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Abe vows to bring in more foreign workers

Japan to issue new work permit to attract 500,000 people by 2025

Interns from Indonesia harvest cabbages in Ibaraki Prefecture. The government wants to bring in more foreign workers to relieve Japan's labor shortage. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

TOKYO -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday announced plans to accept more workers from abroad to ease Japan's labor shortages. But the country has a long way to go to facilitate their social integration through language programs and other measures.

The government plans to create a new type of work permit next April for five severely undermanned sectors, including construction, agriculture and nursing care. It seeks to attract more than 500,000 foreign workers by 2025 by opening Japan's doors also to unskilled laborers, who generally have not been granted work permits.

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