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Japan’s parliament has recently approved a new law that allows hundreds of thousands of foreigners to work in the country in a move to address its labor shortage. How has this policy affected Japan and its agriculture industry? To shed light on the issue, FFTC has invited Dr. Yoshihisa Godo,  Professor of Department of Economics, Meiji Gakuin University in Japan, to deliver a talk on "The possible impact of Japan's new foreign labor policy on the Japanese agricultural industry." Dr. Godo delivered his lecture at the FFTC board room together with Dr. Kuo-Ching Lin and the Center’s staff, together with Dr. Sheng-Jang Shen, Associate Professor of Department of Applied Economics, National University of Kaohsiung, and Zhang Zheng, Director of Radio Taiwan International.


During a seminar held at the FFTC office, Professor Yoshihisa Godo (in front) talks about the possible impact of Japan’s new foreign labor policy in the Japanese agriculture industry.

Dr. Godo explained that due to the rapid development of the Japanese economy, the demand for foreign workers at 3D (dirty, dangerous, and demeaning) industry is rapidly increasing. In order to alleviate the labor shortage caused by Japan’s aging population, especially in the 3D industry, the Japanese government launched the Industrial Training Program (ITP) and Technical Intern Training Program (TITP). In 2018, Japan amended the "Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act (ICRRA)", adding "Specific Skilled Workers (SSW) "category to protect the rights of foreign workers. The focus of Dr. Godo’s talk addresses issues related to the development of Japanese foreign labor policy, the application process and field training of agricultural foreign workers, the formulation process of agricultural foreign labor policy of the Japanese Cabinet Office, the lack of and dislike towards senior foreign managers in Japan, as well as difficulties in defining skilled and unskilled workers. In addition, Dr. Godo also explained that with the newly amended ICRRA which took effect on April 1, 2019, more time is needed to follow up its impacts and effects.


FFTC Director Dr. Kuo-Ching Lin and Associate Researcher Mr. Kun-Chan Tsai welcome Professor Yoshihisa Godo (middle) to the Center. The Japanese Professor teaches at the Department of Economics, Meiji Gakuin University in Japan.