Japan Opens Doors to Foreign Workers Though Major Issues Remain

14 Dec 2018

In our previous blog posts, we have talked about the best & worst cities for expats and world’s most powerful passports for this year. Today, we’ll focus on the island country of Japan – where Olympics 2020 will be held, and where our office is located.

While Japan passport is now world’s most powerful, the country is famous for its limited immigration. Lately, the government revised a new immigration system, creating two new categories of visas, expecting to attract 345,000 foreign workers over the next five years. This might be the only solution for the country to combat labor shortages, as the nation’s population aging and shrinking at an unprecedented rate.

Nevertheless, questions remain about how to provide sufficient Japanese language and cultural help to newcomers. Even Tokyo is still somehow a city, where “lost in translation” can happen once you get out of touristic places and blend in with the locals. A lot of Japanese hospitals, for example, fail to offer language supports to patients from abroad. The lack of a common language can put foreign patients at risk and sadly, there is a mortality gap because of that.

Ultimately, the government said they would expand multilingual services nationwide, in such places as hospitals and job counseling services. In addition to Tokyo 2020, supporting individuals who don’t speak Japanese at their primary language is more important than ever for Japan. As a company providing interpreting services, connecting the world without language barriers is also our mission and challenge at Oyraa.

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