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International News

Dec 08, 2018
8:57PM

Japanese Parliament approves legislation allowing foreign workers to ease labour shortage

BBC
In Japan, parliament has approved a controversial new law allowing hundreds of thousands of foreigners into the country to ease labour shortages.

From April next year, foreigners will be allowed to take up jobs in sectors such as construction, farming and nursing. The law creates two new visa categories. 

Workers in the first category will be allowed in for five years if they have a certain level of skill and some proficiency in Japanese. Workers with a higher level of skills would qualify for the second visa category and would eventually be allowed to apply for residency. 

Criticizing the Act, opposition parties have argued that an influx of foreign workers would depress wages and lead to exploitation of migrant labour.

Japan has traditionally been wary of immigration but the government says more foreigners are needed because of Japan's ageing population. Under the new system, more than 300,000 foreigners could be allowed to work in sectors facing a labour crunch. 

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