Japan Paying to Send Foreign Workers Home

Japan is trying to lower the labor supply by offering to pay foreign workers to go home.

Japan’s offer, extended to hundreds of thousands of blue-collar Latin American immigrants, is part of a new drive to encourage them to leave this recession-racked country. So far, at least 100 workers and their families have agreed to leave, Japanese officials said.

The program is limited to the country’s Latin American guest workers, whose Japanese parents and grandparents emigrated to Brazil and neighboring countries a century ago to work on coffee plantations.

In 1990, Japan — facing a growing industrial labor shortage — started issuing thousands of special work visas to descendants of these emigrants. An estimated 366,000 Brazilians and Peruvians now live in Japan.

The guest workers quickly became the largest group of foreign blue-collar workers in an otherwise immigration-averse country, filling the so-called three-K jobs (kitsui, kitanai, kiken — hard, dirty and dangerous).

But the nation’s manufacturing sector has slumped as demand for Japanese goods evaporated, pushing unemployment to a three-year high of 4.4 percent. Japan’s exports plunged 45.6 percent in March from a year earlier, and industrial production is at its lowest level in 25 years.

New data from the Japanese trade ministry suggested manufacturing output could rise in March and April, as manufacturers start to ease production cuts. But the numbers could have more to do with inventories falling so low that they need to be replenished than with any increase in demand.

While Japan waits for that to happen, it has been keen to help foreign workers leave, which could ease pressure on domestic labor markets and the unemployment rolls.

Well, one thing which is acknowledged in Japan, with labor, the age old economic law of supply and demand applies.

One thing becomes quite clear, which no corporate lobbyist will tell you, trading people has real consequences to real lives and isn't the grand win-win as commonly touted by cheap labor interests.

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homeless in Japan

Watch this video report -- it's quite shocking. It's by a French TV station. So why don't our news stations do stuff like this.

http://www.france24.com/en/20090206-plight-japans-homeless-caring-tokyo-...

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A friend of mine

teaches English near the city of Kagoshima. He returned for a brief visit showed us pictures and stuff. One of the ones he showed me were the homeless camps. Actually, you get these blue tents or something like that. The local authorities reserve certain parks or places within parks, but the cops really don't protect the homeless. Dino, my friend, was telling me about stories of youth gangs beating up homeless who are mainly elderly. He says its bad there, not like here bad, but bad for Japan's standards. News stories of factory shutdowns and the economic fallout from them are becoming more commonplace over there.

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Racism and the birth rate in Japan

Japan is in a lot of trouble. It's birth rate is so low that it is on the verge of losing population, if it is not doing so already. This means that demographically Japan is like Florida!

Japanese Latinos were brought in because Japan as a nation is not about to turn into a nation with Hakujin immigrants (a melting pot, it's not). Though ancestrally Japanese (Nikkeijin) since the Latins could not speak Japanese like the natives, they were frequently treated as if retarded -- unlike Hakujin who look different and aren't expected to speak Nihongo.

Continuing to discriminate against the recent immigrants will do Japan no good at all in the long run.

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Japan has a major overpopulation problem

The natural carrying capacity of the Shinju Islands is probably a good 5 million people less than they currently have. They could stand to lose a LOT of population before they get back to being self-sufficient, which should be the aim of any nation.
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RE: Carrying Capacity

I see that term thrown around a lot but I'm curious as to how such a thing is calculated.

It seems that Japan had no problem "carrying" those extra 5 million people unit this recent very man-made calamity unfolded.

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Carrying Capacity

is rather nebulous because technology also affects it, but it is is the population size of the species that the environment can sustain in the long term, given the food, habitat, water and other necessities available in the environment. For the human population, more complex variables such as sanitation and medical care are sometimes considered as part of the necessary infrastructure.

Note that almost by definition, this is without imports and exports- a closed environment.

Japan has been unable to feed itself since before WWII. The United States is either pushing carrying capacity or exceeded it in the last decade or so, depending who you talk to.

I've seen various mathematical formula related to this, none definitive. Elrich's IPAT is the standard:
I = P * A * T
where:
I is the impact on the environment resulting from consumption
P is the population number
A is the consumption per capita (affluence)
T is the technology factor

But as you can see, at least two of these values are in fact rather subjective.

Wikipedia has a pretty good writeup here.

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Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.

Huh...

Why?

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because the unemployment is so high is why

So, there are tight Visa restrictions in Japan and executives brought in these Brazilian Of Japanese ethnicity basically as cheap labor. I'm not sure if they were on temporary guest worker Visas or not.

But the bottom line is Japan has horrific unemployment, people going homeless everywhere, so they are basically trying to reduce their labor supply and this is what they are doing.

The people are not forced out as far as I have read, they are being bought out.

The thing that is kind of smelly is the idea they can never return. I could see a 5 year wait period that they could never return as a condition but never return is pretty harsh and if Japan's economy recovers doesn't make that much sense unless they were used to undercut Japanese labor during the boom years.

Dubai is not buying out guest workers. They are just stuck there, no income and Dubai has debtor's prison.

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Oh you do not want to go there!

Dubai is a hell hole! My god, I can only imagine how some want this over here. 

One doctor told him he had a year to live; another said it was benign and he'd be okay. But the debts were growing. "Before I came here, I didn't know anything about Dubai law. I assumed if all these big companies come here, it must be pretty like Canada's or any other liberal democracy's," she says. Nobody told her there is no concept of bankruptcy. If you get into debt and you can't pay, you go to prison.

"When we realised that, I sat Daniel down and told him: listen, we need to get out of here. He knew he was guaranteed a pay-off when he resigned, so we said -- right, let's take the pay-off, clear the debt, and go." So Daniel resigned -- but he was given a lower pay-off than his contract suggested. The debt remained. As soon as you quit your job in Dubai, your employer has to inform your bank. If you have any outstanding debts that aren't covered by your savings, then all your accounts are frozen, and you are forbidden to leave the country.

"Suddenly our cards stopped working. We had nothing. We were thrown out of our apartment." Karen can't speak about what happened next for a long time; she is shaking.

Daniel was arrested and taken away on the day of their eviction. It was six days before she could talk to him. "He told me he was put in a cell with another debtor, a Sri Lankan guy who was only 27, who said he couldn't face the shame to his family. Daniel woke up and the boy had swallowed razor-blades. He banged for help, but nobody came, and the boy died in front of him."

- excerpt from "Dubai's Lesson to America: How the Middle East's Shangrai La Became a Hell on Earth"

 

 

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no kidding, guest workers are "marketed"

by both those glorified slave traders (in the U.S. known as immigration attorneys) and even nations as something to trade.

So, you get that "the streets are paved with Gold" sales pitch...

I know many a techie/engineer who was lured with huge bucks to Dubai, Iraq etc.

That's what I'm trying to point out....country, one's citizenship is way more than a wage rate and they discount the entire concept these days of country....

and many folks are naive, even when doing one's homework, that the protections of citizenship, do not apply when in another country...their laws do.

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The glamor of the Shogun

"The thing that is kind of smelly is the idea they can never return. I could see a 5 year wait period that they could never return as a condition but never return is pretty harsh and if Japan's economy recovers doesn't make that much sense unless they were used to undercut Japanese labor during the boom years."

It occurs to me that a part of this, might be a wish among some Japanese to return to the era and economic system of the Shogun. Back then, if a sailor of Japanese Citizenship became shipwrecked, he couldn't return.

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I got family there

Nobody there wants to return to a time when they had the Shogun. Where are you getting this? Back then they had a feudal system where the basic subject was worth nothing. The shogun was essentially a military dictator, there is nothing close to having something like that short of a military coup de' tat. The average Japanese citizen doesn't want to go back to that. As for economic systems, unless it means ressurecting the old zaibatsu system, forget it.

Oh they may go on about things like honor or the bushido code. But when you hear them talk about "going back", its really to the time just before their defeat in the Second World War. A lot of them want a military that is something more than a "self defense force." This wasn't always the case, the stigma from the war pushed Japan in the opposite direction. But in recent years, given the rise of China and the belligerance of North Korea, some are even thinking what was once considered taboo over there.....getting the Bomb.

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I've got a slightly different impression of Japanese feudalism

"Nobody there wants to return to a time when they had the Shogun. Where are you getting this?"

ONLY from this "no return" thing, that indicated to me a return to the time when Japan was a near autarky- almost completely self-sufficient with NO reliance on foreign trade.

" Back then they had a feudal system where the basic subject was worth nothing."

A feudal system isn't all bad in some cases. Under the Shogun dynasty- the average citizen had a choice. They could own LAND, or they could own WEAPONS, but not both. The Shogun was a military dictator, true, but the system worked for a thousand years, so the basic citizen wasn't exactly worth nothing.

"The average Japanese citizen doesn't want to go back to that. As for economic systems, unless it means ressurecting the old zaibatsu system, forget it."

I didn't say the AVERAGE citizen wanted to. I said perhaps some groups within their culture want to- seeing that as a more honorable era.

"Oh they may go on about things like honor or the bushido code. But when you hear them talk about "going back", its really to the time just before their defeat in the Second World War. A lot of them want a military that is something more than a "self defense force." This wasn't always the case, the stigma from the war pushed Japan in the opposite direction. But in recent years, given the rise of China and the belligerance of North Korea, some are even thinking what was once considered taboo over there.....getting the Bomb."

That's more likely true- though why this sudden interest in closing the borders again?

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Executive compensation is inversely proportional to morality and ethics.

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Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.