In the fall of 2018, JCIE launched a new roundtable to discuss Japan’s immigration policy. The project’s 25 members include national and municipal policymakers, business leaders, experts from NPOs, academics, and foreign residents.

In early December 2018, the Diet passed revisions to the immigration law that will start to allow foreigners who qualify for a new “Specified Skills” visa status to enter Japan for the express purpose of working in designated sectors (including agriculture, nursing care, construction, specific manufacturing industries, and food and hospitality services) for a maximum period of five years. Later that month, they passed “Comprehensive Measures for the Acceptance and Inclusion of Foreign Human Resources.” These measures marked a dramatic change for Japan, which has previously been reluctant to discuss immigration policy or pathways to permanent immigration.  Given Japan’s shrinking population, it has become necessary not only to welcome foreigners as a solution to Japan’s labor shortage, but to think about a future for Japan in which immigrants play a much more important and constructive role in the country.  

It was with this recognition that JCIE launched a series of roundtables to spur an inclusive and wide-ranging discussion on Japan’s migration policy