?

I've lived in Kansai in the past, and in revent years Kanagawa and Tokyo. I remember the information relating to garbage disposal to always have been available in English too. As for city tax, I'd just ask them in Japanese if I needed anything.

As for the empty seat on the train? I've personally never experienced it where I've personally lived so far. Morning commute in Tokyo? It won't take more than a few seconds until the seat next to me is occupied.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

exactly Jimizo, the solution is not importing low wage workers but providing Japanese with wages that actually allow for living and paying taxes. Currently it is just not worth it, because you will end up paying more in taxes.

Those decisions are sick , money grabbing and disgusting schemes meant to create a generation of working poor from current middle class Japanese society.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Alex,

You are like Trump regarding Syria, you are right for the wrong reasons. Fact is that Japan is running out of people. There is a 30 to 60 percent gap in all industries in Japan between jobs posted and people applying. All industries and all salary levels. So you are wrong on this basic fact. Working wives have salary caps due to tax laws so paying them more will reduce hours worked. The issue is more complex that you want to believe.

Where you are right is that corporations who are sitting on a ton of reserves are not raising wages. Real income in Japan has been going down for all workers for decades now. Look to the LDP for why that is occurring. Here your indignation is well placed. An underclass is growing at jobs immigrants cannot do as companies are not hiring regular Japanese employees but rather are hiring contact employees in order to pay them less.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This goes in stark contrast with two foreigners from Nissan being locked up..

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's only taken 160 or so years but better late than never!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Why not just require foreigners to pass japanese language and culture test before coming? Save the govt billions. The safety and pay regulation oversight would be for everyone, not just foreigners.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

But the entrants granted No. 2 status will be allowed to [bring family members to Japan] and there will be no limit on the number of times they can renew their visa.

This is a new development (I think)!

What made the LDP change their minds.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

tokyo-m:

No, it's not that locals don't want to do these jobs, it's that they can't afford to do them.

If it doesn't pay enough, then I don't want to do it. If they really wanted to, they'd do it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Jimizo

Last time I checked, the conservatives have run Japan since, oh, the dawn of modern Japan. And Japanese conservatives are as nationalist as any other.

And yet, these conservatives, in the LDP, in the bureaucracy, as the captains of industry, reached a consensus nearly 20 years ago that in order for Japan to simply maintain itself economically, it must import labor because Japanese families do not have enough children.

That is a fact.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The empty seat on the train is still the one next to the foreigner.

Good, and let it always be this way. You sound like the typical invader, everything should revolve around you and the host nation you live at should be FORCED to accept you, when you will never belong, and you should never belong. Everyone should learn your language, learn to act the way YOU want, everything is about you. If you don't like it, leave. If you wish to stay adapt to the culture or language, because its YOU that's wrong. All these people making comments that Japan needs to accommodate them instead of them adapting to Japan are 100% wrong and the worst type of travelers and temporary residents.

One thing that needs to be made clear with every interaction with these foreigner assistance stations is that these people need to be reminded they are temporary guests and not living permanently, they are here on behest of the nation and people and should behave until the day they are returned home.

I would also add at some point the real world economy is one thing, and theoretical ideas on economic growth and monetary size are another. Are the Japanese people better off at some point taking a small decline in their standard of living to defend and keep its people and nation safe and independent? Are we willing to sacrifice nations and hurt people to keep up economic plans on paper made of money that are less important than the nations and people these paper economies are created to protect and serve? Perhaps stagnation and a stable economy that shrinks with its population is healthy, not unhealthy, perhaps importing bodies into the countryside is a worse situation and a "solution" worse than the problem.

Back to topic, there is a saying I've heard. "It is the responsibility of the host to make his guest feel at home. It is the responsibility of the guest to know that he is not home". You read comments on these stories and elsewhere and you see how many guests in Japan and elsewhere do not know their responsibility to know they are not at home.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Unfortunately, those who hold this very logical view often get dismissed as racists.

Probably that's because many tend to be.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Foreigners coming here will be open to abuse as there are not any laws which apply to their situation in force in Japan.Japanese employers already abuse Japanese with regard to unpaid overtime,refusing vacation time and in some cases paying no health nor pension contributions.

The ‘black company’ is a reality here.

What chance does the poorly educated foreign laborer have?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Those applying for the new visas are mainly expected from nine Asian countries -- Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam "

They are all from Confucius countries, good. But wait a minute, where is Korea ?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Akie

Above Japan, in living standards.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

nope zurcronium, you are totally wrong on the first point

There is a 30 to 60 percent gap in all industries in Japan between jobs posted and people applying. All industries and all salary levels. So you are wrong on this basic fact. Working wives have salary caps due to tax laws so paying them more will reduce hours worked. 

Your statement is absolutely wrong, and is reflected among lot of young Japanese if you had just cared enough to listen .

Working above certain tax bracket results in paying much more ( occurs in all tax brackets top and simply makes working full time not worth it ,unless you make high enough salary , over 250Man a month .

That is why there is "shortage"

Spouses are a total different ballgame, ridiculous too , basically if a spouse makes anything more than measly 8man yen a month .. you are paying double taxes with no discount...

hence "shortages".... which are simply due to inefficient taxing system ( also the ridiculous practice of different taxes for different regions should cease as well the addon for old people wellfare ) and once it resolved there would be absolutely no working shortages.

Offcourse gov chronies will be making less to spend on hostesses, olympics and sponsoring royalty wedding banquets...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"It is the responsibility of the host to make his guest feel at home. It is the responsibility of the guest to know that he is not home".

That is not Japanese saying. But this is one:

" A guest who lectures the host on how to be a host is an annoying @sshole."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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