Number of foreign workers in Japan hits record-high 717,504

TOKYO, Jan. 31 (PNA/Kyodo) — The number of foreign workers in Japan as of Oct. 31 stood at 717,504, up 5.1 percent from a year earlier and the highest level since 2007, when the government obligated companies to report the number of foreigners in their workforces, government data showed Friday.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare attributed the increase to a new government policy promoting the hiring of highly skilled foreign workers as part of the country’s growth strategy, and construction and other companies’ moves to actively hire foreign workers due to shortages of labor amid improving economic conditions.

By nationality, Chinese accounted for the biggest proportion of foreign workers at 303,886, followed by Brazilians at 95,505 and Filipinos at 80,170.

The number of Vietnamese workers rose 39.9 percent from a year earlier to 37,537. (PNA/Kyodo)