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Vietnamese part-timers prove a boon for Japanese pubs

Hard-working students fill a hole for labor-strapped eateries

A Vietnamese student serves beer and yakitori at a Torikizoku branch in Osaka.

OSAKA/TOKYO Plagued by labor shortages, many of Japan's izakaya pub chains are increasingly relying on Vietnamese part-time workers to fill positions.

Torikizoku, an Osaka-based purveyor of grilled chicken, or yakitori, is one such chain. Known for its across-the-board menu price of 302 yen ($2.79), the chain has been hiring Vietnamese nationals to replace its dwindling number of Chinese employees, who used to make up the majority of its foreign part-time workers but now account for only 1%. At some outlets in central Tokyo, all employees except managers are Vietnamese, depending on the shift.

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