February 13, 2005


Japan may accept more workers from Thailand (Japan Times, 02/13/05)

The government is considering allowing in more Thai workers by relaxing employment conditions for cooks, masseurs and caregivers under a proposed free-trade agreement, sources said Saturday.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 13, 2005 10:02 AM

I have a Panasonic massaging chair that works pretty well, but I would love to see a robot change a diaper or make a decent stir-fry.

Posted by: Randall Voth at February 13, 2005 10:10 AM

What, no comfort women?

Posted by: ratbert at February 13, 2005 11:36 AM

What do you think 'masseurs' are?

This is the direction the Japanese will go however and it is a sensible one. They will admit a certain number of guestworkers from countries where they share a religious and other traditions, and have longstanding connections. These people will have zero chance of obtaining citizenship.

BTW, if you're in Israel and you find decent-tasting inexpensive food anywhere in the country, it was prepared by Thai guestworkers.

Posted by: Bart at February 13, 2005 12:41 PM

The technology for a robot that can cook (at a reasonble cost) won't be available for between 10 and 100 years. Folding clothes is the hardest activity, and my guess is that will takes between 15 and 150 years.

Posted by: Bret at February 13, 2005 1:23 PM

Bret: It does seem unfair to ask robots to master a task that no man can master.

Posted by: David Cohen at February 13, 2005 1:49 PM