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Japanese agricultural competitiveness and migration


  • Mitsuyoshi Ando

    (Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyouku, Tokyo, 113-8657 Japan)

  • Kenji Horiguchi

    (22-15-4-4, Kuriya, Tamaku, Kawasakishi, 214-0039 Japan)


This paper reviews the importance of foreign trainees to farmers who want to expand their production of labour-intensive commodities. Local Japanese youth generally shun farm worker jobs, and Japan is generally closed to low-skilled migrants, but permits farmers, manufacturers and other employers to train and employ young foreigners for up to three years. In Ibaragi Prefecture north of Tokyo, the agricultural cooperatives that provide inputs to farmers and market their vegetables and other produce helped their farmer-members introduce foreign trainees, who allowed farmers to expand their production and increased cooperative sales. Trainees must be paid the Japanese mini-mum wage for most of the 36 months they are in Japan with the additional costs for train-related system, but they are still cheaper than full-time Japanese farm workers. Main data are coming from the statistics like Japanese Agricultural Census and inter-views with coops, farmers and trainees.

Suggested Citation

  • Mitsuyoshi Ando & Kenji Horiguchi, 2013. "Japanese agricultural competitiveness and migration," Migration Letters, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 10(2), pages 144-158, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:mig:journl:v:10:y:2013:i:2:p:144-158

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