Japan has granted two working permits under the new visa system for blue-collar workers that came into force earlier this month to address the national labor shortage, the Justice Ministry announced Friday.

The recipients are two Cambodian women in their 20s who came to Japan to be technical interns in the agricultural field. With the new visa status, they will be employed by a firm in Osaka Prefecture with branches in Wakayama Prefecture, where they have been undergoing technical training. They will be dispatched to Gobo in Wakayama to perform tasks including tilling and sowing.

The ministry also granted permission for 18 others to stay in Japan who have come to the country under the lower-skilled trainee program and have applied for the new visas. The officials also said they plan to grant similar visas to another 45 applicants engaged mainly in agriculture.