Foreign workers top 1 mn in Japan

Tokyo, Jan 27 (IANS) A government survey on Friday showed that in 2016, the number of foreigners working in Japan topped one million for the first time, with Chinese workers accounting for more than 30 per cent, the media reported.

According to the Labour Ministry survey, by the end of October, there were about 1.08 million foreign residents employed by Japanese firms. That’s up 19.4 per cent from a year earlier, public broadcaster NHK reported.

Chinese workers accounted for more than 30 per cent of the total, at 344,658. They were followed by Vietnamese at 172,018, and Filipinos at 127,518.

By industry, the percentage of foreign workers was highest in the manufacturing sector, at 31.2 per cent, followed by 14.2 per cent in the service sector, and 12.9 per cent in the wholesale and retail sector.

By residential status, people of Japanese descent and people with Japanese spouses accounted for 38.1 per cent. They were followed by foreign students, on 22.1 per cent, and technical trainees, on 19.5 per cent.

Ministry officials said businesses were increasingly willing to hire foreigners to compensate for the labour shortage.

Companies were hiring more foreigners with professional qualifications, as well as international students and part-time workers, they added.