The health ministry has approved a plan to include nursing care under the technical intern training program for foreigners to help increase the number of foreign care workers and solve a labor shortage in Japan's aging society.

The plan by a panel of experts calls for adding nursing care to skills under the training program in fiscal 2015 and start accepting foreign caregivers in April 2016 on condition the interns have some Japanese-language proficiency and nursing care expertise.

It will be the first time for a person-to-person service to be included in the training program, which covers 69 types of businesses, including agriculture, fishing and manufacturing. The program is designed for Japanese companies and business groups to accept young foreign workers to enable the transfer of industrial and other skills.