Statement by Yoshimitsu Kobayashi, Chairman of Keizai Doyukai
on Enactment of Immigration Control Revision Act
December 8, 2018
Chairman, Keizai Doyukai
- Japan's Diet has today passed a bill for the partial revision of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act and the Ministry of Justice Establishment Act. This allows for new sets of status of residence, empowering the upgraded Immigration Bureau to control residence of foreigners in Japan as well. We believe this is a step forward to change the conventional policy for employing foreign workers, which mostly focuses on highly-skilled professionals.
- The Diet session, however, has not drilled down into the details of the bill, such as the basic policy for accepting foreign workers and the system to be designed for the new status of residence. We regret that the passage of the bill lacks deliberations on the system's key features. These include the Act's implementation policy for each sector and population estimates of accepting foreign workers, accepting job categories, and required skill levels, which will be handled by the Cabinet and Ministerial Orders.
- When the amendment bill was passed by the House of Representatives Judicial Affairs Committee, Tadamori Oshima, Speaker of the House, made an important statement. He requested the government to report, before enforcing the Act, to the Diet on the overall picture of the relevant legislations including stipulations of the Cabinet and Ministerial Orders, followed by another Q&A session to be responded by the government and the ruling parties. We consider that he has played a role in executing important responsibilities of the legislative body to oversee the government in passing the key bill that impacts the future of Japan.
- Looking ahead, implementation of new status of residence should be discussed at a conference board to be established without delay, for areas such as selecting business sectors, numbers of accepting workers per year by each sector and region, and requirements for agencies assisting registrations. It is essential to define the system's key features, reflecting the examination of the efficacy derived from the experimental implementation for the time being of the system. Employing companies must ensure that foreign workers' wages are equivalent to or more than those of Japanese workers doing the same job. Employers must also appropriately bear costs arising from securing working environment in compliance with laws such as Labor Standards Act, and from expanding the social integration policy.
- We request the government to swiftly design a long-term vision for accepting foreign workers in the society of declining population. Far-reaching discussions must start to establish a basic concept and policies for accepting foreign workers. We do not rule out the possibilities of abolishment or revision of the technical intern training system.