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Japan's labor shortage is difficult

The reason for the shortage of labor in Japan is not because Japan's economic situation is unprecedentedly good, but because Japan is the country with the most serious problem of aging population.

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"labor shortage", "manpower shortage"...

Recently, the Japanese business owners I met almost always complained. As a first industry, the agriculture, forestry and fisheries industry does not have to say that the secondary industry manufacturing industry and the service industry in the tertiary industry have also fallen into the dilemma of labor shortage. Even the convenience store, which is known as the "Japanese retail industry symbol", has shortened the business hours because of the shortage of manpower, thus breaking the Japanese people's long-standing understanding of the convenience store's "business for 24 hours." At the same time, buying a cup of coffee or a patties can be called "takeaway" in China, making the Japanese extremely envious.

At present, companies all over Japan are aiming at “zero overtime” and are engaged in labor reform. The root cause of this approach is that if Japanese companies continue to slogan "24-hour work" when they enter the international market 30 years ago, then these companies will undoubtedly be labeled as "black-hearted enterprises", young employees will He did not hesitate to submit his resignation report. A few days ago, the boss of a Chinese electrical appliance manufacturing company who was on a business trip to Japan, half-jokingly and seriously said to me: "You (Japanese) are working hard to develop socialism with Japanese characteristics!"

In fact, the shortage of labor in Japan is not because Japan’s economic situation is unprecedentedly good, but because Japan is the country with the most serious problem of aging population.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan publishes demographic data once a year. According to data released on April 12 this year: Japan's population has decreased for the eighth consecutive year, currently only 1.2644 billion, a decrease of 260,000 from the previous year. At the same time, the proportion of the population under the age of 15 fell to 12.2%, reaching a record low. The proportion of the labor force between the ages of 15 and 64 fell below 60% for the first time and fell to 59.7%, a record low. In contrast, the proportion of the population over 65 has risen to 28.1%, a record high; the proportion of the population over 70 has also exceeded 20% for the first time, reaching 20.7%.

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In April this year, Japan held a four-year unified local election. The news media immediately reported some "unbelievable" situations in the election process, such as: 23% of the local town and village council elections ended with "no vote to be elected." The so-called "no vote is elected" means that the number of members is the same as the number of candidates, or the number of candidates has not reached the number of candidates. Therefore, candidates are not required to vote and all are elected.

This "no vote is elected" is equivalent to proclaiming to the world that the Japanese are "proud to be proud" for nearly 150 years of democracy, and this has collapsed. The reason for this "coup d'état" is not because of the emergence of dictators, but because of the growing problem of the aging of the youngest, it is not possible to select so many candidates from among the members.

In December 2012, Shinzo Abe, who once again climbed the summit of Japanese politics, considered two ways to solve the growing problem of aging children:

One method is to develop AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology and replace some manual work with robotic work. So, the robots that are responsible for reception in the hotel and the robots that make sushi in the kitchen have come out one after another. Moreover, the advent of each new type of robot can become a hot topic in Japan. However, these robots have never been accepted by the public.

Before, I met a company owner who used a service robot. He reluctantly said that these robots are expensive and easy to break. After they were put into use, they increased their workload. In other words, these "4G" robots will become the burden of manual work in many cases, and the debut of the "5G" robot does not know how many years to wait.

The second method is to introduce foreign immigrants. However, most of the supporters of the Abe regime are right-wing nationalists, so Abe has not been able to make a decision on immigration policy. In addition, considering that the EU, which has actively introduced immigration, has fallen into chaos, the Japanese rightists strongly advocate "not allowing Japan to become the second EU."

However, 2020 is just around the corner. If the problem of labor shortage is not solved, the Tokyo Olympics, which the Abe regime has gambled on, may not be able to proceed smoothly. As a result, the Abe regime began to implement the revised Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act on April 1. Although Abe insists: "This is definitely not an immigration policy," everyone knows that this is Japan's first immigration law.

According to the revised bill: The Japanese government will provide 340,000 foreigners with a "special skills visa" for five years for industries with a severe shortage of labor. These 14 industries include: nursing, catering, construction, building purification, agriculture, food manufacturing, lodging, raw materials processing, shipbuilding, fisheries, auto repair, industrial equipment manufacturing, electrical and electronic related Industry and aviation industry.

However, the Abe regime has a misunderstanding that once Japan opens its doors, outstanding young people from all over Asia will flock. In fact, this wrong idea is exactly what the Japanese are proud of. If Japan introduced this policy 30 years ago, not to mention Asia, it is estimated that outstanding young people from all over the world will flock to Japan.

However, time has passed. Now, outstanding young people from all over Asia are working in places where labor conditions are far superior to those in Japan. In other words, it is no longer the era of "Japan chooses outstanding young people in Asia", but the era of "Asia's outstanding young people choose Japan." Taking the “accommodation industry” as an example, the Abe regime hopes to recruit 22,000 foreigners. However, in the national examinations held on April 14, the actual reference for foreigners was only 391, just over half of the 760 reference quotas.

Among the 14 industries mentioned above, the “Nursing Care” program recruits 60,000 foreigners, ranking first. “Is there so many foreigners coming to Japan?” Many Japanese people have expressed concern about this number. In fact, the current gap in the Japanese nursing industry is as high as 300,000 people. Even if 60,000 foreigners are recruited, it will only make up for the 20% gap.

Some people even began to worry about "Portugueseization of Japan."

In the 15th century, Portugal, located on the west side of the Eurasian continent, is the world hegemon of the great maritime era. In the 16th century, the Portuguese settled in Macao, selling iron cannons, glass and tobacco to Japan, which had a major impact on East Asian countries. Even the name of the traditional Japanese dish "tempura" is derived from the Portuguese word "Temporas (temporary substitute food)". It is said that Christian missionaries who came to Japan from Portugal did not eat meat on Sundays, but instead ate a "temporary food" very similar to meat. Later, this food was very popular in Japan. However, a major earthquake in 1755 caused near-destructive damage to Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. It is also because of this earthquake that Portugal, a country of great civilization, embarked on a path of decline. Until now, Portugal is still among the 28 EU member states, relying on borrowing for the strength of the country.

At the other end of the Eurasian continent, the Japanese government publicly stated that in the next 30 years, the probability of an earthquake in the South China Sea trenches is as high as 70%-80%, and the largest number of deaths caused by the earthquake is expected to be about 320,000. It will seem undoubted that Japan will encounter a major earthquake in the near future. In March 2011, an earthquake struck northeastern Japan and triggered a nuclear leak at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. To this day, many Japanese have not come out of the shadow caused by the earthquake, and another more tragic tragedy is approaching.

All in all, in order to solve the problem of labor shortage, Japan can develop AI technology and introduce immigrants. At the same time, Japan will also work closely with China, Asia's largest economic power, to prevent Japan's "Portuguese."