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Hello Blog. Interesting email from by Reader MD:
October 30, 2011
Hello Debito-san, I just found a highly interesting article on the MOFA now issuing 6-month work permits for Thai people to come and work in Japan in order to compensate for the supply-chain problems caused by the extensive floodings in Thailand. As you probably know a lot of Japanese companies now face said supply-chain problems because their Thailand-based production has come to an abrupt halt. The catch, all companies employing Thais for the above mentioned period (6m) have apparently to promise (?) that they send they will send the workers home once their visa runs out.
I only found references to the story in German so far but there should be something in English and possibly in Japanese too. Until now, here’s the story, more or less as reported, on my own English language blog with reference to the original source (German chamber of commerce in Japan):
Referential article in English:
The Japan Times, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011
Thai flood-idled to work here
Several thousand Thai workers at Japanese firms operating in Thailand will be allowed to work in Japan, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said Friday, as companies shift their production in light of the impact of the massive floods in the Southeast Asian country.
Fujimura told a news conference that Japan’s special measures will remedy the supply chain disruptions caused by the floods, which have led to widespread crippling of industries.
The move comes as the floods have forced a number of major manufacturers, including Toyota Motor Corp., to suspend their local operations in Thailand.
Fujimura said the government is looking to accept thousands of Thai workers from about 30 firms for a fixed time frame of roughly six months.
Among the conditions the government will impose on the firms is to make sure the Thai workers return to their home country…
Full article at http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20111029a2.html
COMMENT: File this yet again under Japan Inc. having its cake and eating it too. We wouldn’t want to have Japanese corporations losing out because of natural disaster overseas impeding our supply lines, now, would we? (And as a petty but definitely related tangent, where is the Japanese media when you need them to criticize the Japanese “fly-jin” fleeing the country instead of staying behind to help Thailand recover? They certainly did their bashing when NJ, and apparently only NJ, allegedly flew the coop post-Fukushima.) So we’ll temporarily export the workers to Japan, have them keep up with the conveyer belts for the apparent honor of being extant in our safe, clean, modern society (while no doubt working cheaper than native Japanese, as usual), then boot them back as soon as we can so they cause no disruptions to our safe, clean, modern society (like we did our Brazilian cousins back in 2009 when they outlived their usefulness; we get to keep their investments anyway and need show no gratitude).
Good ole foreign workers. Under Japan’s visa regime, they’re just widgets in the Grand Scheme. Arudou Debito