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Japan moves to expand controversial foreign worker scheme

By Antoni Slodkowski

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"With just under half its population expected to be aged 65 or older by 2060, Japan faces a severe labor shortage that promises to hamper Abe’s ambitious economic revival plans" Will people even remember who Abe, let alone his economic plans, was 45 years from now?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Slavery isn't the solution, immigration maybe

8 ( +11 / -3 )

No matter what system is set up, there are going to be some bad apples who break laws. The fact is that they have been found and punished in these cases, so the law is working. It;s regrettable that there was an increase, but that's due to more firms overall taking part in the scheme. I have no doubt this will be properly policed, because Japan needs this system in place to continue the influx of some more affordable labour. But there should be a 3-5 year cap on time in country, and no ability to bring over family from overseas, or switch to a spouse visa.

-14 ( +6 / -20 )

it should be more corporate oversight, compliance, fines, and even jail time, not more slaves.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

homeland APR. 06, 2014 - 08:58AM JST ...there should be a 3-5 year cap on time in country, and no ability to bring over family from overseas, or switch to a spouse visa.

Homeland, why impose such restrictions on these laborers? Why not impose them on English teachers and others working here on visas.

Why shouldn't the labor workers on this program be allowed to get married and get a spouse visa? They're not any less human than those in white collar work.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

"If you don't fix this structural problem, it doesn't matter how much you tighten regulations, it won't go away."

Maybe that's the whole point. Import a cheap a labor force with no recourse to the law.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If only the govt would allow even one sibling of permanent visa holders. That would lessen our financial obligation of sending money to our homeland and less problem with assimilation as we are here ready to assist them. Most siblings are jobless college graduates. You might ask why jobless? In my home country even if you apply as a sales lady , there is a preferential age unlike here. One can still work as a janitress even in your 70's.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Sad thing for some is that the scheme won't extend beyond Asians. Same for the scheme to extend construction workers.

In short low paying jobs only, which will extend further the brain drain.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Better us domestic aged workers who still want to work as they were fired by the age limit, there are heck of babyboomers, this would help!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It won't be policed and the rules will be openly flouted with no penalty whatsoever.

Japanese companies employing Japanese workers routinely ignore the labour standards law and are not punished, apart from the threat (never carried out) that they will be named and shamed. Why should the government care more about foreign slave labour than they do about their own citizens?

6 ( +7 / -2 )

It's a start and I hope leads to further easing. As they say " Your never a prophet in your own country". Given the opertunity migrant workers bring more than their labour, look at the US and places like Australia, the contribution to those countries, and the world that would not have been possible in their own country is immeasurable.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

One of the reasons things are moving so slow with contractions projects to rebuild the damage caused by the Tsunami back in 2011 is a lack of construction workers as well as a lack of funds.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )


Clearly you know nothing about this "program" it has been an ongoing disaster! Far far too many treated poorly at BEST! It is slavery in some cases(which Japan does NOTHING about!) and many are borderline slaves, it truly is disgusting & needs to end!

And Japan has the nerve to call these training programs, when all they want is disposable workers paid less than minimum wages! Homleand you have either never been to Japan & in dire need of opening your eyes & ears, I mean the UN has condemned this "program"

It needs to end, Japan as a whole needs to STOP thinking of non-Japanese as simply a disposable workforce, & that includes all of us posters who aren't Japanese, if you pay attention is obvious most around us even for decades still wonder when we are going "home"........... the vast majority of Japanese see ALL gaijin as disposable workers at best!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

You have to make jobs in Japan worth having. Currently cost of living and wages are not attractive.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I've seen a lot of "controversial foreign workers" hanging out at night near the eki. They must be physical therapists, they're always offering massages.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Some of the 'certificates' of training that these companies give to 'graduates' of the scheme are worthless. Knew one student who did 2 years of engineering/ mechanics at a leading car maker, proudly got his certificate ad returned home to Brazil to work. Went for an interview at a garage with the same car maker and was laughed at and shown the door!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Laborers are often trying to make money to send back to family members. In order to make this system more attractive, foreign accreditation for certificates are needed as well some effort made by global companies to retain the best workers. Just trying to plug gaps is not going to fix a problem.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wish the ministry of labor change or allows a workers contract send by outsourcing companies to last 6 months or more instead of just 2 months...yeahh its getting harder here

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The age of feudalism is coming back, cheap laborers being the new serfs and corporations being like the landowners of former times. All over the world you can see relaxed immigration for cheap laborers. Which benefits only the large corporations.

2 ( +2 / -0 )


Homeland, why impose such restrictions on these laborers? Why not impose them on English teachers and others working here on visas.

Sorry, I'm failing to see your point here. Care to elaborate?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The definition of slavery is lost in this thread - yes it is unfair, yes they are being mistreated, but it is FAR from slavery.

But completely agree - these practices need to be stamped out, something like this shouldn't exist in a developed country (but does, just like in the US).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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