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The government plans to introduce a point system to give preferential treatment, such as granting residency permit extensions, to non-Japanese with advanced expertise, sources said Sunday.

The government wants to award points to foreigners for their qualifications, work experience, research achievements and other qualities, and to grant preferential treatment when their points exceed a certain level, the sources said.

The system will be part of reforms to the residency permit system amid intensified international competition for engineers and others with advanced expertise.

A Justice Ministry panel will begin mapping out the new system soon.

The government is expected to consider simplifying procedures for residency permits and re-entry, extending from three years the maximum duration of residency permits and shortening from 10 years the period of residency required before securing the right to permanent residency.

The ministry will decide on the jobs to be included under the new system in consultation with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and other ministries and agencies.

A government panel compiled a report last month that included a study on introducing the new system.

Similar systems have been introduced in Britain and Canada. In Britain, scientists, entrepreneurs, engineers and teachers can obtain the right of permanent residence in five years.

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