Agency to help foreigners proposed

Kyodo

The Kansai Association of Corporate Executives has proposed that the central government set up an agency to support foreigners with immigration, employment and living in Japan.

The group said Wednesday that the agency would consolidate administrative procedures and services currently spread among several ministries and agencies.

The association, made up of executives of dozens of big businesses mostly based in Kansai, said it will call on the foreign and labor ministries and other offices to look at the proposal.

It also proposed that Japan become more receptive to foreign workers not just in areas requiring specialized skills and knowledge, but also in agriculture, forestry and fishing to resolve manpower shortages caused by the declining birthrate and aging population.

It also called on the central and local governments to increase their budgets for accommodating foreign workers and to relax conditions for allowing them to settle permanently.