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Abe vows to open Japan to 'work ready' talent

Prime minister also pledges to improve foreign interns' working conditions

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers his policy speech at the lower house of parliament in Tokyo on Oct. 24. (Photo by Toshiki Sasazu)

TOKYO -- Japan will create a new residence status to make it easier for more "work ready" foreigners to enter the country, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in his policy speech to open an extraordinary session of parliament.

To deal with the country's severe labor shortage, the government plans to accept "foreign personnel who have a certain level of expertise and thus are work-ready," Abe told both houses of the Diet on Wednesday.

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