Japan Plans to Attract More Foreign Workers

Faced with a dwindling population and severe labor shortage, Japan aims to attract more foreign workers, but a rapidly depreciating yen and lack of rights stand in the way.

“Japan needs to compete for foreign workers against other developed Asian nations – the weakening yen won’t make the country any more attractive” said Cesar V. Santoyo, a former priest who worked with migrants in Hong Kong before founding SOLS, a non-profit organization that retrains Filipino women living in Japan as English teaching assistants.

The yen has been in a downward spiral since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe introduced a series of fiscal and monetary stimulus measures to spur the economy in 2013. The U.S. dollar is near a seven-year high against the yen, up around 40 percent since Abe took office in December 2012.


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