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Japan immigration

Japan builders to crack down on illegal foreign labor

General contractors to monitor visa status and work credentials with smart cards

Japanese builders aim to avoid illegally hiring foreigners who are in the country on study-abroad or tourist visas.

TOKYO -- Japanese general contractors will digitally keep tabs on foreign workers' technical skills and visa status, seeking to avoid employing people illegally as the nation's doors open wider to blue-collar laborers from abroad.

The builders will create a monitoring system, revealed by Japan Federation of Construction Contractors Chairman Takashi Yamauchi, using a construction-industry worker database slated to fully launch this April. Foreign laborers entering sites will scan smart cards linked to information on their employment histories and skills, eventually expanding to include such information as residency status and passport numbers. Yamauchi is chairman of general contractor Taisei.

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