Jonathan Soble writes in the NYT:
“Japan, on the other hand, long ago achieved what Mr. Trump has promised: It has very little illegal immigration and is officially closed to people seeking blue-collar work.
Now, though, its tough stance on immigration — legal and illegal — is causing problems. Many Japanese industries are suffering from severe labor shortages, which has helped put a brake on economic growth.
That is prompting Japan to question some fundamental assumptions about its labor needs. The debate is politically delicate, but changing realities on the ground — in Japan’s factories and fields — are forcing politicians to catch up. Japan’s total foreign-born labor force topped one million for the first time last year, according to the government, lifted in part by people entering the country on visas reserved for technical trainees.
That growth has also led to an increase in cases of worker abuse and fraud, labor activists say.”
Yup. When my parents went into a very “high end” retirement home in this area, I noticed that virtually all of the dedicated staff, from doctors and nurses down to the janitors, were recent immigrants. I never ran into a high school kid, when our kids were at that stage or later, who said he or she aspired to be an orderly, a janitor, or even a Certified Nursing Assistant. But, I don’t think most of our kids and grandkids want to take care of us to that degree, either. So, those of us who plan to live to a ripe old age had better hope that Trump’s upcoming “war on immigrant workers (legal and undocumented)” is less than fully successful. Or else, we’ll be emptying our own bedpans.