Talent shortage within the APAC region is a well-known subject, however the reason for talent shortages may not be the same for every country. In this case, Japan is facing a serious threat where the talent shortage is a result of depopulation and an ageing workforce. Japan has the fourth largest GDP in the world and delivers it with a very small (and ever decreasing) population enabled by expertise, efficiency and productivity. But because of low birth rate and a shrinking population, Japan’s population is already dropping by about 400,000 people per year, and many industries face large talent shortages. Hence, the government is promoting and pushing for more foreign labour to be stationed indefinitely in Japan. Two new visa types have been approved by Japan’s parliament recently to support the goal to attract 345,000 foreign workers over the next five years.
Per ReLocate Magazine:
“One will be aimed at workers in 14 sectors such as construction and agriculture that will allow foreigners to stay in the country for five years, although they will not be allowed to accompany by family members.
A second type of working visa will allow expats with more advanced skills to remain in the country indefinitely and to bring in family members.”
Many are concerned about the potential impact of these new immigration options mentioning that it allows foreign workers to move around and does not take into account their needs as workers and new members of Japanese society.
At this point, it is unclear if the new options will impact corporate mobility programs or existing assignees in Japan already.
In the following article, you can see that Japan will be facing a competition for attracting talent in South East Asia. More info here.
Talent shortages in Asia are affecting companies and will make retaining and attracting talent a key issue heading into 2019.
The new law will create two new types of visa. One will be aimed at workers in 14 sectors such as construction and agriculture that will allow foreigners to stay in the country for five years, although they will not be allowed to accompanied by family members.A second type of working visa will allow expats with more advanced skills to remain in the country indefinitely and to bring in family members.The status of Japan's Justice Ministry’s Immigration Bureau is to be upgraded to an agency to enable it to handle the expected increase in foreign labour, which the government predicts will amount to 47,550 arrivals in the year from next April, and up to 345,150 over the coming five years.