On Monday, the Japan International Cooperation Agency announced the establishment of an institution to provide better support for migrant workers in the Asian country as part of its goal of fixing the social issues they meet by 2030. The organization, named the Japan Platform for Migrant Workers toward a Responsible and Inclusive Society, has been established with the Global Alliance for Sustainable Supply Chains, a non-governmental foundation for human rights.
As reported by the local Kyodo news agency, during the inauguration ceremony held on Monday in Tokyo, keynote speeches were given by journalist Akira Ikegami and Phi Hoa, the CEO of One-Value Inc., a company providing employment assistance for Vietnamese and other foreign workers. The journalists discussed today Japan’s acceptance of foreign workers and the perspective of the Vietnamese community.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency on Monday launched an organization to provide better support for foreign workers in Japan as part of its goal of resolving the societal issues they face by 2030. (via @kyodo_english) #JICAhttps://t.co/7kWvIrnt1y pic.twitter.com/OxUTYuiXBa— JUMProgram (@JUMProgram) November 16, 2020
“If Japan doesn’t improve its appeal, highly-skilled workers won’t come,” Hoa affirmed, talking about barriers such as the “closed” and rigid nature of Japanese society. The new body will try to make Japan a more attractive destination for foreigners, amid the country’s acute labor lack by increasing communication, proposing actions for reform, and carrying information about Japan internally and overseas.
Formally organized with an advisory group, it has 41 company members, such as Seven & I Holdings Co. and SoftBank Corp., and 12 individuals as of November 12. According to the NGO’s action plan, it will operate as a voluntary association in the next two years as it selects members and facilitates discussion on different subjects. It intends to produce concrete outcomes from 2023, with the aim of resolving all human rights and social matters faced by migrant workers in Japan by 2030.
Toshihiro Manju, managing director and chief program officer at the Japan Center for International Exchange
The ceremony wrapped up with a one-hour panel discussion on procedures that should be taken to make Japan more attractive for foreign workers, whose number totalled some 1.66 million as of January 2020. Directed by Miwa Yamada, a director at the Japan External Trade Organization’s Institute of Developing Economies, speakers included Yumi Otsuka, deputy chief sustainability officer of Toyota Motor Corp., and Toshihiro Manju, managing director and chief program officer at the Japan Center for International Exchange.
Manju explained that there are several visions from companies, local governments, and NGOs. But if strangers aren’t working, Japan can’t function. He expressed his gratitude for this platform, that helps to think of a win-win way to enable foreigners to settle and work in the Country.