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New Zealand social innovator visa offers blueprint for Japan

Program draws entrepreneurs as global competition for tech pioneers heats up

People walk outside a train station in Auckland. New Zealand launched a special visa program for entrepreneurs on a trial basis in 2017.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- New Zealand's work visa program acts as a model on how Japan and other economies can recruit innovators and entrepreneurs to their shores.

Immigration officials in New Zealand implemented the Global Impact Visa as a pilot program in 2017. Unlike previous visas for entrepreneurs, this program targets those seeking to affect "scalable, positive" change for society.

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