I haven’t had the chance to translate it yet, but if this is something that has not just been put out, I think I will have been beaten to the punch.
[Update: From what I can glean, the Japanese government is looking to be more flexible about its rather difficult permanent residence rules. As it stands, it’s a lot easier to accrue 10 straight years in Japan as an Eikaiwa grunt than it is to be someone who is bringing professional certifications into the country. The people in the shadows, in the bureaucracy, who really run Japan, [are] probably figuring out that they were alienating any number of talented people who had made a commitment to their country. Instead, they got a number of PR (permanent residents) who essentially coasted.
Debito is saying about the annual income and the age. I wondered about this, too. On the one hand, there is a minority in Japan who is worried about foreigners coming along and destroying the ethnic homogeneity of Japan. (All countries have these types of people.) Well, if you favor older immigrants rather than younger ones, you perhaps minimize that. Unlike some commentators, I feel you really can’t figure out what “Japan” is absolutely thinking, or how it really is—you can only get your impressions. It’s a lot of feeling and agenda, and this one simply looks to me like the government wanted more flexibility written in to the hard-and-fast rules. They already had a special track for some people to become PR. This just memorializes and expands it.
My impression is the new set of rules is more liberal than the old set, but also designed, maybe, to cut down on the number of people who coast to PR. There is the part, on another sheet, about changing how the 10 years is calculated. That seems more of an indication than anything.]