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Japan's 5-year worker visa extended to manufacturing

Stamping and casting industries need overseas personnel to sustain 'Made in Japan'

A Vietnamese technical intern works at a factory in Toyama Prefecture. Workers from overseas who show proficiency during training will be allowed to stay in Japan up to five years under a proposed visa program.

TOKYO -- Japan's new residency program for overseas workers will be expanded to include key yet understaffed manufacturing fields that supply parts to automakers and other mainstay industries.

The cabinet endorsed last month a proposed visa program that would let foreigners stay in Japan for up to five years after passing an exam, opening the door to unskilled labor. The plan was originally geared toward five areas with severe labor shortages: construction, agriculture, nursing, shipbuilding and hospitality.

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