Japan may lift indefinite ban on blue-collar foreign personnel

Japan is now taking a decision that will bring a significant shift in the labor market favorably

Japan is now taking a decision that will bring a significant shift in the labor market favorably

Japan Japan – Facing a labor shortage, Japan is now taking a decision that will bring a significant shift in the labor market favorably. Japan is considering to allow certain blue collar foreign professionals to stay indefinitely in the country starting around early 2022. The announcement was made on Thursday by Ministry of Justice.

According to a law that was imposed in 2019, “specified skill workers” in 14 sectors including farming, sanitation and construction were allowed to stay for a maximum period of five years, sans family members. Government has since been contemplating easing those restrictions which have been said to be reason for companies not hiring such workers. The 2019 law was aimed to attract about 345,000 “specified skilled workers” for five years. Intake, before the pandemic struck, hovered to approximately 3,000 workers being taken in per month.

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If the government of Japan progresses to pass the revision of this law, it would be a good news for blue collar workers, hailing mainly from China and Vietnam. These workers would then be able to renew their visas for an indefinite period of time and also bring their families along just as permitted for other skilled workers.

Acute labor shortage has pressured Japan open its doors to foreign skilled workers. This is a significant shift in the country that taboos immigration and prefers internal labor. Aging population is another reason for this shift. “As the shrinking population becomes a more serious problem and if Japan wants to be seen as a good option for overseas workers, it needs to communicate that it has the proper structure in place to welcome them,” said Toshihiro Menju, managing director of think-tank Japan Center for International Exchange. Top government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno has, however, stressed that this new law revision would not imply getting an automatic permanent residency for these workers. They would require a separate application process to receive the PR.

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