Joe Tairei comments

Posted in: Looking at the global environment, Japan is lagging in attracting high-skilled and knowledgeable foreign human resources. See in context

@M3M3M3 - from another publication:

On the same day, Kishida visited the planned site of an international research and education organization that will be established in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, and said, “We want to make it a world-class center where outstanding researchers from Japan and abroad gather to conduct the world’s most advanced research."

I think he's talking about bringing in top technology people, not just cheap foreign workers (though how cheap can they be if they have to fly to Japan and live there?).

Personally, and speaking as a technology person, I'd love to work in Japan, but how to find a job, set up residency and find housing, deal with the language (I have taken a couple of years of Japanese in college but can't really speak more than a few words) and find something for my family to do would all be quite challenging. Then there's the little detail that tech jobs pay a lot more in the U.S., so moving to Japan for such work would be strictly a lifestyle choice and not a financially wise move.

I think in the long run, Japan needs to up its game and become more competitive in software versus the U.S. giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook etc., and then they will have more high paying jobs & start attracting top talent from overseas, likely mostly from China and other Asian areas.

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Posted in: Tokyo’s latest plan to boost birth rate: Pay people 100,000 yen per baby they give birth to See in context

Coming late to this conversation, and I'm just another gaijin observing Japan from abroad (Asian studies major but not a Japan expert).

Much has been written about Japan's plunging birth rates. Interestingly, Japan's neighbors are in a similar predicament. South Korea has an even lower birth rate; their government has launched a set of initiatives to encourage families, including 10 days of paternity leave (yeah it's a joke compared to Europe, but a start anyway), more subsidized day care, subsidized fertility treatments, etc.

Taiwan's birth rate has dropped precipitously in recent years, for some reason. When I was there in the early 1980s, they were experiencing a baby boom; young pregnant women everywhere, schools bursting with kids, population shooting up. Population was 18 million, and now it's about to peak at 24m, then go into decline, according to U.N. projections.

Mainland China's birth rate is crashing faster than predicted even 10 years ago. There are all sorts of explanations; a major problem is the one-child policy, which caused a couple of generations of single-child families, female infanticide and abandonment, and a lack of a sense of family among young people. What's worse, the government's sudden exhortation to have children is being poorly received; some people are saying they are abstaining from having a family, as a sign of defiance or resistance.

Japan is still a very rich country, full of very well educated and creative people, and one can expect them to come up with solutions to their demographic crisis, just as they have met other problems head-on in the past and dealt with them. Likely it will be a combination of subsidized day care, partnership with employers to accommodate pregnancy e.g. work-from-home and in-office child care, subsidized fertility treatments, tax incentives, and most important of all, find a way to reignite the mighty economic engine that put Japan on top of the world back in the 1980s.

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