Japan makes most of the “national strategic special zone” scheme to invite foreigners for housekeeping jobs in the country. The Tokyo metropolitan government announced this decision earlier last week. This move will be initiated in December this year.
The government expects Japanese middle- and high-income dual-income earning households and foreign residents to engage foreign housekeepers. After Kanagawa and Osaka, Tokyo will be Japan’s third prefecture to hire and engage foreign domestic workers.
Meanwhile, the government of Tokyo has currently been working on easing building regulation for construction of an apartment tower in Yokohama, Kanagawa equipped with a day-care facility, wherein foreign residents working in the city can drop off their children before they head to work.
The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe introduced the special zone scheme in the hope that each zone would foster economic growth by loosening a certain set of regulations. However, now with these improvements in amenities provided, the government of Japan anticipates, it would attract skilled talent and more foreign direct investments into the country.
Tokyo is home to the largest number of foreign residents in Japan, some 460,000, about twice the number in Osaka, Nikkei reports.
Given Japan’s labour shortage and ageing population with low birth rate, the central government has decided to designate several special deregulated zones where prefectural governments can authorize private personnel agencies to introduce housekeepers from overseas. Opening up doors to invite foreign domestic workers also lays a stringent regulation on them to return back to their home country, after a period of three years. This rule is to prevent these foreign domestic helpers from settling down in Japan.
The foreign housekeepers working in Japan will be protected as per the rules of the Labour Standards Act and will be entitled to the same amount of wages as earned by a Japanese domestic helper.
“Foreign housekeepers will be required to have basic Japanese-language skills. The minimum level is N4, which includes the ability to read and understand passages on familiar daily topics written in basic vocabulary and kanji, and the ability to understand daily conversation conducted at slow speeds,” Japan Times reports.
Further findings highlight the need for foreign domestic workers in Japan. According to the Japan Tourism Agency, foreign tourists have been flocking in huge numbers to Japan. The number of foreign visitors to Japan rose 23.9% on the year to 1.98 million in June, topping records for the month.
Total visitors to Japan for the first six months of 2016 jumped 28.2% on the year to a record 11.71 million. If the pace continues through the busy summer and fall seasons, the full-year total could reach about 25 million.