NILS Fukuoka Times

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What’s Happening Now in Fukuoka & Japan in October 2019


Number of foreign students with jobs after graduation hits record high – Nationwide

The number of foreign students who changed their visa status in 2018 to work in Japan after graduating from universities or vocational schools hit a record high amid a chronic manpower shortage, immigration authorities said Wednesday. A total of 25,942 students switched their status of residence last year to those required to land a job in Japan, up 3,523 from a year earlier, according to the Immigration Services Agency. The figure more than doubled from 2013, apparently reflecting overall growth in the number of overseas students and surging demand from companies for foreign workers to deal with a labor crunch caused by Japan’s aging population and falling birthrate.

By type of status, “engineer, specialist in humanities, international services,” under which foreigners can take such jobs as engineers and accountants, accounted for 93.2 percent of work visas, while “business manager” comprised 2.2 percent and “professor” 2.1 percent. By country and region, Chinese topped the list of students switching to work visas, accounting for 42.0 percent, followed by Vietnamese at 20.2 percent and Nepalese at 11.3 percent. Asian nations accounted for 95.3 percent of the total.

In May, the agency revised a Justice Ministry notification to allow foreigners who have graduated from universities or completed postgraduate studies in Japan to work at restaurants and retail shops under the “Designated Activities” status of residence.

Previously, graduates of Japanese universities from overseas were not allowed to work in the services sector on the grounds that jobs in the industry were irrelevant to their expertise.

Japan likely to face shortage of 270,000 nursing staff by 2025 – Nationwide

Japan could face a shortage of up to 270,000 nursing staff by 2025 amid an aging and declining population, the welfare ministry said Monday. The estimate, which covers registered nurses, assistant nurses, public health nurses and midwives, underscores the shortage would be most prominent in urban areas where home health care and other forms of nursing are used by many people, according to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

With the minimum age of those born to the baby boomer generation to be 75 by the year 2025, social security spending by the government, as well as demand for medical practitioners, are expected to rise rapidly. To secure skilled healthcare workers, the ministry is making an effort to improve working conditions in the field, where overwork is a common problem.

A study that the ministry conducted to find ways of alleviating the problem found that up to 2.02 million nursing staff would be required by 2025. But it estimates that number will only be around 1.75 million to 1.82 million by that time, rising slightly from the 1.66 million recorded in 2016. The study attributed the country-wide shortage of home nursing and nursing care workers to a high number of people quitting due to the heavy workload required by the job and other reasons. Local governments need to “revise their health care plans and strive to secure skilled workers in line with the actual situation,” an official of the ministry said.

Heavy rain floods parts of Japan recovering from typhoons – Nationwide

Torrential rain caused flooding Friday in towns east of Tokyo, prompting fresh concerns in areas still recovering from recent typhoons. Footage showed muddy waters spilling from a river in Chiba Prefecture where pedestrians waded through waist-deep floods. A highway toll gate near the Narita International Airport was temporarily closed for safety. A supermarket in Narita City was flooded, and store staff were sweeping out and wiping water with mops. No casualties or damage have been reported.

The Japan Meteorological Agency predicted up to 180 millimetres of rain Friday morning in the next 24 hours. Japan’s NHK public television said that an average rainfall for the entire month has fallen just in half-day Friday. The downpours were coming from a low-pressure system hovering above Japan’s main island.

More than 9,000 homes, including 6,000 of them in the Chiba prefecture and 2,500 others in nearby Ibaraki prefecture, were without electricity, according to the Tokyo Electric Power Co that supplies power in the region. Chiba city issued an evacuation advisory to residents in several districts due to a growing risk of flooding or mudslides. Local media reported two dams upstream are expected to release build-up water, urging residents downstream to evacuate as a precaution. Many areas in Chiba were still recovering from September typhoon damage when Typhoon Hagibis this month caused widespread flooding farther north, leaving more than 80 people dead or presumed dead across Japan. Residents in central and northern Japan, including Nagano and Fukushima, which were among the worst hit by Hagibis, were also urged to take precautions.


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