Turkey summons Japanese ambassador over 'visa disappointment'

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published 31.01.2019 16:20
Updated 31.01.2019 18:49
Japanese Ambassador to Ankara Akio Miyajima (AA Photo)
Japanese Ambassador to Ankara Akio Miyajima (AA Photo)

Turkey has voiced its disappointment after Japan decided to not hire Turkish workers as part of its new foreign worker policy.

Within the framework of the new law that regulates residence permits for foreign workers in Japan that will take effect in April, Japan has listed Turkey in the draft published regarding the countries from which foreign workers will not be accepted.

Hami Aksoy emphasized that this situation does not reflect the spirit of the 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.

"By summoning Japan's ambassador to Ankara to our ministry, we conveyed our inconvenience to him," Aksoy said in a statement.

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, government data showed recently.

The figure as of October 2018 represented a 14 percent increase from the previous year and the sixth consecutive annual gain, according to The Nikkei newspaper, citing data from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

China topped the list with nearly 390,000 workers in Japan as of October, accounting for 27 percent of Japan's foreign employees, the report said.

Vietnam ranked second, at over 310,000 and 22 percent of the total. The Philippines followed with around 160,000 workers or 11 percent. Vietnamese workers rose the most in percentage terms, with an increase of 32 percent over the past year.

Japan's serious labor shortage has left the government scurrying to create a framework to boost the number of foreign workers and ease the strain on employers, the report noted.

The new foreign worker law will let the country formally accept blue-collar workers from abroad and give them a pathway to permanent residency. This will likely prompt even more foreigners to choose Japan as an employment destination. The government, the report said, estimates that up to 340,000 foreign workers could enter Japan in the five years after the law takes effect.

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