Keidanren pushing for more foreign IT workers


Hi Blog. Excerpting from Terrie’s Take Issue 413, March 19, 2007.

All data and commentary is theirs. I’ll just add that Keidanren is displaying the typical work-unit mentality one finds in any organization only thinking of the bottom line, not the welfare of their workers. With that undercurrent, the policy will create more social problems than you think. Hasn’t Keidanren learned anything from its problematic Researcher and Trainee Visa experiments from 1990? Oh, yeah–just make the foreigner pass a language test. That’ll fix everything. Right. Debito


-> Relaxed engineer visas

The Japanese Business Federation, Keidanren, has
recommended to the government that the immigration
requirements for foreign engineers’ visas be relaxed, to
encourage a larger number of people to come work here,
particularly in IT. They suggest that engineers coming in
under the experience category be allowed in after just 4
years of relevant work experience, versus the current 10
years. But before you think that Keidanren is going soft,
they are also looking at recommending Japanese-language
requirements on future worker intakes, to alleviate
problems typically associated with a surge of foreign

***Ed: Hmmm, we doubt that they’ve thought this
through too much. Imposing Japanese language skills will
add at least 3-5 years on to the supply curve, and given
the choice of English or Japanese, most Chinese and Indian
engineers are going to pick the global language. Japan
needs to understand that internationalizing may in fact
mean accepting English as a second language, as has
already happened in Europe and in most of the rest of
Asia. This is not heresy, just pragmatism.** (Source:
TT commentary from, Mar 18, 2007)

2 comments on “Keidanren pushing for more foreign IT workers


    Further to the discussion at the beginning of this month
    about the ultimate powers of the immigration office,

    Sunday’s Nikkei Shimbun tells us that they are going to
    be more transparent in their deliberations.


    The Justice Ministry has announced on March 17th that it has
    decided to publish guidelines to clarify the requirements for
    extension and change of visa status for foreigners residing in Japan.
    Decisions on whether to allow extensions or not are in reality made
    by regional immigration bureaux authorised by the minister and
    based on the content of individual cases. This has been criticised by
    applicants and the economic world as being not transparent.
    The guidelines will include objective standards which should be
    easier to understand for foreigners and others. Publication is
    intended for FY 2007.


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