Will permanent residency be
given to foreign workers?
As a real estate agent in Japan targeting foreign investors,
it’s important to keep up-to-date on the latest changes to immigration policy.
On April 24th, the Japanese government proposed a significant expansion of
the “Specified Skilled Worker 2” residency status, which allows skilled foreign workers to work in Japan.
If approved, this would allow for unlimited employment of foreign workers in 12 sectors facing labor shortages.
The expansion of the Specified Skilled Worker system has been introduced
to address the serious labour shortages faced by various industries.
This will enable foreign workers with a certain level of skill and knowledge
to have long-term employment while upgrading their skills in Japan.
However, some conservative members of the ruling party have expressed
concern that this could lead to de facto acceptance of immigrants.
The proposal for the expansion of the Specified Skilled Worker system requires a revision
of the Ministry of Justice ordinance by a cabinet decision,
with the government aiming to achieve this in June.
The expanded system will provide foreign workers with the opportunity
to have long-term employment in a range of industries, except for nursing care,
which has a separate system that allows for unlimited employment with a specific qualification.
As a real estate agent in Japan, it’s essential to be aware of changes to immigration policy
that can affect foreign investors.
The expansion of the Specified Skilled Worker system will impact various sectors, including construction,
shipbuilding, building cleaning, manufacturing, automobile maintenance, aviation,
accommodation, agriculture, fisheries, food and beverage manufacturing, and food service.
By staying up-to-date on these developments, you can better understand the needs of
foreign investors and provide them with valuable insights into the Japanese market.
The table below shows the 12 sectors eligible for Specified Skilled Worker status
and whether they are currently eligible for Type 1 or Type 2 residency status.
Construction: Type 2
Shipbuilding: Type 2
Building cleaning: Proposed addition (new sector)
Manufacturing: Proposed addition (new sector)
Automobile maintenance: Proposed addition (new sector)
Aviation: Proposed addition (new sector)
Accommodation: Proposed addition (new sector)
Agriculture: Proposed addition (new sector)
Fisheries: Proposed addition (new sector)
Food and beverage manufacturing: Proposed addition (new sector)
Foodservice: Proposed addition (new sector)
Nursing care: Separate system
The ruling party will discuss the proposal by field, and there is a possibility
that discussions will be difficult due to caution among conservative groups towards policies
that increase the number of foreign workers with long-term employment
or permanent residency.
This represents a significant shift in government policy, particularly given its historical reluctance
to open the gates to permanent residency for foreign workers. However,
the government has recently made significant changes to its policies regarding high-skilled professionals.
Background to the expansion of an environment
where foreign workers can have long-term employment in Japan is the growing labour shortage crisis.
According to estimates by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
and others, Japan would need nearly 6.74 million foreign workers,
which is four times the current number, to achieve the economic growth target
set by the government for the next 40 years.
Similar labour shortages are being experienced in other countries due to declining birthrates,
leading to intensified competition for labour.
Real estate investing consultant and author.
Founder of Yamamoto Property Advisory in Tokyo.
International property Investment consultant and licensed
real estate broker (Japan).
He serves the foreign companies and individuals to buy and sell
the real estates in Japan as well as own homes.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from
Osaka Prefecture University in Japan
and an MBA from Bond University in Australia
Toshihiko’s book, “The Savvy Foreign Investor’s Guide to Japanese Properties: How to Expertly Buy, Manage and Sell Real Estate in Japan” is now out on Amazon, iBooks (iTunes, Apple) and Google Play.
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