Japan, Pakistan in Talks to Import Skilled Manpower

Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, has been battling a crippling labor shortage caused by an ageing and shrinking population. It plans to attract 500,000 foreign workers by 2025.

DESPARDES REPORT — Japan is in talks with Pakistan for import of skilled labor, and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU0 will be signed soon, reported Radio Pakistan on Monday.

The MoU could be signed as early as next month, said Minister and Deputy Head of Mission at Embassy of Japan in Pakistan Mr. Yusuke Shindo.

He said Japan has decided to open its labor market in 14 sectors (See complete list below). The list includes areas in which Pakistani manpower (totaling almost 10 million remitting on average almost $20 billion every year over a decade now) has been traditionally performing well abroad, such as: construction, nursing care, agriculture, manufacturing, light engineering, etc.

The move comes as world’s third-largest economy battles a crippling labor shortage caused by an ageing and shrinking population.

It plans to attract 500,000 foreign workers by 2025.

While Japan has traditionally been cautious about accepting unskilled workers from abroad and currently limits residential status to highly skilled professionals, it made some changes early this year.

Under the new legislation (April 2019), foreign nationals with skills in fields identified as facing shortages would be awarded a visa allowing them to work for up to five years.

Foreign workers in those fields who hold stronger qualifications and pass a Japanese language test will also be allowed to bring family members and can obtain permanent residency status– a practice already followed in the West.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has stressed the reforms are not intended as a wholesale overhaul of Japanese immigration policy, and mass immigration is not expected, reported South China Morning Post in October 2018.


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