To address the labor shortage in the construction sector with the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games on the horizon, the government decided [in 2014] to adopt a new system to promote the utilization of foreign human resources in that sector as an urgent measure [from fiscal 2015 to fiscal 2022]. A Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) survey has revealed that there are problems at about 40% of construction companies regarding the payment of wages to these foreign workers, said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga at a press conference on Nov. 22.
The survey was conducted in fiscal 2017 and targeted 518 construction companies that employ foreign workers. Problems were reportedly found at about 200 of the companies surveyed. In violation of salary regulations that stipulate wages paid to foreign workers must be “equivalent to or higher than those for Japanese,” the companies were paying foreign workers lower wages than Japanese. At the press conference, Suga indicated that companies will be given more thorough guidance. “MLIT has instructed the companies to make improvements,” he commented, “Strict supervision will be needed going forward.”
The system was introduced as an urgent measure in the construction and shipbuilding industries in fiscal 2015 and will end in fiscal 2022.