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Japan immigration

Japan eyes shift in skilled-worker visas toward food production

Keeping total unchanged, plan seeks to cut quotas for restaurants and hotels

Japan could more than double its visa quota for skilled workers involved in food production. (Photo by Masayuki Terasawa)

TOKYO -- Japan will consider revamping its quotas for visas issued to skilled foreign workers, putting more emphasis on production of ready-made meals and less on restaurants and hotels to reflect changes in demand amid the pandemic.

A government proposal presented to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party would more than double the number of "specified skilled worker" visas available for food production to 87,200 from 34,000, on higher demand for bento boxes and prepared foods. As of April, 74% of the quota had been filled, raising concerns that the limit could be reached.

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