Japanese Government to Grant Entry to Female Foreign Domestic Workers

Japan Real Estate

Japanese Government Boosts Female Foreign Labour Force

30 Sept, 2015 –

TOKYO — A wave of foreign domestic helpers is expected in the coming months as the Japanese government aims to boost the female labour force, particularly because of the country’s rapidly aging society and declining birth rate.

In early September, the government adopted guidelines for housekeeping services by foreign nationals in special deregulated zones within the Osaka and Kanagawa prefectures after deciding on their introduction last year. The guidelines require employers to hire foreign nationals as full-time workers and pay them an equal or greater salary to their Japanese counterparts, while limiting the period of employment to a maximum of three years.

Employment agency Pasona Group Inc. is aiming to launch a service within the current fiscal year — which ends next March — where it will accept some 50 people who have completed training through a local agency in the Philippines by next January. The company said it plans to welcome the same number of domestic helpers every three months from then on and have about 1,000 foreign housekeepers on its books in three years.

Japan’s working population is expected to drop sharply in the coming decades, with the percentage of those aged 65 and over already making up about a quarter of the national population in 2014. This is estimated to reach about 40 per cent in 2060, according to surveys conducted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, and the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research. Roughly 60 per cent of women leave their jobs upon giving birth to their first child, according to the ministry. To mitigate the adverse effects of population decline, the government has set its sights on an estimated 2.73 million women who wish to work but have been unable to do.

Granting entry to more foreign domestic workers would also help Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to make good on his pledge to place women into 30 per cent of management jobs by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) has been calling for the Japanese government to relax immigration policies to allow foreign workers to enter the domestic work market. The ACCJ said in the most recent report that many Japanese women leave the workforce after facing, “a combination of cultural expectations to be a ‘full-time mother’ and lack of policies that adequately support working mothers or those having to take care of the elderly.”

(Source – “Today“, Pic – Housekeeping / “Joanna Poe“)

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