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Japan immigration

Japan's foreign worker program to pass Diet Friday

Opposition lawmakers make last attempt to block hasty vote

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe answered opposition questions about the visa program in an upper house committee. (Photo by Uichiro Kasai)

TOKYO -- Japan's parliament is expected to enact a bill Friday that expands the country's intake of foreign workers amid a labor shortage, despite objections from opposition lawmakers who want more careful deliberations.

The bill, which would create new visa categories for foreign workers, has already been approved by the lower house. The ruling coalition is set to hold a vote in an upper house plenary session for final approval Friday, with plans to kick start the program in April.

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