Friday, April 24, 2009


Foreign Workers in Japan Paid to Leave

Foreign workers are leaving many countries these days, under various conditions, because of the crumbling world economy. Some fly by night and abandon their cars and belongings. So-called nikkei foreign workers in Japan have it better: The Japanese government is paying their way home. Of course when business conditions improve again, they can go back to Japan, right? Not necessarily so. The government has attached a revealing condition to this financial incentive: the workers cannot seek work visas again. What’s the significance of this? It is a tacit admission by the government that it does not expect the good old days of economic growth to return. If it did, it would instead seek to keep these workers in Japan as a reserve labor pool. But here is the government handing them wads of cash as an inducement to go home.

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