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Japan immigration

How Japan risks losing its shine for foreign workers

As competition for talent with China looms, issues of work terms and rights remain

Do Thi Hoai Thu, a Vietnamese job trainee, leads exercises for residents at a nursing home in Soka, Japan on Aug. 10. (Photo by Arisa Moriyama) 

TOKYO -- Concern is growing in Japan that indispensable foreign workers will turn away from its domestic industry in the near future. Although Japan currently is a popular migration destination for them, its attractiveness will weaken if Southeast Asian countries achieve smooth economic development. In addition, competition for manpower with China is likely as the world's second-largest economy heads toward a decrease in population.

While reluctant to accept immigrants, Japan has a technical intern training program for foreign workers for the official purpose of assisting developing nations. But the on-the-job training system is often subject to questions about human rights. It is uncertain whether Japan will continue to be a favored destination for many foreign workers.

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