Japan wants to attract 820,000 immigrant workers over the next five years, double the previous quota, at a time when the need for qualified labor for different sectors of the economy is increasing.

This number was presented within the scope of the government’s skilled labor program for the period starting next April and ending in March 2029, aimed at foreign workers with specialized training and knowledge of the Japanese language.

The new contingent was approved, on Wednesday, by the working group of the Liberal Democratic Party (PLD, in power), which, despite maintaining a very conservative public position regarding immigration, it has been increasing in recent years the quotas allowed for the entry of foreign workers in specific sectors.

This is a attempt to resolve labor shortages which affects multiple sectors of the Japanese economy, from healthcare and elderly care to agriculture, construction, automobiles and semiconductors.


The shortage of workers particularly affects rural areas and areas far from the country’s main metropolitan areas, due to Japan’s rapid demographic decline and aging and the population’s tendency to concentrate in large cities.

However, other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including South Korea and Australia, are also seeking to attract qualified workers, leaving the Japan at a disadvantage due to a devalued currency (yen) and uncompetitive wages.

The Japanese Government had set a maximum quota of 345,000 immigrants to participate in the skilled foreign worker program, launched between 2019 and this year, but only managed to recruit 200 thousandaccording to official data.

In October, the number of resident foreign workers exceeded two million for the first time in Japan, which has been recording annual highs in the population of foreign employees since 2013.

The number is 12.4% higher than that recorded in the previous year. The main country of origin for foreign workers residing in Japan is Vietnam, followed by China, the Philippines and Nepal.

Source: https://observador.pt/2024/03/07/japao-quer-atrair-820-mil-trabalhadores-qualificados-estrangeiros-nos-proximos-cinco-anos/

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