Workforce to drop by 10 million in 2030
Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare estimates that Japan workforce (defined as people above 15 years of age who are either employed or looking for jobs) will decrease from 66.57 million to 10.7 million by 2030. Decrease in workforce goes hand in hand with the speed of the society aging; Japan will be the first in the world to face its consequences.
To deal with this problem, Japan will need to make use of its senior citizens, women, and foreigners. OECD has made provisional calculations stating that Japan needs to accept 500, 000 foreigners a year to maintain the number of people in the workforce it has now.
The number of foreigners who have gotten long-term employment in Japan was about 20,000 in 2005. Unless a proper infrastructure is put in place, Japan will be lagging behind in the global competition for highly-skilled foreign workers.