Business

Japan to encourage foreign workers to maintain employment outside major cities

JIJI

The government is planning measures to encourage foreign workers with specific skills under the country’s new visa statuses to secure jobs and continue employment outside of big cities, officials said Monday.

The measures are designed to prevent a concentration of such workers in urban areas, according to an understanding reached by some attendees at a meeting of ministers on the acceptance of and coexistence with foreign workers. The measures will be decided officially at a plenary session soon.

Specifically, the government will consider adopting preferential measures for a technical trainee with relatively low professional skills switching to certain visa statuses if the trainee continues to work for the same company.

The measures include simplified procedures for the switch. The government hopes that the measures will help discourage technical trainees working for companies in rural areas from relocating to Tokyo or other urban areas for higher wages.

In cooperation with Hello Work public job placement offices, the government will also select several municipalities where foreign workers will be encouraged to seek employment. The government will provide support to small firms and foreign workers there for two years to establish a model for offering assistance

The meeting members also decided to create a service that will accept inquiries for consultations on issuing visas, employment and departures from and entry to Japan. The facility is expected to open in the Kanto region, which includes Tokyo, as soon as fiscal 2020.