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Osaka company removes glass ceiling for foreign staff

Facing labor crunch, Nakano Manufacture moves Vietnamese into senior positions

Nakano Manufacture opened its first overseas factory in Ho Chi Minh City. The company considers its Vietnamese workers a valuable asset, and has promoted several to management positions.

HIGASHI-OSAKA, Japan -- Small manufacturers in Japan have long relied on foreign workers to do factory jobs that many Japanese these days shun, but rarely do these overseas workers rise to management positions.

One Osaka factory, however, demonstrates the benefits of removing the glass ceiling for foreign employees, as Japan grapples with a serious labor shortage. The move could signal a shift in the conservative mindset of Japanese business and lead to greater diversity from the boardroom down.

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