Japan's small cities to draw foreign talent with fast-track residency

Nikkei -- Jul 19
Japan will make it easier to bring in talented foreign workers to regions outside the metropolitan areas by offering a fast-track path to permanent residency.

The government will revise a point system that grades individuals based on annual income, educational backgrounds and job experience. Those with high scores receive preferential treatment.

Now the government will add points for working at companies promoted by local communities. The government had rolled out the program on a trial basis in Hiroshima Prefecture and Kitakyushu and will now expand it nationwide.

The aim is to attract such specialists as researchers, engineers and business managers. Many companies in rural areas are facing a need for transformation in response to digitalization and decarbonization. In Hiroshima Prefecture, for example, semiconductor developers are trying to invite engineers.

An applicant whose point total reaches 70 will qualify for "highly specialized profession" status, and the period of stay in Japan required to obtain permanent residence will be shortened to three years from 10. At 80 points, only one year will be required. Parents and domestic servants will be allowed to come along, and spouses will be permitted to work. ...continue reading


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