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Japan's foreign workers topped 1m in 2016

Exchange students, skilled professionals drive continued growth

A Vietnamese technical trainee works at a Japanese factory.

TOKYO -- The number of foreigners employed in Japan rose above 1 million for the first time last year, growing for the fourth year in a row as the government tries to alleviate labor shortages and secure fresh talent.

Labor ministry data showing foreign employment as of October 2016 is due out soon. It is expected to show an increase of roughly 100,000 from the year-earlier 908,000.

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