Japanese PM Shinzo Abe expected to approve loosening in immigration rules

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe expected to approve loosening in immigration rules

Today, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to approve of a draft legislative package to change migration rules by

immigration japan

Photo: Nikkei

Today, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to approve of a draft legislative package to change migration rules by allowing more foreign workers into Japan.

The controversial proposal will allow foreign workers into 14 Japanese industrial sectors facing labour shortages, particularly farming, fishing and industrial machinery production. The new rules would grant foreign workers five-year residency status, renewable if they migrate with their families.

Mr Abe faces both internal and external opposition to his plan. Yukio Edano and his opposition Constitutional Democratic Party are upset that PM Abe has rescinded his promise not to introduce any new immigration legislation. Internally, the Judicial Affairs Division of the government has called out the premier’s proposal for being unclear on how many foreign workers will be accepted and how their social welfare will be handled.

With Mr Abe’s efforts to revitalize Japan’s economy through structural reform dragging, the PM likely thinks that a shift of national attention to immigration would be a welcome pivot. While the Abe’s plan might be expedient in the short-run, it risks blowing up in face if he pushes his vague proposal too quickly through the Japanese legislature, opening himself up to more political broadsides from his opponents.

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