In recent years, Japan has faced significant demographic changes. This has resulted in rapid labor shortages and has threatened the survival of various industries. To overcome this, the Japanese government amended the Immigration Law in April 2019. Through this law, Japan seeks to receive 340,000 migrant workers in the “ Specified Skilled Workers ” category within the next five years. In particular, Japan is targeting migrant workers from eight countries in Asia through this scheme, namely Vietnam, China, the Philippines, Indonesia , Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Mongolia.
However, the ratification of this law has drawn controversy because it was deemed too hasty and was not followed by the elimination of several previous foreign worker recruitment schemes that were considered problematic, namely the Technical Intern Training Program (TITP) and the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Studies of TITP and EPA schemes often focus on the country of placement (Japan); Very few studies have addressed the pre-departure processes of migrant workers through the TITP and EPA schemes from a country of origin perspective.
The Human Rights Working Group has completed a study on various forms of vulnerability and human rights violations in the pre-departure process for migrant workers in the TITP and EPA schemes. The findings of this study are presented in the book published by HRWG and Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) ” Shifting the Paradigm of Indonesia-Japan Labor Migration Cooperation “.
Announcement from HRWG is here.
The report is available here.