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Japan immigration

Short of labor, Japanese companies vie for Southeast Asian workers

Watami leads a rush into the region to secure staff for businesses at home

Japanese restaurants struggling to recruit workers domestically are scurrying to hire Southeast Asians.

TOKYO -- A revised immigration law that took effect in April has brought Japanese restaurant operators and other labor-crunch-challenged employers to Southeast Asia.

Watami, which operates a chain of Japanese-style pubs, has set up a joint venture in Singapore to offer support to those eager to take skills exams for Japan's new visa program. By quickly setting up a regional training base, the company hopes to beat its rivals in securing labor for its business in Japan.

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