Abe commits Japan to loosen controls on migrant workers

THE JAPANESE government has announced intentions to make employment in the country easier for migrant workers, as part of the much-anticipated reforms to the country’s economy.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his ministers will reveal detail of the government proposals by the middle of the year, as part of a commitment to improvements by the country’s Industrial Competitiveness Council.

Changes to Japan’s labour market have been regularly mentioned as necessarily long-term reforms to ensure the country’s economy does not remain stagnant, given the ageing population. The reforms come as the final part of Abe’s “three arrows” to revive Japan, after monetary and fiscal stimulus.

Japan has particularly strict laws around employing workers from abroad, and less than two per cent of the population is accounted for by foreigners, much lower than many advanced economies.