Japan: Labor shortage leads to rising number of foreigners

Today's headlines: Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit Moscow; 20,000 people still displaced weeks after flooding in Malaysia; In less than seven days Myanmar's junta has killed at least 48 people; In Kazakhstan, "inconvenient" candidates barred from electoral rolls.


More and more foreigners are settling long-term in Japan: more than 40 percent of immigrants have been in the country for three years or more, government data show, indicating a considerable increase from the past. At the end of October 2022 there were 1.82 million foreign workers in Japan, a record. The reason for the change is the persistent labor shortage, which prompts companies to hire international students and workers.


Chinese President Xi Jinping will travel to Moscow next week to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. It will be President Xi's first visit to Russia since Russian troops invaded Ukraine. The visit also comes after Beijing made proposals to end the conflict in Ukraine, but to which the West gave a lukewarm reception.


More than 20,000 people are housed in 83 temporary relief centers in Batu Pahat and Segamat districts in the Malaysian state of Johor after floods in recent weeks affected all 10 districts in the region. Three roads still remain closed after being damaged by the floods.


According to data compiled by The Irrawaddy between March 10 and 16, Burma's coup junta killed 48 people, burned 11 villages and launched six airstrikes, mostly in the country's anti-regime strongholds. At least 30 people were injured and 55 were arrested.


Karachi United is a soccer team founded in 1996 that has opened a series of community centers in the city's lowest-income areas. Of the 50 boys enrolled in the soccer academy, 45 belong to low-income families who come from neighborhoods such as Lyari and Malir, which until a few years ago were synonymous with gang wars and drug trafficking.


Following past habits, several "inconvenient" and independent candidates in Kazakhstan are being excluded from the electoral rolls in the final days before the parliamentary primaries, due to checks on details of tax returns, omissions in publications or minimal campaign violations, as reported by some activists in Almaty.


The peoples of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are deeply concerned about the excavation works in Afghanistan of the huge "Kosh Tela" water collection canal, announced by Kabul's vice-premier, Mullah Abdulla Gani Bardara, during a visit to Balkh province, which could cause a serious water deficit to neighboring countries.