Ja­pan un­veils plan to at­tract more for­eign work­ers

With Ja­pan’s pop­u­la­tion ag­ing and shrink­ing, for­eign na­tion­als with skills in fields iden­ti­fied as fac­ing short­ages would be awarded a visa al­low­ing them to work for up to five years ac­cord­ing to the draft leg­is­la­tion

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Business -

JA­PAN on Fri­day un­veiled a plan to at­tract more for­eign blue-col­lar work­ers, as the world’s num­ber-three econ­omy bat­tles a crip­pling la­bor short­age caused by an age­ing and shrink­ing pop­u­la­tion. The plan re­port­edly aims to fill gap­ing short­ages in sec­tors such as agri­cul­ture, nurs­ing, con­struc­tion, ho­tels and ship­build­ing. Un­der the draft leg­is­la­tion, for­eign na­tion­als with skills in fields iden­ti­fied as fac­ing short­ages would be awarded a visa al­low­ing them to work for up to five years. For­eign work­ers in those fields who hold stronger qual­i­fi­ca­tions and pass a Ja­pa­nese lan­guage test will also be al­lowed to bring fam­ily mem­bers and can ob­tain twice as many as a decade ago.

But more than 450,000 of those are for­eign spouses of Ja­pa­nese cit­i­zens, eth­nic Kore­ans long set­tled in Ja­pan, or for­eign­ers of Ja­pa­nese de­scent, rather than work­ers com­ing to Ja­pan to seek jobs. A fur­ther 300,000 are stu­dents, who are al­lowed to work part-time dur­ing their stud­ies but are ex­pected to re­turn home af­ter­wards.

Ja­pan had fewer than 240,000 for­eign skilled work­ers and just over 250,000 for­eign trainees in the coun­try in late 2017, ac­cord­ing to govern­ment fig­ures. It has bi­lat­eral deals ad­mit­ting limited num­bers of nurses and care work­ers from other parts of Asia.

For­eign work­ers work at a de­mo­li­tion site in Chiba east of Tokyo.

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