Ankara welcomed Japan's decision to remove Turkey from the list of countries it would not accept workers from.
The Foreign Ministry said in a written statement, "We are pleased with Japan's decision to exclude Turkey from the list of countries from which the country will not be accepting workers as stipulated in the new legislation regulating the residence permit of foreigners and having taken effect as of yesterday." The ministry drew attention to the fact that "this step is in harmony with the spirit of the friendly and long-standing relationship with Japan," the statement added.
The Japanese government listed Turkey in the draft published regarding the countries from which foreign workers will not be accepted.
In January, Hami Aksoy emphasized that this situation does not reflect the spirit of strategic partnership and deep-rooted friendly relations between the two countries, saying that Turkey believes that the decision will be reviewed and corrected as soon as possible. The Foreign Ministry also summoned Japanese Ambassador Akio Miyajima to voice disappointment and concerns.
The number of foreigners working in Japan reached a record high of 1.46 million, rising twofold over the past five years as the country grapples with a labor shortage due to an aging population, government data showed recently.
Japan's population is projected to shrink by about 30 percent in 50 years, according to the National Institute of Population and Security Research, as critics say the country has failed to address its rapid aging and very low birth rate. People aged 65 or older were estimated to account for 38 percent of Japan's total population in 2065, up from 26.6 percent in 2015, the group said.
The figure as of October 2018 represented a 14 percent increase from the previous year and the sixth consecutive annual gain, Japanese Nikkei cited data released by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.
In a major change for Japan, the world's third-biggest economy began a new visa system yesterday that could see hundreds of thousands of workers from abroad come into the country.
Japan, which has traditionally kept its doors all but closed to foreign workers, has been struggling with a rapidly aging population and severe labor shortages in recent years. The new visa system is based on a revised immigration law enacted in December. It allows Japan to receive up to 47,500 foreign workers in the new financial year, starting yesterday.