National

Japan to beef up immigration office in preparation for more foreign workers

JIJI

The government plans to upgrade the Justice Ministry’s Immigration Bureau to an affiliated agency in April next year in preparation for accepting more foreign workers, sources said Wednesday.

The government will beef up immigration controls alongside the introduction of a new resident status to allow foreign people to work in various industries, sources added.

The envisaged immigration control agency will have enhanced policy-planning capabilities and assume a command-center role in implementing policy measures with other ministries and agencies, they said. More immigration officers and guards — who now number 3,140 and 1,440, respectively — will be hired.

The ministry plans to include the costs for setting up the agency and increasing personnel in its budget request for fiscal 2019.

The government is considering accepting foreign workers with the newly introduced resident status across more than 15 industries, including construction, nursing care and fisheries.