Japan Data

Record 1.46 Million Foreign Workers in Japan


Chinese and Vietnamese workers account for almost half the total number of foreign workers in Japan.

There were 1,460,463 foreign workers in Japan as of the end of October 2018, a 14.2% increase from the previous year. This is the highest figure recorded by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare since 2007 when it became obligatory for employers to report the number of their foreign employees. The increase is apparently due to government promotion of the engagement of highly skilled foreign workers, exchange students, and technical interns in the workforce, as well as improvements in the overall employment situation leading to more hiring of permanent residents and spouses of Japanese nationals.

By country, there were most Chinese nationals with 389,117, accounting for 26.6% of the total. Vietnam was second, with the number of workers rising 76,581 from the previous year to 316,840, as their presence increases in the workforce. Of these Vietnamese workers, 45.1% were technical interns. Other nationalities that showed a large rise were Nepalese workers with an additional 12,451 and Indonesians with a rise of 7,421.

By industry, 29.7% of foreign workers work in manufacturing, and 15.8% in the service industry, while wholesale/retail and accommodation/food and drink both have a ratio of 12.7%. It is a clear indication that industries suffering from labor shortages have a need to rely on foreign workers.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

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