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  • Weird stats from Jiji Press citing MHLW’s “record number of NJ laborers” in Japan. Yet Ekonomisuto shows much higher in 2008!

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on February 2nd, 2014

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    Hi Blog. Just got this interesting note from Debito.org Reader JDG:

    ============================

    Food for thought…

    ///////////////////////////////////////////////

    NATIONAL
    Foreign workers in Japan hit record 717,504
    JIJI, JAN 31, 2014, reprinted in The Japan Times

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/01/31/national/foreign-workers-in-japan-hit-record-717504/

    The number of foreign workers in Japan stood at 717,504 at the end of last October, up 5.1 percent from a year before, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said Friday.

    The figure was the highest since it became mandatory for employers to submit reports on foreign employees to the ministry in 2007.

    The increase reflected an improvement in the employment situation amid the economic recovery and Japanese companies’ growing moves to hire foreigners with special skills, according to the ministry.

    The number of Chinese workers was the highest, at 303,886, or 42.4 percent of the total, followed by Brazilians at 95,505, or 13.3 percent, Filipinos at 80,170, or 11.2 percent, and Vietnamese at 37,537, or 5.2 percent.

    The number of Chinese workers rose 2.5 percent. Filipino and Vietnamese workers increased 10.0 percent and 39.9 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, the number of Brazilian workers fell 6.3 percent.

    Of all foreign workers, 27.3 percent were in Tokyo, followed by 10.9 percent in Aichi Prefecture, 5.9 percent in Kanagawa Prefecture, 5.3 percent in Osaka Prefecture and 5.2 percent in Shizuoka Prefecture.

    The government is considering accepting more foreign workers under its growth strategy and reviewing on-the-job training programs for foreigners.
    ENDS
    ///////////////////////////////////////////////

    JDG comments: The number of NJ workers in Japan has hit record levels, apparently.

    Now, when I saw this, I expected to read lots of stern warnings about the danger of NJ *infiltration* into Japan, but the article claims that this increase is due to the J-gov’s amazing efforts to attract NJ with ‘special skills’ (and, of course, because *our great leader’s* economic policy is a godsend).

    But hang on! I thought that the scheme to attract 2000 ‘elite gaijin’ a year was pronounced a failure?

    Upon further reading it seems that most of these ‘gaijin with special skills’ are from asia (mainly China) leading me to suspect that their ‘special skill’ is their preparedness to work for minimum wage. Also,the biggest number is in Tokyo. So I suspect that rather than Tokyo being over-run with Chinese millionaire stock-brokers, it could be more accurate to deduce that these Nj are doing all the KKK jobs that the Japanese think they are too good for- combini’s and waitressing.

    Interestingly, because this is being touted as a symptom (sorry, I meant ‘result’) of Abe’s economic policy, it will now be difficult for the NPA to announce the next ‘gaijin crime-wave’. I predict that when Abe throws a sickie, such an announcement will come. JDG
    ==========================

    COMMENT FROM DEBITO: Okay, there’s something fishy going on here. Check out this cover from Ekonomisuto of January 15, 2008, now more than six years ago, which puts the figure of NJ working in Japan at more than 930,000 (the すでに93万人 in the subtitle after the yellow kanji) — a helluva lot more than the allegedly record-breaking 717,504 quoted in the article above.

    ekonomisuto011508cover

    I have the feeling that statistics somewhere are being kneaded for political ends (unsurprisingly), as JDG notes. We must show a recovery of sorts no matter what (ironically now pinning part of it on NJ workers in Japan), making Abenomics a bubble in thought as well as in economic stats. What a shame that JIJI seems to be parroting the ministerial line of calling it record-breaking without any research or critical thinking.

    Meanwhile, I’m waiting for the more standardized statistics from the Ministry of Justice (not MHLW) which shows how many NJ are registered as LIVING in Japan. NJ do a lot more in Japan than just work, and the figure given for Brazilians in Japan (95,505) seems remarkably small compared to the hundreds of thousands that lived (or used to live) in Japan in previous years. If those new MOJ stats are out, somebody please feel free to track them down and repost (awfully busy at the moment). Thanks. ARUDOU, Debito

    ENDS

    5 Responses to “Weird stats from Jiji Press citing MHLW’s “record number of NJ laborers” in Japan. Yet Ekonomisuto shows much higher in 2008!”

    1. dosanko Says:

      Hi Debito,

      The text of the MHLW report is explicit in saying that its results are not exhaustive (page 1 of annex 2), so you may well find significantly different numbers from the MOJ.

      http://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/houdou/0000036114.html

      – Thanks for this. But the point still remains: What record is being broken?

    2. dosanko Says:

      I think the only person who thinks this is a new “record” is the copywriter at the Japan Times. For what it’s worth, their headlines have been atrocious lately.

    3. Jim Di Griz Says:

      @Dosanko #1

      I agree. The report is explicit in saying that it is not ‘exhaustive’, so why is the government claiming that this is a ‘record’? What’s the agenda for an otherwise NJ hostile government to put itself in a situation that will tie the hands of the police from announcing the next NJ ‘crime-wave’ for fear of bringing blame on itself?

      This needs to be more deeply thought of.

      And yes! The MOJ may have different figures, so in light of my comment above, why didn’t the J-gov ask the MOJ before claiming Abe’s economic policies had attracted a record number of NJ?

      Seriously, no one sees anything wrong with this picture?

    4. dude Says:

      Abe will twist and distort data/statistics to further his agenda.
      The actual facts are not important.
      A) – Premise – Abe says NJ are taking jobs from Japanese, or crime is up, or whatever?
      B) – Here is a chart proving his point.

      C) – But the graph doesn’t actually support his premise? change subject.
      D) – So, your premise is false…

      Effect: in each country that this tactic is used successfully, the majority hear A & B, but C & D don’t get the coverage, so most people believe A & B to be true.

      And this is how fascism gains speed.

    5. dosanko Says:

      Hi Jim,

      Maybe I’m missing something here (which could very well be the case), but I haven’t seen the government trumpeting this as a “record”.

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