The government plans to expand the scope of industries covered by a program that allows foreign workers with specific skills to live in the country long term, it was learned Monday.

The number of sectors covered by the Type 2 status, which allows workers to stay indefinitely, will be increased to 11 from the current two. New additions include the accommodation, agriculture and food service industries.

The plan is aimed at promoting long-term employment of foreign workers to help resolve worker shortages in Japan due to the country's declining birthrate.