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Japan to upgrade immigration bureau to welcome foreign workers

Abe embraces unskilled workers to jump-start economic policy

Filipino trainees at a Tokyo nursing home. Lawmakers are moving to accept more foreign workers to care for senior citizens and prevent a brisk economy from slowing before election season starts.

TOKYO -- Faced with intractable labor shortages, Japan is moving to accept more foreign workers, including unskilled laborers the country has long resisted, with plans to expand its immigration bureau to accommodate more arrivals.

"It is imperative for Japan to create a framework to accept wide-ranging foreign talent that can immediately contribute," the prime minister told cabinet members Tuesday. "The labor shortage is particularly acute among small and midsize businesses."

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