In April, Japan undertook a policy initiative meant to alleviate problems caused by its rapidly graying population, including labor shortages, rural depopulation and increasing pressure on social services.

Key to the policy is a visa plan to bring in more foreign labor over the next five years, including 345,000 blue-collar workers from China and Southeast Asia.

To attract quality workers, Japanese planners are trying to not only correct past problems, but also let "qualified migrants" stay longer, bring their families, and in some cases become citizens.