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Japan immigration

Japan looks to draw new foreign workers outside big cities

Government weighs grants for towns that offer multilingual services

A Filipina worker with her fellow trainee at an auto parts plant in western Japan's Hiroshima Prefecture. The Japanese government wants to ensure that foreign talent is not all concentrated in large, relatively high-wage cities like Tokyo.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The Japanese government will encourage foreign workers coming in under a new visa program to spread out into outlying areas rather than congregate in the largest cities, according to a proposed policy package shown to a ruling party committee Monday.

The hotly debated visa program, passed by the parliament this month and slated to launch in April, leaves Japan with the question of how to handle an influx of people from countries with different languages and cultures. Tokyo hopes to create a system that benefits both foreign workers and the businesses and communities that take them in.

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