Japan will be short some 35,000 nurses in 2001 as demand for their services rises in line with the new nursing-care insurance system, a Health and Welfare Ministry report says.

The ministry is drafting a plan to encourage former nurses to return to nursing and to reduce the rate at which nurses leave the profession in hopes of increasing the number of nurses by 200,000 to 1.35 million by 2005, a move that will almost balance supply and demand, the report said.

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