Following recommendations made by the Cool Japan Human Resources Development Study Meeting which convened in March of 2017, the Japanese government is looking into easing residency regulations in order to allow foreign students in vocational training programs - such as those learning to be animators - to find work after graduation.
Under the current system, students freshly graduated from vocational programs in fields such as fashion, cooking, and animation can establish residency and get to work immediately in high-level, creative positions such as production and design. However, establishing residency is more difficult for entry level positions, and since it's "not realistic" for new animators to start off as directors, producers, etc., this can prove to be a barrier to entry.
The newly proposed regulations would allow for a "training period" of 1 to 2 years where new graduates can establish residency and work entry level jobs while working toward a mid- to long-term career plan. The goal of these changes is to secure the human resources necessary to continue the development of content-based Japanese industries, such as animation.
Paul Chapman is the host of The Greatest Movie EVER! Podcast and GME! Anime Fun Time.