A scholar involved in the government’s efforts to formulate a new economic strategy based on globalization called on Japan on Monday to accept more foreign labor as its rapidly aging population continues to shrink.

Motoshige Ito, professor of economics at the University of Tokyo, said at the Foreign Press Center that the need for foreign laborers will rise in such areas as nursing, medical care and housekeeping because the number of working women is expected to climb as the labor shortage kicks in.

Expecting the demand for foreign laborers to grow, Ito said, “We have to provide adequate care to support the livelihood of foreign workers in education and other areas.”

The professor is involved in drafting global economic strategy at the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, which is headed by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

Ito said about one in 20 newlywed couples in Japan has a non-Japanese spouse and that Japan has already been experiencing globalization in terms of marriage.

“There are various problems associated with the increase of foreigners living in Japan, such as crimes, but strengthening border control is only one way of addressing them,” he said. “We should extend services to support their everyday lives.”

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