Vietnamese workers in Japan increase 26.7% last year

Saturday, 2020-02-01 12:15:37
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A caregiver (R) works at an elderly supporting centre in Tomioka town of Japan's Fukushima prefecture. (Photo: AFP/VNA)
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NDO/VNA – Vietnamese workers in Japan topped 401,000 as of October 2019, an increase of 26.7% from a year earlier, adding up to the record of almost 1.66 million foreign workers in the country, data of the Japanese labour ministry show.

The number of foreign workers in Japan hit a record 1,658,804 as of that month, up 13.6% year-on-year, as companies increasingly hired them amid a labour shortage caused by the nation's rapidly aging population.

The ministry attributed the 12th straight yearly rise to the government policy aimed at bringing in more highly skilled foreign workers and hiring students for part-time jobs. It also said there was greater labour force participation by permanent residents and the spouses of Japanese due to improved employment conditions.

Trainees from developing countries under Japan's technical intern programme also contributed to the increase, the country’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare said.

It noted workers of the Chinese nationality accounted for some 25% of the entire foreign workforce at 418,327, followed by Vietnamese at 401,326 and Filipinos at 179,685. The figures rose by 7.5%, 26.7% and 9.6%, respectively.

Japan created a new visa system on April 1 of last year to bring in more workers from overseas to address its labour shortage, marking a major policy shift from its traditionally strict immigration rules.