The role of housekeepers has come under the spotlight as the government looks to them to provide working mothers with help at home as one way to prop up the nation's dwindling workforce.

Under the government's plan, visa requirements have been relaxed in two regions to allow more foreign nationals to work as housekeepers in Japan.

But industry insiders say the plan has shortcomings, including the potential high cost of training and housing foreign staff, and it will take more than just boosting the number of housekeepers to make it work.