- 桃山学院大学経済経営論集 = ST.ANDREW'S UNIVERSITY ECONOMIC AND BUSINESS REVIEW (ISSN:02869721)
- vol.60, no.2, pp.63-78, 2018-10-17
Taiwan has been accepting foreign labor forces since early 1990’s.Studies related to foreign workers in Taiwan so far are mainly analyzinghistory of acceptance, current state and background of the acceptingsystem, changes in the number of workers, and influences on Taiwaneseworkers and the industrial structure there. Meanwhile, recent studies havenot accumulated enough data to clarify the actual state of foreignemployment and companies accepting them. Considering the fact thatTaiwan has many similar problems to what Japan has now such as adeclining birthrate and an aging population, the author infers that beneficialsuggestions can be gained from the case in this study to consider changesto Japanese policy for accepting foreign workers in the future.In this study, it examined the actual state of accepting foreign workersfor unskilled labor in Taiwan by using various statistical data and theresult of the field research at a Japanese company A in Taiwan, whilefocusing on an outline of foreign workers for unskilled labor in Taiwan,background for accepting them by companies, their employment situations,and processes for them getting employed.From the result of this study, it is evident that the number of foreignworkers for unskilled labor has been rapidly increasing in Taiwan since the1990’s to supply serious labor shortages, mainly in the constructionindustry, the manufacturing industry and the service industry. Japanesecompanies there are not exceptions and it is inevitable that company A,the research object, has to accept foreign workers to continue theirproduction. It has been revealed that these foreign workers are consideredto be an important labor force to solve the severe labor shortage problemrather than an inexpensive labor force because a wage level for theseworkers is not much different from Taiwanese workers in a same industry.While expecting that dependency on foreign workers for unskilled laborwill continue to increase in Taiwan, it isn’t certain if enough workers willbe found as had previously been the case. Whether or not Taiwan will bechosen as a destination country for emigration is a subject for futureexamination, with changes of economic circumstances in countries, mostlyin Southeast Asia where countries send out workers, or with changes ofpolicies for accepting foreign workers for unskilled labor in countrieswhere there is a short fall in the labor force such as South Korea.The number of foreign workers in Japan has been increasing due tosimilar problems such as a declining birthrate, an aging population and alabor shortage as previously mentioned. In Japan, however, it is notpermitted to accept foreign workers for unskilled labor and as a result thenumber of international students or technical interns is increasing sincethis is a mechanism being used to bypass this current restriction. This gapbetween the principle and the reality causes various problems particularlyover technical interns. A labor shortage is not a peculiar problem only toJapan, as examined in this study, Taiwan has been short of unskilledlaborers for a long period of time. In conclusion, Japanese government,companies, employers, and communities will have to be together as oneand work immediately on creating a new system, preparing an appropriateframework for accepting and supporting foreign workers to be chosencontinuously on a long-term basis as a destination country to emigrate to,while a scramble for unskilled labor among Taiwan, Japan and South Koreais becoming more obvious.