The Mainichi | 15 September 2018

TOKYO — In response to the government’s planned introduction of a new residency status for foreign laborers, the Japan Franchise Association (JFA) is considering submitting a request to have convenience store clerk included under the new work visa, top association officials revealed to the Mainichi Shimbun in a recent interview.

All of Japan’s convenience store companies belong to the association, and as it stands, work at a store would be seen as “simple labor” and fall outside of the government’s target group for the new status, namely foreigners with a “high level of skill in a complex field.” Attention is focused on whether the association’s request, if granted, would be enough to overcome the labor shortage in the industry.

Faced with a labor shortage due to Japan’s shrinking working population, the ratio of Japan’s convenience store workers who are foreign nationals is already rising, and the four largest chains already employ more than 50,000 foreign staff in total.



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