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Japan’s key economic policy panel proposed Tuesday that the government consider relaxing immigration rules in favor of skilled workers in response to the rapid aging of the country’s population.

To cope with intensifying global competition, the government should draw up a comprehensive strategy by next March to seek highly skilled workers mainly from other Asian countries, said the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, which advises Prime Minister Taro Aso.

The advisory panel said one of the main pillars of the envisaged strategy would be an immigration “point system” in which preferential treatment would be given for points based on skills.

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