Japan will be welcoming more foreign workers

For all you guys who have always wanted a taste of working in Japan, you’re in luck... ish. We all know that gaining residency in Japan has always been quite difficult, but this week the Japanese government has passed a new law that allows more than 345,000 low-skilled workers into the country for the first five years with hopes to help the labor shortages in Japan.

(Image from Japan Today)

From April next year and onwards, foreigners will then be allowed to take up jobs in more hands-on sectors, such as construction, farming, nursing, and 11 more sectors. In this new visa system, there will be two resident statuses created– No.1 type is for people who want to work in lower-skill spaces where only a minimum level of knowledge and experience is required, and the No. 2 type for workers who require higher-level skills. No. 1 is valid for up to five years, with many having to pass Japanese-language and technical exams. No. 2 type visa is a little harder, with the exams being more advanced, as the government has only restricted it to construction and shipbuilding fields.

With the growing elderly population, the Japanese government has had a continued discussion about whether or not Japan should reach out for more foreign workers to make up for the unbalanced workforce. Opposing perspectives have maintained a traditional take on the dispute, many of which are saying that it could post risks and expose newcomers to exploitation. Some have also gone out of their way to refute this law outwardly, saying that the act of accepting more immigrants would break down Japan’s singular nation.

(Image from Fox News)

Many are also wondering whether Japan is really even ready to take on such a major change– if we reflect on the already poor treatment of foreign workers as part of Japan’s technical intern program, it seems like another way that Japanese companies can reap the benefits from workers from developing country’s skill with cheap labor.

But more than anything, the creation of this law itself shows how much Japan is lacking in manpower, putting emphasis on the severity of workers in these categories.

(Image from Asia Nikkei)

Since the passing of this new Visa law, a Tokyo Firm called One Visa Inc., which supports online visa applications have come out with plans to launch services for foreigners hoping to come to Japan under this new visa category. Working alongside Kansai University and Seven Bank, One Visa Inc. will help prospective foreign workers with settling into society through activities like helping foreigners receive a standard Japanese language education and how to open a bank account upon arriving in Japan. So if you've always wanted to work in Japan and are particularly interested in working in these sectors, then this might be a possibility for you. Otherwise, the ordinary Working Visa is still a viable option for you!

(Sources: Japan Times 1, Japan Times 2, Qruis)

Elise Meng