The business world in Japan has welcomed with open arms the government's recent decision to expand the scope of a residency status for foreign workers with specified skills, but it remains to be seen whether the move will help swiftly resolve labor shortages in the country, where the population keeps decreasing.

The government decided to increase the sectors covered by the No. 2 status for foreign workers with specified skills, given to highly skilled individuals.

General workers are granted the No. 1 status, which allows them to live in Japan for up to five years. Meanwhile, the No. 2 status, given to workers who have passed skill tests, enables holders to effectively live in Japan permanently by renewing the status. No. 2 holders are also allowed to bring family members to the country.