Immigrationissues in JapanAlthough Japanlags far behind Europe and North America in accepting foreign workers,according to data collected by the Japanese government, there are currently 2million foreigners in Japan and 30% of them are permanent residents. Althoughthe Japanese government retains an outward position that does not acceptlow-labor occupations, it considers adopting a more positive attitude towardsaccepting foreign workers required by the construction industry. However, Japanis likely to soon violate its policy of safeguarding its own contradictions andwill at the same time expand the growth of foreign labor. In the last few daysbefore the bubble economy burst in 1993, Japan still relied on foreign labor andthe Japanese government launched the “Foreign Training Program”(Satoshi, 2008). Although it is said that the system was designed to supportforeigners’ access to technology and know-how in Japan’s advanced technologies,it is actually used to compensate for Japan’s unskilled labor shortage(Satoshi, 2008).In developedcountries where immigrants such as the EU and North America play an importantrole, the acceptance of foreign workers has become a topic of increasingcontroversy. A number of examples have pointed out the challenge of creating amulticultural society, which illustrates the importance of starting discussionson Japan’s acceptance of foreign workers.

In Germany, for example, varioussocial issues related to immigration have taken shape. The German example showsthat avoiding face-to-face communication with immigration issues is essentiallythe cause of this problem. Lack of policies may be a factor in the developmentof immigration and labor issues and also a growing problem. In talking about theseissues, Japan has a lot to learn from the experiences of other countries.In the case ofhighly skilled workers, the competition among advanced countries is gettingmore and more intense, in order to obtain more such people. One of theunfortunate consequences of this competition is the loss of talent in countriesof origin when technical professionals such as doctors, nurses and teachersmigrate.

This will lead to the deterioration of social infrastructure andadversely affect the supply of local skilled workers. One way to avoid this isto accept skilled workers from advanced countries to train workers in thecountries in which they work. For Japan, which has a weak competitiveness inattracting highly skilled workforce, it is necessary to put forward a policy oftraining qualified personnel and ask them to go to work.As the Japanesegovernment is not willing to invite multinational migrant workers to enterChina, companies have to find new ways to find workers. As a result, manyforeigners have participated in a training internship program, an effectivethree-year work permit, a source of cheap labor, and eventually work underharsh conditions.


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