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Japan relying on foreigners more to plug labor holes

Influx of women and seniors not enough to offset the overall population drop

Many of Japan's convenience stores and other retailers rely on foreign workers.

TOKYO -- As the Japanese labor force continues to shrink, companies are increasingly counting on foreigners to fill the gap, especially in such short-staffed businesses as construction and security.

"We face a severe labor shortage on the ground, and we urgently need to bring in foreign workers," said Koji Takayanagi, president of convenience store operator FamilyMart Uny Holdings.

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