politics

Ruling bloc pushes bill to expand foreign labor through lower house

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The Rat

And as for safeguards, what should the LDP do, do extensive interviews on each applicant, have letters of recommendations?

I'm thinking of safeguards to protect the workers from poor labour practices and the kinds of abuses already happening to "trainees".

It makes sense to bring in roughly even numbers of men and women to maintain marriage prospect balance. Women willing to live in the countryside and take on farm work, in addition to the many nurses being brought in to do eldercare should be good targets, but sure if they are carpenters or welders, great. No need to get creepy and sexist about it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They learned this from Taiwan or Hong Kong opposition lawmakers!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't understand why is the opposition opposing this bill? This is incredibly good first step towards opening up the country to immigration.

saying it is "full of problems" as it appears it will be possible to change the system in any way later.

So? Do they want the bill to be sealed once and forever and never be able to change it again in the future?

Japan has incredibly big labor shortage problem, and japanese companies need workers that they cannot find in Japan. On top of that, Japan has a ginormous problem with labor displacement. High skilled people work low level jobs. Japan needs to allow the businesses to hire the people they need. I do not understand why are some supposedly left-wing parties opposing this bill?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If the program is indeed "slave-labor," it is not obvious why people keep signing up for it.

Yeah, Im sure the recruiters ALWAYS tell the truth. Forget quotas, I'm sure the people recruiting have NO reason to be any thing less than honest. I'm sure recruiters don't lie or misrepresent anything. Riiiiggghhhtttt....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bring them in. We need them. In time they’ll blend in. Yeah, the beginning is always hard, scary. Slowly we won’t know or feel they’re foreigners, they’ll ( we :) ) will just be part of the landscape. Beautiful.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Not if you read the article -- they are pushing through a bill that would allow further exploitation, like with Abe's self-revered trainee slave-labor program.

The trainee program started in 1993. Abe was first elected to the Diet in 1993. The program was in the works before he was elected. He had nothing to do with it.

If the program is indeed "slave-labor," it is not obvious why people keep signing up for it.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

They expect it to bring hundreds of thousands of workers from overseas? People are not gonna come in their hundreds of thousands for low paying jobs. “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.”

Not even Monkeys will come, mind you. Many trainees (70%) decided to leave Japan, after their training (slave) period. It (the isolation) is not just worth the misery.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

so I'm not surprised to see this party, with it's nationalistic bent, ramming through this bill to bring people in, with little thought to safeguards.

I do hope there will be proper oversight.

I also hope that there is some thought to gender balance in the inflow. No need to mess up the demographics of the country in a new way.

Hi Taj, great comment. I THINK we need to import, say carpenters, and 50% of them should be women, not just ordinary women, but beautiful women. In this way, we can greatly increase the population EASILY, as they go from house to house, making repairs. (lol)

And as for safeguards, what should the LDP do, do extensive interviews on each applicant, have letters of recommendations?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Abe has always been a far-left politician but has promoted a conservative political image, lied all the time to your beliviers.

He will go down in history as the politician who destroyed Japan.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Kathleen Foster

@jcapan you nailed it! Japan is and has been an ethnically and culturally homogeneous society for centuries (perhaps even 1000s of years)...and no one is going to be able to realistically change it anytime soon. The Swiss seem to be doing just fine with a population of 8 million, so the Japanese have a long way to go, just imagine all the available seats on the morning commutes, it's going to be a plus situation for locals and tourists alike.

I doubt it. First off, Japan has always been far less ethnically homogeneous than advertised--to their own people, let alone outsiders. In Japan if you're a citizen presto you're Japanese regardless if your parents were Zainichi, your Mom from the Philippines or your Dad an Ainu. IOW, if you have a Japanese passport any other blood is scrubbed clean when data is compiled.

Will things realistically change? Maybe, maybe not. Depends on how riled up voters get. Lest we forget, Japan is a one-party state. And since that party is in the back-pocket of Japan Inc., if they say jump, the LDP will say how high.

I think your Swiss analogy is way off, as much as I like the idea of less crowded trains. The pop. is 8 million people but it's growing marginally, not falling precipitously. Japan will see, without immigration, 30 million less people just by 2050. Nearly 40% of the remaining pop. will be over 65. Judging by the morons running this country, I imagine everyone will be living Tokyo by then.

Seriously though, I'm a green and acknowledge that pop. growth is unsustainable. I'm also hardly sanguine about globalization and open borders. But there is pop. decline and there is collapse. The interval between the rapid onset of projected drops and what's on offer once the dust settles and the pop. stabilizes should be of concern to everyone.

Japan is not Easter Island, this kind of implosion is unprecedented. The shrinking pains won't be pretty and just b/c most of us aren't poor Asians doesn't immunize use from the consequences. When in the history of the world has a collapsing economy not resulted in backlash against those who are different?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

They expect it to bring hundreds of thousands of workers from overseas? People are not gonna come in their hundreds of thousands for low paying jobs. “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.”

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I foresee an uptick in international marriages.

wont make any difference employyes will just send them home early, most wont accept having to pay a spouse allowance Even getting a J girl pregnant doesn't guarantee a resident visa nowadays

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I don't object to immigrants, but again I ask: when will these old geezers start asking why Japanese are no longer getting married and making babies. That is the main problem. But they are to old and too rich to get it. (Answer: it is too expensive, not everyone is paid like Carlon Ghosn).

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Increase the staff at the immigration bureau. Shinagawa is a zoo!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

WilliB: "....thus repeating the mistakes of Germany et al. Welcome to the multicultural mess, Japan."

Well, if you're already here with that kind of thing, Willi, the place is already a mess. Some of the people you hold prejudice against that might come in might actually fix the hatred you want to keep them out with.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The Japan Federation of Bar Associations has urged the government to review the plan so they could bring their family members to the country.

....thus repeating the mistakes of Germany et al. Welcome to the multicultural mess, Japan.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

It is ironic that the opposition leftist parties are more conservative about the law.

It's a stretch to refer to any party in Japan as 'leftist', in my opinion. But for sure, the opposition is the only party that has any interest at all in human rights. They certainly don't want to destroy Japan as quickly as the blind, old fools of the LDP.

smithinjapanToday 08:23 am JST

ot if you read the article -- they are pushing through a bill that would allow further exploitation, like with Abe's self-revered trainee slave-labor program.

smithinjapanToday 11:00 am JST

Again, you guys aren't reading the article. There WON'T be oversight, and that's why the LDP wants to ram it through. The opposition isn't against immigration, they are against ramming through a bill that LACKS protections and can be altered at any point in time to suit the ruling party's needs.

Smith has pretty much nailed it here. The LDP is NOT interested in any type of migration. This is purely about opening the doors wider for exploitation. It's as clear as day!

I would like to see more of an international following of these developments, so when it happens, the world will know.

That said, most of the cronies that own Japan have little to no idea of the power of social media. Perhaps word will travel further (real-time) than it has for Japan's LDP as they have committed past miscarriages of human rights. Once again, they can get away with fooling their own citizens, but the cronies are burning people on the international stage more and more these days. It may be creating a deficit that Japan cannot pay in the future.

The opposition party has once again proved they are more patriotic than the entitled fools of the LDP. It's a shame it's lost on the populace...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If Japanese don't want to open up to immigration, Japanese better start popping out more babies.

Well. It takes money, along with other things to raise kids.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Just from the photo maturity and an adult debate just jump from the page. Reminds me of my school lunch being taken from me.

Well. What do you expect? Apparently there are those who haven't learned from school lunch. Just look at this photo. I feel sorry for their kids, if they have any.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If Japanese don't want to open up to immigration, Japanese better start popping out more babies.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

taj: "I do hope there will be proper oversight."

Again, you guys aren't reading the article. There WON'T be oversight, and that's why the LDP wants to ram it through. The opposition isn't against immigration, they are against ramming through a bill that LACKS protections and can be altered at any point in time to suit the ruling party's needs.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japan Inc must be saved at all costs.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The LDP's most reliable voting bloc, aging farmers. are among those desperate for cheap labour, so I'm not surprised to see this party, with it's nationalistic bent, ramming through this bill to bring people in, with little thought to safeguards.

I do hope there will be proper oversight.

I also hope that there is some thought to gender balance in the inflow. No need to mess up the demographics of the country in a new way.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

With a population opposed to immigration how can the politicians do this?

It is like watching children playing with fire.....

1 ( +5 / -4 )

It’s about sustainablity. Japan can remain largely homogeneous if the controlling and brain washing government chooses by simply not allowing anyone in and let the workforce and companies here self adjust to those levels. IF they want expansion (trying to maintain their current economy status on the world stage is a pipe dream) then they need to suck it up and become multicultural in order to expand or step up human cloning which I am sure has crossed a few minds in the Government here as they are already half way there with the current blinkered populace. Japan’s biggest stumbling block on the worlds economic stage is simply English! Roll on the ( - ) but it still doesn’t change my view. Keeping the Japanese population in a single language system allows them to essentially control the media they feed them. If everyone here could speak just moderate English then foreign workers and the outside world wouldn’t be as frightening as it currently is to them. I love the uniqueness of the Japanese culture but on the world economic stage and globalisation it will eventually belong in a museum. Maybe I’m wrong and the whole world will go back to being race specifically homogenous. Japan is neither right nor wrong in what it is trying to do but it needs to make a choice and either go with the flow or dig its heels in and take whatever comes. I can’t think of a single instance where unwavering rigidity ever got anyone somewhere quickly.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The vast majority of citizens don't want this law, according to polls. It should be scrapped or drastically reformed. That's how democracy works.

Sadly, democracy is on the back foot in this era of globalization.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"Dude.. stop hogging the mic, it's my turn on the karaoke machine.."

Either that or he's about to bust a sick beat box tune..

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Backdoor immigration has already been with us for years through dodgy language schools, dodgy technical training, and yakuza brokers. So I think the only way to judge this law is whether it will lead to better treatment of the foreign workers. This will come at the expense of the shady (insider) types who are bringing them in already.

I'm possibly naive, but I can't see how blue collar workers coming in legally can be worse for them than them paying some yakuza broker, having their passport taken off them by another yak as soon as they arrive, and then being paid a fraction of what they were promised, with threats to their families in their home countries whenever they complain.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

sensei258Today  07:16 am JST

For the second type, "the government does not plan to cap the number of Visa renewals, opening up the possibility for them to live permanently in the country." that's wave a carrot in front of their faces and then snatch it away at the last moment crushing their hopes and dreams.

Bingo! Exactly. And then there is that NASTY little problem of WHERE to STICK these "awful" foreigners, as no Japanese (I do remember one Japanese poster complaining about it on this topic a few days ago) wants them living NEXT to them. And the problem of foreign ghettos, while a "nice" idea (sarcasm here), is problematic as you need space for that there ghetto. Oh my!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

YubaruToday  07:00 am JST

It's ironic how the very party that is nationalistic by nature is pushing through a bill that will (for here) dramatically increase the number of foreign residents.

Nationalistic? Yes, but MONEY trumps all (pun intended). I DO remember during the Bush years that Bush was trying to OPEN the borders a BIT to allow in more "slave" labor, and he got some push back on it from his CONSERVATIVE colleagues. But who would not want MORE slave labor, I ask?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

All for immigration, but this is just modern slavery aimed to benefit a few rich companies and not the japanese people.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Kasumigaseki is like kindergarten. It's pathetic. These people control our lives and financial situation and nobody does anything. Like a bunch of lemmings walking toward the edge of a cliff.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I like the picture. It looks like he's smoking from a bong.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Interesting world we live in. Japan wants them in, the US wants them out.

Japan does want them, legally, through an application/selection process with papers and under controlled numbers over a period of years.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Shinagawa Immigration is going to be hell on earth.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@jcapan you nailed it! Japan is and has been an ethnically and culturally homogeneous society for centuries (perhaps even 1000s of years)...and no one is going to be able to realistically change it anytime soon. The Swiss seem to be doing just fine with a population of 8 million, so the Japanese have a long way to go, just imagine all the available seats on the morning commutes, it's going to be a plus situation for locals and tourists alike.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Yubaru: "It's ironic how the very party that is nationalistic by nature is pushing through a bill that will (for here) dramatically increase the number of foreign residents."

Not if you read the article -- they are pushing through a bill that would allow further exploitation, like with Abe's self-revered trainee slave-labor program.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

The main problem is actually when most of the population literally believes that foreign influences are bad for their sovereign nation. Japan is nothing like it was before, and to be honest a lot of it’s strong points ARE from its single race, unity, and organization. A lot of other places would be stronger if they WEREN’T so race divided.

This obviously compounds the problem as now it’s not socially acceptable in the western world to be xenophobic although the vast majority of humans definitely are.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Interesting world we live in. Japan wants them in, the US wants them out.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

It's ironic how the very party that is nationalistic by nature is pushing through a bill that will (for here) dramatically increase the number of foreign residents.

Yes, indeed...but at the same time LDP has always done what its big business cronies who provide the brown envelopes want and this policy is simply driven by J- Inc and Keidanren who neeed cheap labor supply. Hence why its been pushed through with such uncharacteristic speed.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

utterly inhumane

How so? The temporary offer is clear from the outset. Is the working holiday visa in some other countries utterly inhumane?

Also, what happened to treating people equally and as individuals? Why should a certain class of people be offered special privileges to live in Japan simply based on who they are related to? It seems inherently unfair to others who are refused visas to live in Japan because they don't meet the set criteria.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

It's ironic how the very party that is nationalistic by nature is pushing through a bill that will (for here) dramatically increase the number of foreign residents.

what's even more ironic is

In a last-minute effort to block its passage, the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and others submitted a no-confidence motion against Justice Minister Takashi Yamashita, who oversees the issue.

I thought the  Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan was supposed to be progressive. This tells me one thing: no one is progressive in this country. No one.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I foresee an uptick in international marriages.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It is ironic that the opposition leftist parties are more conservative about the law.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Technical interns could obtain the first type of status after completing their five-year terms, meaning they would not be able to live with their family members for up to 10 years in total.

utterly inhumane

The Japan Federation of Bar Associations has urged the government to review the plan so they could bring their family members to the country.

can they not sue the government for cruel and unusual punishment?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

CDP:  "Please stop singing!!  Your enka skills are atrocious!  Give me that mic!!"

LDP:  "No!!  It's my party and I'll sing if I want to!!"

S

3 ( +6 / -3 )

but will not allow their family members to accompany them.

The Japan Federation of Bar Associations has urged the government to review the plan so they could bring their family members to the country.

Why is this important? There are millions of young and single people in Asia who will come work in Japan (and perhaps even find a Japanese partner and start a family here). I don't understand why Japan should accommodate workers who insist on bringing their existing dependent spouses, children, or elderly parents and extended family (all of whom are likely to be non-Japanese speaking). Why not start with the young and unattached and only if we desperately need more people can we think about loosening the restrictions? People with dependents are disproportionately more likely to be a burden on the social welfare system, and the process of integration is not going to occur if people from ethnocentric cultures are easily able to import spouses from their home countries.

Also, this type of temporary and restrictive working visa is not something that is unique to Japan. A number of western countries offer a 'working holiday' visa which is essentially the same thing (but even more restrictive). It allows unskilled young people (only those under 30 or 35) to live and work in the country for 1 or 2 years. Many countries will not allow the visa holder to bring a dependent child or family member. It's essentially a way to offer everyone an equal chance to live and work in the country temporarily, but only the most motivated and integrated will succeed in being able to stay beyond the term of their original visa. It makes perfect sense to me.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Any posters who have visited Japan or even worked there will recognize his for what it is. A bunch of boys fooling around !

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The did the same thing in the 50-60's in Australia, only blue collar types allowed. These hard working people came in and became very successful people over the years. All of the independent fruit and veg stores are still mostly to be run by immigrants and they are mostly very well off. I hope the same happens in Japan.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

So... Is the guy on the photo trying to drink some booze, some kind of drug, a banana perhaps?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Japan needs better governance and better labour management, it also needs to cut down on shopping and consumerism as a main raison d'etre, there are better things in life than working hard to be able to waste hard.

Importing labour is a tool to keep the salaries down and make more profit for the corporations, there is a net loss to the society as a whole. While the part of the cost of foreign labor is born by the employers additional cost of administration and management of their stay in the country is paid by the taxpayers. In every country with hi number of foreign labourers there is multiple problems and increased unemployment and homelessness.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

For the second type, "the government does not plan to cap the number of Visa renewals, opening up the possibility for them to live permanently in the country." that's wave a carrot in front of their faces and then snatch it away at the last moment crushing their hopes and dreams

13 ( +13 / -0 )

We know several of those "technical interns" personally, what they really are as cheap construction labor, no disrespect to them who work very hard to support their families in other countries

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Just from the photo maturity and an adult debate just jump from the page. Reminds me of my school lunch being taken from me.

25 ( +25 / -0 )

Long story short--the LDP wants more foreigners who will continue to be mistreated and eventually shown the door.

saying it is "full of problems" as it appears it will be possible to change the system in any way later.

This part is unclear though--"impossible" maybe?

And the opposition, while no doubt fueled in part by xenophobia, also might have some genuine desire to improve the migrant workers' lot. Whether this is just cynical ploy to criticize the LDP and/or attract votes, I'm not sure. Probably both. As anyone who's spent any time here would attest, there is no demographic voting bloc interested in opening Japan to more foreign workers, full stop. If there were a viable 2nd party in Japan, I imagine the LDP wouldn't dare do this for fear of alienating the very conservative, xenophobic public it's cultivated for so many years.

21 ( +22 / -1 )

It's ironic how the very party that is nationalistic by nature is pushing through a bill that will (for here) dramatically increase the number of foreign residents.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

What a picture!

It almost gives the headline a real context...one that is painfully obvious to those who live here.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

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