National

Government looks to relax requirements for bus and taxi licenses amid labor crunch

JIJI

A National Police Agency panel began talks Wednesday to ease eligibility requirements for those looking to take tests for bus and taxi licenses, in response to chronic labor shortages due to Japan’s graying workforce.

The panel, which includes a university professor familiar with the Penal Code and an automotive journalist, will draw up recommendations by the end of March 2019.

Currently, people taking such tests must be at least 21 years old and have held an ordinary driving licenses for three years.

Under a special rule currently under discussion, the minimum number of licensed years could be cut to two for those who have finished courses at designated driving schools. But those who acquire ordinary licenses at the age of 18 will remain unable to acquire bus or taxi licenses until they turn 21.

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