Japan is a country slowly opening up to foreign workers but has increased its efforts to attract them in the past couple of years. The country, which has a rapidly aging population
, is increasingly feeling the need to bring in foreign talent and workers.
Immigrants, mainly from developing Asian countries, but also from the West, have been coming to Japan in larger number for some years. Since 2014, the number of foreigners working in Japan has nearly doubled, according to data by MHLW Japan
(link in Japanese). In April 2018, the Japanese government revised immigration and refugee recognition laws with the aim of accepting an additional 340,000 workers to the country, with some special measures to attract nurses, restaurant workers and also laborers. In December Prime Minister Shinzo Abe und his cabinet adopted measures to foster the coexistence of Japanese and foreign nationals with a price tag of US$55.3 million. It appears the country is indeed serious about a more multicultural future.
Still, the measures adopted haven’t been free of controversy and have even led to kerfuffles during parliamentary debates. Right-wing supporters of the Japanese president slammed the reform saying it would bring in crime and destroy the homogenous Japanese society.