The government may allow 500,000 low-skilled foreign workers entry to the country for a maximum of five years though fiscal 2025 as a part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's new economic policy outline expected to be released in mid-June, according to sources.

Under the new plan, laborers with Japanese proficiency would be allowed to work in the agriculture, construction, lodging, nursing and shipbuilding sectors. As for the country's existing foreign trainee program, where Japanese language skills are not required, the maximum length of stay would be extended to 10 years.

The Cabinet Office — the agency charged with putting together the prime minister's annual economic policy outline — would not confirm the exact number of workers being considered, but officials said the government was "debating an expansion of foreign labor."