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Japan immigration

Japan races to court foreign talent as it doubles skilled worker cap

Better support and pay key to attracting up to 820,000 workers in 5 years

A Vietnamese woman holding a specified skilled worker visa at a restaurant in Tokyo. (Photo by Mizuho Miyazaki) 

TOKYO -- Japan faces pressure to boost its appeal for foreign talent as it looks to attract up to 820,000 skilled workers over the next five years, doubling the previous cap, in a competition for talent with other countries facing labor shortages.

The government presented its proposal to expand the Specified Skilled Worker program beginning in fiscal 2024, which targets overseas workers with specialized skills and Japanese language ability, to a working group under the ruling Liberal Democratic Party by Wednesday. The new figure was approved without major pushback.

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