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Companies with many foreign workers are struggling with Japan’s strict entry restriction imposed on foreign nationals aimed at curtailing the spread of the coronavirus, throwing cold water on its attempt to lure global talent, especially high-skilled professionals, amid a workforce shortage in the graying nation.

The restriction, banning a large number of people from 111 countries with valid working visas from entering and re-entering Japan, has made it difficult for many companies to hire international workers, who are deemed key to reviving the nation’s stalled economy and resolving the labor shortage.

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