Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that starting from 2019 to 2025, the Japanese government will open up its doors to 500,000 foreign workers as part of a new policy to help fill their worker’s shortage.
During the 44th Philippine Business Conference, Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda has confirmed PM Abe’s prior announcement, stating that Japan plans to acquire at least 50,000 skilled workers from the Philippines alone starting next year, mainly to serve its aging population as well as the need to maximize its potential growth rate.
Ambassador Haneda stated:
“While we are waiting for the rules and regulations of this new scheme to be released, I personally estimate more than 50,000 workers from the Philippines will come to work in Japan with this new work permit by 2025.”
According to the statement from the Japanese government, nursing, farming, construction, hospitality, and shipbuilding industries are expected to be employed from the Philippines.
Japan’s government is expected to finalize new guidelines soon which give temporary residence to foreign manual laborers. Under the new residency status, foreign workers in a wider range of industries will be allowed to stay for as long as five years in the country.
The parliament is ready to deliberate during its session in autumn on the development of this new residency status.
Currently, there are 1,53,600 Filipino workers in Japan based on the data from its Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare, comprising 12% of the 1.28 million foreign workers in the country. Most of these Filipinos belong to highly specialized fields such as engineering and the academe due to special arrangements under the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement which took effect in 2008.
With the new policy, more opportunities will be provided to the growing number of young Filipino talents, granting 1 out of 10 job openings starting summer of 2019.