Up to 340,000 foreign workers likely to enter Japan in five years
Under a new visa system introduced by the Japanese government, up to 340,000 foreign workers are reportedly expected to enter Japan in the five years beginning April 2019, according to government sources.
These foreign workers are intended to help address a chronic labour shortage of about up to 1.35 million predicted over a five-year period. The government is expected to officially announce the figures this week.
It follows the approval by the Japanese cabinet of a bill that seeks to bring more blue-collar foreign workers into the country to address the labour crunch.
The bill will create a new visa status for foreign workers in varying sectors projected to be short of labour.
Businesses in Japan have long lobbied for looser immigration rules, arguing that they are struggling to find workers in the country.
Government data shows that the number of foreign workers in Japan hit 1.28 million as of October last year, up from 680,000 in 2012.