Over 15,000 highly skilled foreign professionals in Japan: two-thirds of them Chinese

On June 25, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications published a report that it compiled regarding its plans to accept more highly skilled foreign professionals into Japan. The report evaluates the current results of the plan so far.

The Japanese government has established a points system aimed at foreign workers who have especially high ability and talents. This system takes into consideration a worker’s academic and professional history, as well as their annual salary. Those who fulfill the required conditions – such as reaching a total of 70 points – can be authorized as “Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals,” and can get preferential treatment from Japanese immigration.

The Japanese government is actively looking to accept exceptional foreign workers into the country, with the aim of accelerating innovation and improving productivity in all areas of the economy. They’re aiming to authorize 20,000 highly skilled foreign professionals by the end of 2022. According to this report, the number of foreign workers authorized to receive this status reached 10,572 in 2017, and 15,386 in 2018. This information makes it clear that the number of skilled foreign workers is increasing steadily.

Furthermore, when looking at the 10,572 workers who were authorized by 2017, two out of every three (66.1%) were Chinese. 67.7% of them were male, and the average age upon acceptance was 32.7 years old. 76.1% of them lived in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area.

Also, 77.4% of these foreign workers graduated from graduate school, and 64% majored in natural sciences. 86.6% of them received the “Highly Skilled Foreign Professional” status while on other statuses of residence. Among them, workers on the Engineers/Humanities/International Services visa accounted for 75.2%. Finally, the average salary of those approved for the HSFP visa was 7.57 million yen a year.

The Ministry had a hearing with 257 foreign workers who have not received the HSFP status. Though 45.5% of these workers reached 70 points required for the status, around half of them answered that they didn’t know about the points system. One issue that’s become clear from this is the lack of awareness among foreign workers of the HSFP status.

The results of this survey make it clear that the point system for Highly Skilled Professionals is not well known enough. The Ministry, with the cooperation of related industries and governing agencies of universities, needs to plan to make the points system more commonly known.

[Referenced Announcement] Evaluation of Plan to Accept Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals –Opinion Based on Evaluated Results

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jopus Editorial Dep.

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