Is Japan’s Immigration Policy Really Strict?
Hey guys, it’s Yuta, so people have this image that Japan has very very strict immigration policies. This is not completely unfounded, but it’s a little too simplistic and there’s also a lot of misconceptions. So today we’re gonna discuss Japan’s immigration policies in detail, and there’s no single definition of Immigrants that everybody can agree with, but today – We’re going to focus on foreign workers in Japan. First – Let’s check the numbers: As of October 2017 we have 1 million, two-hundred seventy-eight thousand, six hundred and seventy Foreign workers in Japan. And this is about 1% of the entire population. But within the working age population the number will be 1.6. Percent and the number is increasing. Compared to ten years ago, the number of foreign workers in Japan is more than double, and as for nationalities: the top ones are Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipinos, and Brazilians. And they account for 70% of Japan’s foreign workers. Now this is the main thing of this video. We are going to talk about their residency statuses. This is very important so pay attention. And the most important ones are: Family permit, Non-work permit, Technical intern training, and professional – or skilled work permit. And we’re going to talk about these one by one. Family permit is very simple. It’s basically permanent residents and foreign spouses With this you can pretty much get any type of job So there’s no restraints. This also includes long term residents, who are mostly Japanese descendants around the world For example: most Brazilians and Peruvians in Japan are actually second generation, third generation, fourth generation Japanese immigrants from those countries, and they get a special kind of residency status so that they can live and work in Japan Now, Non-work permit is basically mostly students, because foreign students in Japan are allowed to work a part-time job up to 28 hours per week For example: In Tokyo, You see a lot of Chinese people working at a convenience store, and they’re actually mostly students. The next categories are very very Important so stay focused. We are going to talk about professional or skilled work permit. Which is basically for High-skilled work. And the other one technical intern training – It’s basically for Low-skilled work, and these categories are very very different First: Skilled Permit this includes: professors, software engineers, researchers,… translators, project managers, doctors, school teachers… chefs, lawyers, executives, etc.. etc And also, English teachers. This is usually valid for one to five years And you can basically renew it as long as you are employed. There’s no annual quota for this work permit so as long as you are hired by a Japanese company you can probably get this permit. And this is the reason why it’s relatively easy to become an English teacher in Japan, and live for a long time. So, when it comes to “high skilled workers”, Japan’s immigration policy isn’t that strict and Japan wants more high-skilled workers so last year they made it easier to get permanent residency for some people. Now let’s talk about technical intern trainees, and this is where things get kind of shady. Trainees are supposedly people who come to Japan to learn some skills, so that they can bring back the skills to their home country but in reality This is often a way to hire cheap workers for the kind of jobs that Japanese people don’t want to work anymore. And this should sound familiar to you guys because it’s happening in many other countries and Japan is simply no exception. These jobs include: farming, fishing, Construction, and food production. Because those industries don’t have enough people and there is a specific category and description for each job, but since the original purpose of this program is to train people you can only stay in Japan for limited time and after that you cannot renew your visa, you just have to go back to your country. So, here’s the thing: Officially, Japan doesn’t want to hire foreigners for low-skilled jobs However, there’s many businesses who can’t find Japanese people anymore So they hire trainees and students as temporary foreign workers And they make up as much as forty-three full percent of foreign workers in Japan But the government insists that this is not immigration, because according to their definition Immigrants are ones who stay in Japan Permanently At the same time: the government seems to be trying to increase the number of trainees as the shortage exacerbates Just last year, they extended the maximum period from three years to five years, the truth is Japan is already relying on foreign workers in some areas And the demand will probably increase in the future. In some cases like the fishing industry in Hiroshima Prefecture, Fifty percent of young people are already foreign nationals But people speculate that the government doesn’t want to discuss temporary workers openly, because their support base is conservative Now you can imagine, there’s a lot of problems around this program, for example some companies literally exploit trainees, and there’s a lot of human rights issues. On the other hand, sometimes trainees can’t work as much as they want because of the restrictions. So, there’s so much to talk about this program But these issues are well documented in Japan, so if you are interested, you can find plenty of resources And in case you are a trainee and have some problems, I’ll put some contact information in the description Now, before I go, let’s talk about illegal immigrants because they do exist in Japan But the number isn’t that significant compared to other countries like the United States. In 2017, the number of overstay people in Japan was 65,270 and in Japan is pretty hard to just cross the border because it’s surrounded by the sea So I think that’s pretty much the number of illegal immigrants in Japan and this is about 0.05 percent of the population, and in the United States it’s like 3% of the population. So you can see the huge difference. Now let me tell you one thing, because I have the impression that many people think that Japan is a popular country and the only reason that we don’t have so many immigrants is Japan’s immigration policy, but that’s not necessarily the case there’s many other countries that need foreign workers, and they may have more attractive offers and less language barrier, So, Even if Japan wants more foreign workers, which by the way the current government clearly does it’s probably not going to be that easy And in the meantime, more and more companies are going bankrupt because they can’t hire enough people At the same time, a growing number of people are concerned about the consequences of mass immigration whether Japan will have more immigrants or fewer immigrants there will always be problems and Just like any other political issues There’s no perfect answer for everybody But there’s one thing that is very certain: if you want to work in Japan Speaking Japanese we’ll give you a huge advantage So if you want to learn Japanese with me, I can send you some free Japanese lessons by email. so click the link and subscribe to my email group Japanese with Yuta. Alright. See ya guys soon Ciao ciao!