Japan To Bring In More Foreign Labour As Workforce Shrinks
Japan announced Friday plans to ease immigration restrictions and bring in more foreign workers to tackle a serious labour shortage caused by the country's ageing, shrinking population.
Tokyo, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News, app - 15th Jun, 2018 ) :Japan announced Friday plans to ease immigration restrictions and bring in more foreign workers to tackle a serious labour shortage caused by the country's ageing, shrinking population.
"Labour shortages have become more acute," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters.
"It is necessary to create a mechanism to broadly accept foreign personnel who are work-ready with certain expertise and skills," Suga said, adding that the government plans to "quickly" draw up new bills to revise immigration law.
"Japanese society will not rely heavily on foreign immigrants," a cabinet office official told AFP before the policy was announced.
The policy is expected to target sectors that have been worst affected by the country's labour shortage including agriculture, nursing, construction, hotels and shipbuilding, according to local media.
It requires workers to demonstrate some Japanese language skills but the level required would vary by sector.
Those workers would be able to stay for up to five years and only certain skilled workers would be permitted to bring family members with them.
But businesses have long lobbied for looser rules, saying they struggle to find workers in a country where unemployment hovers around 2.5 percent and there are 159 job offers to every 100 job seekers.
Hiroaki Nakanishi, head of the influential Keidanren business lobby, told reporters earlier this week that the policy was about more than addressing labour shortages.
"Increasing diversity is inevitable for improving Japan's industrial competitiveness and research and academic levels," he said.
Facing an ageing population and a declining birth rate, Abe's government has tried to get more women and elderly people into the workforce, but economists say those measures alone may be insufficient.
Another nearly 300,000 are students, who are allowed to work part-time during their studies but are expected to return home afterwards.