Despite pressure from the tight labor market Japanese companies are resisting hiring foreign skilled labor even after incentives passed by the Abe administration.
In a poll conducted by Reuters in May, only one in four companies said they were planning to take full advantage of the new immigration scheme while another one in three companies said they wanted to hire some foreigners. More than 40 percent said they had no interest in the scheme.
Japanese attitudes on immigration pose a contradiction, as birth rates are dwindling
on the one hand but many in the nation of 127 million are still wary of introducing the foreign personnel the country urgently needs. The new immigration law, which went into effect in April, is looking to attract up to 345,000 blue-collar workers to Japan by loosening visa regulations in 14 sectors including construction and nursing.
Companies said they had doubts about the language abilities, cultural gap and non-permanent status of foreign hires, but at the same time few said they were planning on offering provisions like language classes, cultural skills training or other help with settling into life in Japan for newcomers.