To counteract labor shortages, Japan began accepting an increased number of foreign workers from April 2019. However, the doors have only been cracked open for now. At the moment, only 9 Asian countries have been selected to be a part of Japan’s new Specified Skills visa system. The countries include Vietnam, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Nepal, and Mongolia. Citizens of these countries will have the opportunity to live in Japan for up to 5 years through the Specified Skills 1 visa. Afterwards, it is possible to upgrade the visa to Specified Skills 2 and later apply for permanent residence in Japan.
Workers from these countries are needed in 14 labor-starved industries in Japan. The job fields accepting new workers are Nursing Care, Food Service, Construction, Custodial, Agriculture, Food and Drink Manufacturing, Hospitality, Materials, Ship Building, Fishing, Automotive Parts Manufacturing, Industrial Machinery, Electronics and Electrical Equipment, and Aviation. With such a variety of job openings, Japan wants to bring in workers as quickly as possible. However, there have been some delays.
There are a number of reasons for the postponement. The first being time. Industry bodies responsible for preparing the skills examination simply couldn’t meet the deadline in April, so only Nursing Care, Food Service, and Hospitality are ready to start testing applicants for the Specified Skills visa and welcoming foreign workers into Japan. More exams are expected to hit desks later this summer.
For those three industries, only the Philippines have opened exams for citizens eager to work in Japan, as of April. The other countries are still working out diplomatic deals with Japan’s visa system. As soon as the government sort out arrangement, testing can begin. More announcements are expected to be made by the end of May.
Though the delays have left many foreign workers who are looking for jobs in Japan frustrated and confused, it is well worth the wait. Recently the Japanese government has enacted laws to ensure that foreign nationals working in Japan are paid the same as their Japanese counterparts. With the average yearly salary for these industries sitting around 2,350,000 yen to 3,300,000 yen, working in Japan is still an attractive option, even if it takes more time than expected.
While waiting for more exam dates to be released, there is still plenty of time to sharpen your Japanese skills so you can pass the language exam easily without a doubt. The courses at Japan Work Live are designed to help applicants pass the required Japanese Language Proficiency Test. Try our courses and start your journey to Japan early!
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