Perspective Chapter: Foreign Residents Providing Eldercare in Japan – Government Data and Their Limitations

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How many foreign residents in Japan are caring for Japanese senior citizens? What trends will likely characterize reliance on foreign residents for caregiving? Japan leads the world in its proportion of seniors, but many other countries are following a similar path. The visa system and the care industry in Japan are highly institutionalized and diverse, posing challenges for assessing the extent of foreign residents’ contribution to care. Scholars, policy professionals, and those advising potential migrants from other countries should recognize the pros and cons of the major government data sources and not rely on just one source. This chapter provides guidance on these sources and suggestions for using them effectively. It further highlights that, given recent access to new visa options, employers are opting for workers with more skills and the possibility of remaining in Japan for a longer period of time.