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Flexibility coming to Japan's program for foreign teachers

JET participants will be allowed to branch out to other tasks

Japan wants to make it easier for foreign workers hired by local governments, such as assistant language teachers in the JET Program, to help with other tasks outside their main jobs.

TOKYO -- The more than 5,000 foreigners who are employed by local governments in Japan in positions such as language teachers will no longer be pigeonholed into narrow job categories in a move to better cope with the rising number of overseas residents and visitors to the country.

The Ministry of Justice will soon revise the visa rules that govern the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, or JET, which arranges for foreigners to take such positions as assistant language teachers in schools or translators in government offices throughout the nation .

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