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Do you think Japan should allow immigration by unskilled workers?

35 Comments
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Unskilled is a poor choice of words. Virtually everyone is skilled in some way. Ultimately though unless there is a nation change of attitude towards having children then allowing "unskilled immigration" is a necessity. Perhaps not today, but it will become so.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

I agree@Miyagi. Use of "unskilled" begs a negative reply. Some jobs don't require special skills and reasonably intelligent and motivated workers can be trained for others. In fact these "unskilled" workers are more easily able to find work in different fields than can a skilled worker whose occupational specialty dries up due to changes in technology -- like a telex operator for instance.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

As long as they are coming on their own and nit subjected to high middle man fees, and having their passports taken.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

No.

Just make it easier for skilled workers.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Don't make the same mistake like the US and EU!

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

I don't know. Japan obviously needs skilled nurses big time. Would allowing the unskilled workers somehow facilitate that?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Surely the work visa with a Uni degree would weed out the unskilled?

I can visit Japan as often as I like, spend my money freely and add to the chancellor's taxes, etc... however, even though I have many years in the admin field I can't get a working visa because I never went to Uni. Does that mean I'm unskilled?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@Thunderbird

Of course you're skilled. But the bureaucrats who hand out the visas won't recognise the fact. Qualifications are the be all and end all of life for some people....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Plenty of "unskilled " foreign workers here already, club workers, massage therapists, and the like.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Tough question to answer. If you allow a large number workers into Japan... skilled or unskilled, you're opening the door to possible racial and cultural issues in the future. If you do not allow workers into Japan, based on current projections, Japan's overall population will decline drastically. Which would mean that the price of real estate will probably continue to drop in all but the most central parts of large cities. In addition there will be no real economic growth for the next 30 to 40 years. Manufacturers and importers will be vying to sell to fewer and fewer people. My feeling is that the Japanese people and Government would rather stay homogenous as much as possible.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

They're ALREADY doing it...the slave labor force under the guise of Work Force Training.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The reason they should allow it is because of the social impact the unskilled ones gives the society, THEY may not be good in many things but I think that it is essential to accept people as who they are. THE GOLDEN RULE!! Japan is for the mostly a free country. And for example after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki events, many women borned UNSKILLED childs, but Japan would never have abandoned those. So it is equal for everyone, no ONE is worth more than others!!! And I think that Japan have a steadly growing problem for understanding this issue!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan already has lots of marginally skilled workers (look at the Diet and just about every post-war PM) and millions of underemployed. And, for the four billionth time, there are tens of millions of stay-at-home mothers or live-at-home 20-something women who, given a decent opportunity in a society that was not stuck in the 1950s with regard to work attitudes, could add handsomely to the nation's GDP.

8 ( +7 / -0 )

@ Jeff... actually you're 100% correct. Why would Japan need unskilled workers when there are so many workers working part time or not at all. Japan should be more focused on training programs not unskilled immigration.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

danalawton1@yahoo.com Nov. 25, 2014 - 03:21AM JST Why would Japan need unskilled workers when there are so many workers working part time or not at all.

Problem with Japan is that there are shortage of affordable day care facilities. The companies really have to change their corporate culture to allow diverse working styles so that mothers can keep jobs. Japan needs to increase the number of day care centers so women can work after having children. At the same time, they need to have maternity leave extended. But your talking about Japan. Increase in immigration or affordable day care centers will not happen.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Thunderbird2

I can visit Japan as often as I like, spend my money freely and add to the chancellor's taxes, etc... however, even though I have many years in the admin field I can't get a working visa because I never went to Uni. Does that mean I'm unskilled?

Actually you don't specifically need a uni degree to get a work visa. You just need x years of relevant work experience (I think x is 7?) and someone to sponsor you. Not so difficult, really.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Everyone have some skill, So find it and utilize it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You just need x years of relevant work experience (I think x is 7?)

It depends on the field. We've hired foreign staff who didn't go to university, and they required 10 years of relevant work experience. I've heard its 3 years for other fields (ESL teachers is who I heard that about).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Increasing immigration does not address the underlying problems which are causing the decline of the Japanese population. As I said in another post, if your bathtub is leaking, what do you do, keep adding water, or fix the leak?

Japan's dercreasing population is caused by Japan's economic environment, mainly the high cost of living. Your average Japanese (politicians not included) understands basic math. He or she can look at his or her present and future salary, and then subtract the cost of raising and educating a child. The amount left over is often too small for your average Japanese household with an average pre-tax income of 4.5 million yen, especially as yen devaluation and a heavier tax burden further drive up costs, and evaporate disposable income. What's more, even those who can afford to have children don't have much optimism for the future, and don't want to bring up children in such an environment.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

It depends on the field. We've hired foreign staff who didn't go to university, and they required 10 years of relevant work experience. I've heard its 3 years for other fields (ESL teachers is who I heard that about).

Ah, OK. I know we've had people transfer here for a year or two without uni degrees - they had a few years experience (maybe 2-3 at the most). But they were on the intracompany transfer visa so the requirements are probably different.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I know we've had people transfer here for a year or two without uni degrees - they had a few years experience (maybe 2-3 at the most). But they were on the intracompany transfer visa so the requirements are probably different.

Yeah, the requirements are different, but I'm not so clear on the intra-company transfer visa. We don't have overseas offices from which to transfer someone!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

By "unskilled", do you mean English teachers? I thought we had enough already ;-)

Seriously though, yes,depending on the work.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

It is not their skill that's matter , but their personalities. Only good natured people who are not anti-Japan, who do not dictate how Japan should behave.

-7 ( +3 / -11 )

sensei258NOV. 24, 2014 - 10:59PM JST Plenty of "unskilled " foreign workers here already, club workers, massage therapists, and the like.

True, many unskilled workers are already working here in Japan. Most are Brazillians, Chinese, Koreans, and Filipinos. Many came here in Japan because they got Japanese blood but don't have any high -level skills or have any college education.

Sadly, most of them find it hard to conform with the Japanese soceity, instead, they keep on pushing their own culture, which isn't bad, but they often reject the Japanese way of living. It comes from my own experience, delinquent people keep on arguing on things like tattoos, proper disposal of garbage, greetings etc etc. It's a tough place for foreigners not to abide Japanese customs and laws.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I would say no if we were talking about same kind of immigration that has filled up countries in Europe, abusing of their rights, hating the 'western society', mastering the tricks of living on benefits, trying to impose their religion over the natives and not mixing to the local culture, I would say NO. I don't want to see any 'Sharia patrol' in the streets here, like its happening in Germany, nor having 'Sharia law controlled areas' in my city like its happening in London and other cities across the UK.

But if you mean an intelligent person willing to work hard and earn experience, who is interested in learning the language and willing to adapt and participate of this Japanese society, I say: Why not?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Absolutely not. Only selective immigration is the way to go. Unskilled immigration is backed by the faulty logic that the unskilled will somehow become skilled in what the country needs, nurses, engineers ect. Okinawa proves that unskilled immigrants remain unskilled.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

For sure, I have yet to see a robot bathing an elderly patient in a hospital here but as the elderly shoot up in number this is exactly what is needed. The young Japanese are not likely to see elderly care as a bright career so the only answer is to employ immigrants.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

For what purpose? Hotel labor? Stoop labor in the rice fields? Dock workers? For what purposes would Japan want to bring in or allow "unskilled" workers. That is the primary question that needs answering before this overly generic one.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There really is no other way to make up the shortfall of the decliniing labor force. There simply aren't enough people either skilled or unskilled to keep the country going in the future. There will definitely be problems with doing this-but it is unavoidable. However much people think more automated technologies will help alleviate the problem it still will not compensate for the shortage of workers. Japan faces a challenge-and to a large extent-the prospect of a being a more multi-cultural country forced on it in the future. There really is no other way around it. Shouldn't have had such large families 40 or 50 years ago-because now that demographic is very top heavy-and the only way to do it is to import labor-thus creating a dilution of the homogeneity that Japanese politicains and rhetoricians are raving on about all the time. (Serves them right in a way).

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

How about allowing a Japanese citizen who has a USA Registered Nurse license and who is bi-lingual English/Japanese to return home and work in a hospital where English speakers are patients? Apparently, this is not possible, thus leaving English speaking patients to rely on nurses who have very limited English skills or mobile translators. Perhaps it is possible to return and work, but at this time Japan seems more interested in unskilled and less educated medical help.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Only if they are described as trainees. However, it should not be necessary to pay them minimum wage or train the to do anything more difficult than packing fish, a process so difficult that it may take years to learn.

That is the current situation. Does anyone see any need to change it?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To do what? Make a new underclass that is even beneath the underpaid current underclass?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

During 80s bubble era, there were tons of "unskilled" laborers, and there wasn't much trouble. When I was 8 or 9, I remember going to "Little Iran" in Yoyogi Park, where the tens of thousands of Iranian workers gathered and made and sold Iranian food and other goods. I've always wanted to go to Iran. They had a good time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm pretty sure when they say "unskilled workers", they're talking about blue collar workers such as those in the construction or farming. There's a severe shortage of those type of workers and stay-at-home moms are not gonna fill it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ever since the Meiji era Japan has been wise enough to learn from other countries. The disastrous consequences of uncontrolled immigration from hostile, unassimilable cultures should ensure that this country will avoid the calamitous mistake made by European countries.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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