Japan's plans to allow more foreign workers is not welcomed by all
- 3 weeks ago
Japan’s passing of its controversial law allowing more foreigner workers to enter the country has not been taken with such open arms as many would think.
While PM Shinzo Abe believes it is necessary, “The entire country is short of workers and the new system is needed for talented foreigners to further contribute to Japan,” adding that the situation “requires immediate attention.”
Regardless of the fact that Japan’s unemployment rate is at its lowest for 25 years there is a ratio of 160 jobs available for every 100 individuals seeking work.
Mr. Abe’s popularity has taken a further hit as it fell by 4% to 37% due to the largely opposed legislation.
With that being said the government has set up additional assistance for foreign workers as they integrate within Japanese society, which has been tried before in 1993 when an internship programme to help people from developing countries was launched.
However, it had negative results as companies exploited loopholes to pay less than the minimum wage and unacceptable working and living conditions which led to 22 deaths linked to work-related accidents between 2014 and 2016.
The new measures aim to eradicate those problems, providing a happier environment for foreign workers which would also lead to less friction with their Japanese counterparts.
One would assume that would be the case, however, Kosuke Oie, a member of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations’ committee feels cautious about it as he stated, “It is good that the government is setting up consultation centres and will help foreign workers to open bank accounts and so on, but we want them to do more to protect the rights of people in their workplaces and in broader Japanese society.”
Meanwhile, political analyst Jun Okumura, has a more optimistic outlook, “There are people who are going to be frightened of foreigners talking in different languages, being a little louder than Japanese normally are and forgetting to put the right rubbish out on the correct day, but the government is trying to focus on the positives and I think we should too.”
“The government may not have spun this issue quite as positively as it could have done and that has fed into the negative feelings in the media and among ordinary people who fear foreigners in their midst, but I believe these are going to be hard-working people who want to come here to earn some money for their families and their futures, not the sort who are going to rape our women and kill our taxi drivers.”
The 55% whom voted against the passing of the legislation has expressed concerns as they point to the struggles EU countries have had failing to control mass immigration along with the threat of extremism and other security issues which could threaten Japan’s society.
Source: Smart Trend Team