Foreigners in Small Japan City Hit by U.S.-China Trade Row


Izumo, Shimane Pref., Dec. 31 (Jiji Press)--Trade tensions between the United States and China are casting a shadow over the livelihoods of foreigners living in Izumo, Shimane Prefecture, with dwindling employment opportunities and linguistic barriers forcing them to leave the western Japan city.

In 2018, the prefecture marked the highest growth rate for foreign population in Japan, with around half of such people living in Izumo. In the six months from May 2019, when the number stood at 4,950, however, the city's foreign population fell by more than 400.

The population drop was triggered by prolonged U.S.-China trade friction and the ensuing global economic downturn, which caused a factory for an affiliate of a major electronic parts manufacturer to slow production. The resulting job cuts and decreases in work days severely affected Brazilians of Japanese descent, forcing around 530 of them to leave the city.

Third-generation Japanese-Brazilian Fabio Higashi, 36, said his life plans have changed considerably since his dispatch worker contract was terminated at the end of November. He had been working at the same factory for five years, with his contract renewed every two months.

Higashi's two children, whom he brought to Japan from his home country, now have Japanese friends who come over to play at their home. The Japanese-Brazilian is currently looking for another job.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press