IRs may require foreign labor immigration

One of the unintended effects of the opening of IRs in Japan in the mid-2020s may be to force the Japanese government to allow more foreign workers into the country, the Sankei Shinbun pointed out this weekend.

Looking at the example of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, the Sankei quotes President and CEO George Tanasijevich as saying that his facility found itself unable to reach its original target of 70 percent local employment because not enough Singaporeans were willing to work in areas such as food services and housekeeping.

The Sankei observes that Japan is likely to face similar pressures: “With population decline hitting Japan, service industries such as food and beverage and accommodation are facing chronic labor shortages. In an IR, in which service industries predominate, it is not known if the domestic labor force will be sufficient to cover the new job openings. If the domestic labor supply tightens, it is feared that the expansion of foreign labor will be encouraged.”

For the Sankei Shinbun and other conservative commentators, this is not regarded as a positive prospect.