Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



Harbir Singh, Naomi Chi


A new version of this paper was uploaded on December 9, 2022. The Methodology section includes citations that were missing from the original publication.


Although the overall situation of migrant workers (TITPs) in Japan is relatively better than their counterparts in other regions of Asia due to higher regulation of migration, salary, and working conditions, there are still many issues to be addressed. The three main pain points of unstable salary, high debt, and lack of job standardization or mobility are largely due to a misleading history and structure of the TITP system in the first place, as well as an unnecessary and often abusive multi-level broker system. To resolve these root issues, this paper advocates for an eradication of secondary brokers, as well as an overhaul of most of the TITP system to the newly-created and much more stable Special Visa system, which would require the Japanese public to first learn to accept and embrace migrant workers as a necessary addition to Japanese society — not to mention, as fellow human beings with families to provide for and life dreams to pursue.


migrant worker, Southeast Asia, Japan, debt trap, immigration system



Date Posted: 17 November 2022


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