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Japan's construction sites seek to be foreigner-friendly workplaces

Facing mass retirement, industry hurries to secure equal pay and more days off

A Vietnamese technical trainee works at a construction site in Tokyo. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)
A Vietnamese technical trainee works at a construction site in Tokyo. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

TOKYO -- Japan's construction businesses appear headed for an even deeper labor shortage despite government efforts to attract foreign workers, unless the industry takes steps to make its jobs more appealing.

"If I can stay in Japan longer, I would like to take a grade 1 certified skilled worker test," said a Vietnamese employee at Tokyo-based builder Mukai, in fluent Japanese, referring to a grade held by more senior-level workers.

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