Japan to give certain highly skilled foreigners permanent residency after a year


The Japanese government plans to grant highly skilled foreign people permanent residency after they live in Japan for at least one year, informed sources said Saturday.

Currently, people such as researchers and corporate managers can become permanent residents if they stay in the country for at least five years.

The government is now working to shorten the required period to basically three years, the sources said.

But specialists in artificial intelligence, researchers in regenerative medicine, big investors and other people who satisfy special conditions will only need to reside in Japan for one year to gain permanent residency, they added.

Calling it important to take in highly developed human resources for Japan’s survival amid intensifying global competition, the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe clarified in its growth strategy adopted in June a policy to make the immigration system attractive to highly skilled foreign professionals.

As of the end of 2015, 3,840 such foreigners worked in Japan. Of the total, two-thirds were Chinese.

The Justice Ministry plans to revise relevant ordinances next year, the sources said.