The government is mulling an update to the nation's visa system in order to accept more foreign workers in a growing number of professions facing manpower shortages, including those that serve the labor-hungry restaurant and fisheries industries, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday.

As Japan grapples with an acute labor shortage, the government is eager to establish a new work visa with a view toward making it available as soon as April next year, the top government spokesman said.

He added that, in an ongoing ministerial hearing of various industry groups, a dozen business sectors have so far expressed interest in utilizing foreign workers via the new visa status, including groups representing the restaurant and fisheries industries.