TOKYO (majirox news) – There are not that many permanent residents of Japan. The figure hovers between 1.5 to 2 million, many of them Chinese. When the earthquake and tsunami hit many of them packed up and went home, without even bothering to pick up their paycheck or say good-bye.
“We had 10 staff working in the ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) part time,” said Minato Kisaburo, owner of Kimi Ryokan at Ikebukuro in Tokyo. “Most of them were from China. When news of the radiation hit, every single one of them went back to China without a single word of warning.”
This same scenario has been played out time and time again throughout Japan.
Although the number of Chinese and Koreans in Japan is not too large, most of them were young and working either part-time or full-time in Japanese industries where there are not enough young Japanese workers. The situation is so desperate in some industries, such as farming, that the Department of Immigration is willing to let them back in whether they have a re- entry permit or not.
The Department of Immigration announced on April 11 that anyone in Japan who had entered on a technical training visa or a student visa, could come back to Japan without a re-entry permit. More than 11,000 “technical trainees” dropped their tools and walked off the job, they were so eager to get out.
Normally, the Department of Immigration wouldn’t let them back in, but this is a “special circumstance.” The Department of Immigration says in this case, as long as their former employer wants them back, they will issue a special “landing permit.” As for students, as long as they have a currently valid student visa that’s all they need to get back in.
Japanese industries are discovering that they can’t do without this resource of foreign workers.