Shrink­ing Ja­pan OKs bill for more for­eign la­bor

Arab News - - Business News -

Ja­pan is set to ap­prove leg­is­la­tion that would of­fi­cially open the door to for­eign work­ers to do un­skilled jobs and pos­si­bly even­tu­ally be­come cit­i­zens.

Law­mak­ers were due to vote late on Fri­day on a gov­ern­ment pro­posal to al­low hun­dreds of thou­sands of for­eign la­bor­ers to live and work in a coun­try that has long re­sisted ac­cept­ing out­siders. It is seen as an un­avoid­able step as the coun­try’s pop­u­la­tion rapidly ages and shrinks. Many short-handed in­dus­tries, es­pe­cially in the ser­vices sec­tor, al­ready rely heav­ily on for­eign “trainees” and lan­guage stu­dents. The coun­try also se­lec­tively grants visas to white-col­lar pro­fes­sion­als, of­ten from the West.

The gov­ern­ment tried to meet la­bor short­ages by en­cour­ag­ing more em­ploy­ment of women and older work­ers and us­ing robots and other au­to­ma­tion.

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