Japan is preparing to add four sectors, including the transportation industry, to its foreign blue-collar skilled worker visa, granting up to five years of working rights, government sources said Sunday, amid fears of driver shortages.

The move would bring the eligible industries under the Specified Skilled Worker No. 1 visa to 16 with the road transportation, railway, forestry and timber sectors under review, marking the first expansion since the system was introduced in 2019.

Relevant ministries under the government of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida are cooperating on making a decision on the matter within the current fiscal year, which will end on March 31, the sources said.