Japan’s plan to hire more foreign workers met with protests

Proposed measures to mitigate problems of Japan's ageing population have not gone down well with some locals.
By: | October 18, 2018


A group that calls itself Japan First has strongly opposed the Japanese government’s plan to invite more foreign workers into the country to address a labour shortage.

At least 100 members of the group marched through Tokyo’s upmarket Ginza shopping district demanding the withdrawal of the plan.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier announced the government’s intention to invite as many as 500,000 foreign workers to fill vacancies in sectors worst hit by Japan’s shrinking and ageing population.

Local media, including Kyodo News, reported that this would represent a 40% increase over the 1.3 million foreign workers in the country.

As of April 2018, some 1.7% of Japan’s population are foreigners – half of South Korea’s 3.4%, and much less than the 12% in Germany.

Considering Japan is one of the world’s oldest and most homogeneous societies, if the planned legislation is passed, it would amount to its most dramatic immigration overhaul since the 1990s.