In recent years, labor shortages caused by an aging and declining population have created pressures for Japan to find new ways to admit foreign laborers. The Japanese government has responded to these pressures with a number of policy innovations. Most interestingly, the government created the “specified skills visa” in December of 2018 to admit manual laborers as a defined category for the first time. Just a few months after this new visa category went into effect, Japanese voters went to the polls to elect their representatives in the House of Counselors. What does that election tell us about the politics of immigration in Japan? This paper combines quantitative analyses of Diet candidates’ positions on the issue of immigration in 2019 and other recent elections with qualitative case studies of LDP two candidates in the 2019 election to assess the new political context in which immigration policy is made in Japan.