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SBD Global/January 28, 2014/Olympics

Japan's Barriers To Foreign Workers Show Cracks Ahead Of 2020 Olympics

Japan’s barriers to foreign labor are "showing signs of cracking" as preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics "threaten to exacerbate the worst shortage of construction workers in almost 20 years," according to Andy Sharp of BLOOMBERG. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said last week that curbs on visas for foreign blue-collar workers "may be loosened." More than 25,000 laborers "will be needed" for stadiums, arenas and other Games facilities, Tokyo’s government estimates, adding to demand from earthquake and tsunami rebuilding. Japan’s shrinking population may pressure PM Shinzo Abe "to open the door wider to workers from abroad as part of his drive to sustain a revival of the world’s third-biggest economy." JPMorgan Chase Senior Economist Masamichi Adachi said, "Foreign workers are needed to boost potential economic growth. However, ordinary Japanese people are afraid that foreign workers will take their jobs and cause wages to fall" (BLOOMBERG, 1/27).
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