Aiming to tackle a severe shortage of taxi, bus and truck drivers, Japan is planning to expand the existing visa framework for specified skilled workers in order to attract foreign nationals in the transport and logistics industries.

With both industries especially struggling to recruit new workers as existing drivers grow older, the manpower situation is expected to continue deteriorating in the coming years.

The daily Mainichi Shimbun reported this week that the government is looking to add a “transport driver” category for specified skilled blue-collar workers by the end of this fiscal year through March 2024. A transport ministry official said the government is considering that option but that it's still unclear when the new category will be added.