Japan will accept approximately 40,000 workers in the first year of implementation of the “Specified Skills” residency visa status, to ameliorate labor shortages in fourteen designated industries.
The draft amendment to the Immigration Control Act was approved by the Cabinet on November 2nd and will be implemented in April 2019, but prior to today, the government had not clarified the exact number of workers targeted for acceptance in the near term.
With such a large influx of new workers coming to Japan starting in 2019, lawmakers, industry representatives, and observers have pointed out a number of potential issues and problems related to implementation of the new visa statuses (please see “Potential Issues” below).
In the original announcement, in May of this year, a target number of href=”https://resources.realestate.co.jp/news/japan-to-open-doors-to-500000-new-workers-by-2025-to-alleviate-labor-shortage/”>500,000 new workers by 2025 had been reported.
The number of foreign workers in Japan hit a record of 1.28 million in October 2017. If it is fully implemented by 2025, the new visa regime would increase this number by thirty-nine percent.
Essentially, the new policy recognizes that the Japanese economy faces severe labor shortages in a wide range of industries and marginally loosens the requirements for a specific set of workers, in an otherwise extremely strict immigration regime.