Japan failing to attract skilled immigrants

The Japanese government has so far failed in its attempt to attract more highly skilled immigrants into the country, according to a report in the Japan Daily Press.

Japanese Immigration Programme

Japan by Night

A year ago the country’s government introduced a points-based high skilled immigration system designed to attract IT and technology engineers, along with researchers and executives to work in Japan and fill gaps in the workforce while strengthening the international standards of the companies. The points system was similar to the ones already used in popular immigrant countries such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand, awarding points through a whole range of factors, including an applicant’s age, salary and education.

It was hoped that the new programme would see around 2,000 highly skilled newcomers arrive in Japan a year, but yesterday it was revealed that just 434 arrived in the first 12 months of the programme.

According to the Japan Daily Press, in addition to the country’s struggling economy, one of the main reasons for the programme’s failure to attract the desired number of immigrants lies in the system’s high salary expectations. While the programme offers a number of appealing benefits for immigrants who emigrate through it, such as full childcare support and permission for expats to invite their parents to visit Japan, they need to be earning a salary of between US$99,000 and US$148,000 to qualify for the benefits.

The JDP stated that Japan is “one of the slowest countries to implement policies to attract foreign professionals.”