Underreported news from the Japanese media

by admin on March 31, 2013

1. Tax-free zones

The government’s industrial competitiveness council has proposed tax-free zones for foreign capital

This will be incorporated in the June growth strategy, and it is expected for the zones to be implemented in FY2014.


will anyone pay attention?

The purpose is to attract foreign talent and money to Japan, but why would a company shift production or research to the most closed business environment outside of Saudi Arabia?

They also want to attract “highly capable foreigners” who will be able to get a five-year residence permit based on their academic history and work experience using a points system.

And, they are thinking about allowing more immigration … no, seriously … it’s just that it might get watered down a bit …

2. Foreign care worker exam pass rate: 39%

At least this is better than the 9.6% for foreign nurses. Both care workers and nurses are mostly imported from the Philippines and Indonesia.

The reason for the low pass rate: the difficulty of the Japanese language.

And, this after the ministry extended the test time by 50% and put hiragana (simple Japanese characters) next to the hard Japanese characters (kanji), like they do in story books for 7-year olds.

At the end of the day, the ministry’s efforts to make a dent in the huge shortage of nurses and care workers is not going that well – only 128 care workers passed the test last year.

But will the ministry liberalize the market for nurse labour? Don’t be ridiculous!

3. To put in the calendar: July

This is when the new safety criteria will be set for nuclear power. Prospects for restarts are improving as the papers are starting to talk about the costs of keeping the nuke power stations offline, and Abe is in favor of restarts, apparently.

My view is that once the country starts to notice the increased fuel costs there will be a barrage of media complaining about it and the road to restarts will be embarked upon – and plenty of speculative opportunities there will be.

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