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Japan to require foreign workers arriving on new visas to submit medical certificates

JIJI

The Justice Ministry plans to require foreign workers entering the country using new working visas to submit medical certificates, sources with knowledge of the matter have said.

Such foreign workers will be required to receive confirmation by doctors that they are capable of working in a stable and continuous manner after undergoing checks on blood pressure levels and other conditions as well as tuberculosis testing, the sources said.

Forms for the medical certificates will be available on the ministry’s website in 11 languages, including Japanese, English and Vietnamese.

These certificates will be required to be submitted to an immigration agency that the government is set to establish next month by upgrading the ministry’s Immigration Bureau.

Japan is scheduled to introduce the new visas next month in an effort to accept more foreign workers amid serious labor shortages. The ministry is reported to have received requests to limit the foreign nationals allowed to work in Japan under the new visas to those that are healthy.

The requirement for tuberculosis testing comes as the disease is spreading among foreign residents in Japan. A total of 1,530 foreign residents developed the disease in 2017, an increase of about 1.4 times over the past five years.

The government plans to encourage foreign people who plan to stay in Japan in the medium or long term to undergo tuberculosis testing before coming to the country.