Japan eases immigration rules for workers
apply for residency.
The opposition has argued that an influx of foreign workers would depress wages and lead to exploitation of migrant labor.
The BBC’S Rupert Wingfield-hayes in Tokyo said the current program of “technical training” for low-skilled foreign workers is open to abuse by unscrupulous employers.
Businesses in Japan have long argued for changes to immigration rules to recruit workers from other countries.
But Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has stressed the proposed law is not an overhaul of immigration policy and Japan will only accept foreigners “who have specific skills and can work immediately to address serious labor shortages, only in sectors that genuinely need them.”
Japan’s fertility rate dropped below 2.1 childbirths per woman – replacement level – in the 1970s and now stands at around 1.4. The country also has one of the world’s longest life expectancies (85.5).