Business News 03/04/2024, 10:44

Wave of labor export from Vietnam and Indonesia to Japan

From 2018-2023, the number of Vietnamese workers in Japan increased by 63.6%, reaching 518,364 people, becoming the group accounting for the largest proportion of the foreign labor force in this country.

Wave of labor export from Vietnam and Indonesia to Japan

The foreign labor force structure in Japan is undergoing major changes in 2023 when Vietnamese workers have surpassed Chinese workers to become the largest group. Meanwhile, the number of Indonesian workers in Japan also increased nearly three times compared to 2018.

According to data from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, from October 2018 to October 2023, the total number of foreign workers in Japan increased by 40.3%, reaching 2.05 million people. Although the growth rate slowed after the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the number of foreign workers in Japan still increased by 12.4% in 2022-2023 as the epidemic subsided.

Over the last five years, the number of Vietnamese workers in Japan has climbed by 63.6%, reaching 518,364 people, making them the greatest segment of the foreign labor force in Japan. Many of these people enroll in Japan's Technical Intern Training Program, which is aimed to attract workers from developing nations.

Meanwhile, the number of Chinese workers only increased by 2.3% during that period. Wages in the world's second-largest economy are rising, while a weak yen makes exporting labor to Japan a less attractive option.

In fact, the growth of labor export from Vietnam to Japan also slows down as wages in Vietnam increases. This group of workers will only increase by 12.1% in 2022 - 2023, nearly equivalent to the increase in total foreign workers in Japan.

According to Nikkei Asia newspaper, Japanese businesses are also simultaneously increasing wages to attract workers. The monthly base rate for technical interns, of which about 50% come from Vietnam, increased 8% in 2022, up to 117,800 yen (equivalent to 1,200 USD).

Meanwhile, in the above period, Japan saw the number of workers from Indonesia skyrocket by 192.2%, to 121,507 people, an increase of 56% in 2022-2023. Low wages in Indonesia make workers in this country still see Japan as an attractive destination. Indonesian citizens currently make up about 56% of the professional workforce in Japan. With the goal of becoming one of the world's leading agricultural producers, the Indonesian Government wants to learn expertise from workers who have worked in Japan.

“Indonesia's labor potential is huge with a population of 270 million people. I think this country will probably surpass Vietnam to account for a large proportion of the foreign labor force in Japan," said Mr. Motoki Yuzuriha, president of Japanese intern recruitment company Mynavi Global.

The third largest group of foreign workers in Japan is Nepal, with a growth of 78.5% in the past 5 years, to 145,587 people. More than 41% of these are studying and working in Japan, a higher rate than other groups of workers.

Myanmar workers in Japan also increased significantly with an increase of 49.9% in 2022 - 2023 to 71,188 people. Many Myanmar people seek jobs abroad amid political instability in the country. Japan is an attractive destination for university - educated workers from this Southeast Asian country.

Meanwhile, the stagnant economy and weak yen are barriers to the flow of labor from developed economies into Japan. The number of American workers in Japan increased 5.7% over the five years to 34,861 people, while British workers increased 5.8% to 12,945 people. However, according to a survey by recruitment company Robert Walters Japan, many people still choose Japan because the cost of living here is cheaper than in big cities in the US and Europe.

 

Vneconomy/ Translator: Ngoc Mai
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