Japan looking to welcome more foreign workers

The Japanese Government has stated that it will look to increase the number of skilled and unskilled foreign workers allowed to work in the country.

The Ministry of Justice yesterday announced details of a new immigration plan – the fifth since 1992 – that will make it easier for companies to bring non-native workers to Japan and to train them if they are lacking in requisite skills.

Japan is currently facing severe labour shortages in a number of industries due to an ageing population – shortages which are being heightened due to the growing demand caused by the work needed to be completed during the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

On accepting workers with specialised knowledge and skills, the ministry says that it will “appropriately respond when fresh needs arise” and will “consider from a broad range of perspectives” accommodating foreigners who do not fit in under the existing categories for visa residency status or landing permits.

The plan adds that “it is high time that full consideration was given” to more general acceptance of foreign nationals including those for simple labour.

The new immigration plan also includes a new category for refugee recognition while envisioning more security measures to stop terrorists from entering the country.

More details of the plan are set to be fleshed out by the Ministry of Justice over the coming months.