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Justice Minister Takashi Yamashita emphasized Friday that the government’s proposed new visa statuses for blue-collar workers with certain skills do not equate to granting permanent residency or promoting more immigration.

His comments came as his ministry unveiled details of two new types of residence status, set to be created by next April. The new statuses aim to allow people with knowledge and abilities Japan needs, in areas where local human resources are scarce, to work in the nation, where the population is aging and the workforce shrinking. To date, Japan has in principle accepted only highly skilled foreign workers.

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