Abe government welcomes in its policy package of June an entry of new, foreign
human resources, proclaiming creation of new kinds of visa status. It held ‘ministerial
meetings to discuss entry norms and support schemes’ in July, and from April
2019 it will receive a bigger number of foreign workers.
URGENT TASK - TO SET UP SYSTEM TO ASSURE HUMAN RIGHTS
Numerous Foreign Workers
Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare announced January 26 this year a report
on Official Registration of Employment of Foreign Workers (as of October-end
2017). According to the descriptions, the number of foreign workers accounts
1,278,670, which is an increase by 194,901, or 18.0%, compared with the figures
of the previous year. The record is the history-highest.
look at from the visa status in the numerical order. In total 459 thousand of foreign
residents have the civil status (permanent residents and Japanese-origin
Brazilians and Peruvians), 297 thousand are engaged in activities beyond his/her
original visa status (part-time jobs of foreign students), 258 thousand are
technical trainees, 238 thousand have the status of professionals and engineers
and 26 thousand have the status of specific activities.
the point of countries they are: 372 thousand of Chinese, which occupies 29.1%,
240 thousand of Vietnamese, 18.8%, 147 thousand of Filipinos, 11.5%, and 117
thousand of Brazilians, occupying 9.2% in the numerical order. Looking at
increases from the previous year, the highest is 39.7% in the case of
Vietnamese and 31% of Nepalese.
Shortage is Main Reason
Japanese governments have not welcomed as a rule foreign workers engaged in
simple jobs, but the current administration will open doors to workers in five industries
with a new visa status; agriculture, elderly care, construction, hotel accommodation
and ship building.
the elderly care, approximately 3 thousand workers from Southeast Asian countries
entered in Japan
during 2008 and 2017 in accordance with the EPAs (Economic Partnership
Agreements). These workers were certified in November last year with the new status
of technical training schemes.
to labor shortage in this sector the official targets set for special nursery
houses for the elderly have been accomplished to 70 % for the past three years.
The situation is serious.
other areas, too, labor shortage is rampant due to the social phenomenon of declination
of birthrate and aging population. The situation is critical in the fields of hard,
dirty and dangerous labor and workplaces of simple jobs. Thus, the government
has decided to create new kinds of visa status to flow in more foreign workers.
to a report issued by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, called ‘Control,
Guidance and Police Investigation of Companies Employing Foreign Technical
Trainees in 2017’, 4,226 of 5,966 companies, which is 70.8%, were found to have
violated the Labor Standard Law and other related acts.
violations include: for working hours, the figure occupies 26.2%, for safety norms,
19.7%, and for additional pay for overwork, the violation occupies 15.8%. The
technical training schemes are regarded as international contributions that may
encourage technology transfer and help training workers, locomotives of economic
development of developing nations. In fact, however, employers enjoy cheap
labor, while foreign workers are abused.
of Human Rights
government will propose a bill to reform the Immigration Control Law during the
Extraordinary Session of the Diet in autumn. A bill aims to raise the rank of Immigration
Control Bureau to the Immigration Control Agency. Though the government tells ‘not
to admit immigrants’, it will allow employers to use young foreign workers for five
years (up to ten years after renewal). That means businesses may exploit and throw
them away freely at any time.
vital point lies in preparing for conditions that may guarantee human rights of