Abe acts on plan to attract more foreign workers
NHK -- Jul 25
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is putting in motion a plan to allow more foreign workers into Japan from next April.

Relevant ministers held their first meeting on Tuesday, following the inclusion of an action plan in the government's basic economic and fiscal policy to create a new residency status for foreign workers.

At the meeting, Abe instructed the Justice Ministry to take the lead in drawing up comprehensive measures.

These include revising immigration law to establish a new residency status and other steps to make it easier for foreigners to live in Japan.

Abe said he wants to lay the groundwork for accepting more foreign workers from next April. He asked the ministers to act quickly on preparations, such as by submitting bills and selecting foreigner-friendly industries.

Earlier in the day, Cabinet members decided to give the Justice Ministry authority to coordinate with other government offices and agencies to create a climate for accepting foreign workers.

Abe instructed the ministers to consider establishing a new administrative system for foreigners in Japan.

The measures are expected to include enhancing Japanese-language education and offering counseling services in foreign languages.

Citing labor shortages, the government is planning to add the restaurant and manufacturing industries to the list of fields to open to foreign workers.

5 industries -- construction, shipbuilding, lodging, agriculture and nursing care -- are currently under consideration.

News source: NHK
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