Days after Japan enacted a law introducing a foreign-worker program to bolster a labor force shrinking due to the aging population, a study showed it could struggle to compete with other developed countries to attract residents from overseas.
The Gallup survey showed that the country’s 126 million population would grow just 1 percent if there were global freedom of movement, compared with 147 percent for Canada and 46 percent for the U.S. But Japan would fare much better than South Korea, whose population would shrink 17 percent, it said.
The revised immigration law enacted last week is set to come into force in April despite criticism the approval process was too hasty. Japan is scrambling to fill vacancies in sectors including elderly care, construction and agriculture.