As part of Japan’s opening to foreign workers in its bid to address the growing labour shortage in the country, government officials and industry leaders are now looking at other possibilities to help foreign nationals who may not necessarily be coming from outside of Japan, but are already in the country to study, to find job opportunities right after they finish their degree in the university.
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Japan’s labour shortage cannot be underestimated at this point, especially since the country is gearing up for a number of major events in the pipeline, such as the World Rugby Cup late this year and the Tokyo Games next year.
Foreign University Graduates Can Soon Look into Job Fields in Japan
It is for these reasons, not to mention the still growing tourism capacity of Japan that foreign labour is still much needed by the country at this point in time. Considering this, the Immigration Agency announced last Tuesday (May 28) that it will increase the number of business sectors that foreign nationals are allowed to work in after graduating from universities or completing postgraduate studies in Japan, in the latest effort to lure more workers to the country, as shared in a report by the Japan Times.
Under a revised Justice Ministry notice that is set to take effect Thursday, foreign graduates will be able to work at restaurants, retail shops, and factory production lines under the Designated Activities status of residence.
Up to this point, university graduates have typically been offered the Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services visa to work in fields such as engineering and accounting, according to the Immigration Services Agency.
The status has not allowed such graduates to work in the services sector and at factories, on the grounds that they are irrelevant to their expertise. However, the agency has now decided to allow holders of the Designated Activities visa to engage in such work.
Under the plan, the revised Designated Activities visa will be issued on condition that the students will be ensured full-time employment and equal or higher wages compared with Japanese colleagues. They must also have a high level of Japanese-language proficiency.
Prior to this change, the Designated Activities visa has been issued to people such as those serving as household employees for diplomats.
This development comes as domestic companies are seeking to hire foreign workers with strong Japanese-language abilities on the back of a surge in the number of foreign tourists to the country.
The agency sees this opportunity to boost the number of foreign workers in the country by thousands a year.
Japan is currently working on boosting its efforts to bring in more workers from abroad to cope with a chronic labour shortage due to the country’s rapidly greying population and low birth rates. New visa statuses were introduced in April to bring in blue-collar workers to labour-intensive sectors.