Immigration should be further utilised, but strictly controlled to protect migrants & society alike
As Shinzo Abe pledges to increase immigration by 2025 to address the labour shortage, it is important to keep in mind past failures, in an effort to not let history repeat itself. The Technical Intern Training Program was set up by the Japanese government in the 90’s to attract interns to Japan from developing countries, similarly to address the shortage of low skilled labour. The idea was to provide training and technical skills on the job, however the scheme has been criticised for failing to deliver these skills and subsiding into more of a guest worker program. Further reports of labour rights violations and issues with health and safety are common and have even lead to an intern's death in an extreme case.
Immigration of foreign nationals in Japan takes two main forms, that of high and low skilled workers, refugee acceptance being famously low. High skilled migrants that have a professional skillset that is rare in Japan can migrate with the aid of a sponsoring company, while low skilled workers have previously been welcomed by the above mentioned intern program. However, Abe plans to implement a five year system to accept 500,000 construction, agriculture, nursing, hotel and shipbuilding workers by 2025.
More immigration should not mean looser laws however, tougher laws should be put into place to increase but continue to control immigration. Laws should also be refined to increase working standards for low skilled workers, and deliver on promises made with workers before leaving their home nation. Further legislation needs to be put into place so that integration boosting programs and cultural awareness are effective, to safeguard migrants and Japanese citizens alike.