【Aging, safety net and fiscal crisis in Japan】No.33: Japan cannot solve the shortage of care workers merely by increasing foreign workers

In this column series, Yukihiro Matsuyama, Research Director at CIGS introduces the latest information about aging, safety net and fiscal crisis in Japan with data of international comparison.

Foreign workers working in Japan have increased from 486,498 in 2008 to 1,278,670 in 2017. Among them, 21,734 worked in medical, long-term, and welfare care facilities as of October 2017, which doubled in the past four years.

The field of long-term care faces the most severe worker-shortage in Japan. The government has forewarned that the industry will face a shortage of 377 thousand workers after estimating that 2,530 thousand caregivers will be required in 2025. The government is working on inviting care workers from foreign countries under economic partnership agreements (EPAs) and so on, but for now, there is no tangible solution in sight.

Table 1 Number of Foreign workers in Japan


(Source)Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare

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