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Acute shortages of manpower in Japan are prompting changes in the country’s labor market, and a new rule to facilitate the conversion of fixed-term contract workers into indefinite-term employees will come into full force in April.

The status conversion rule was included in the revised Labor Contracts Act, which took effect in April 2013, after a large number of employees on fixed-term contracts found themselves unable to renew amid the global financial crisis triggered by the collapse of major American financial services firm Lehman Brothers in 2008.

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