Japan approves 126 measures to attract more foreign workers
Nikkei -- Dec 26
Japan's government on Tuesday adopted a slew of measures to encourage foreign nationals to work in the country and to smooth their integration into society.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged his ministers to do their best to ensure foreign workers are motivated to come -- and not only to big cities but also smaller communities. His call comes ahead of a law change designed to bring hundreds of thousands into short-handed sectors.

The ministers adopted 126 measures in total, including steps to promote coexistence among local Japanese and newcomers and assistance for foreign nationals already residing in Japan. To achieve all this, the government posted a supplementary budget of 6.1 billion yen ($55.3 million) for fiscal 2018 and a budget of 16.3 billion yen for fiscal 2019.

In April, a revision of the immigration control and refugee recognition act is to pave the way for accepting about 340,000 foreign workers in targeted industries over five years.

Under the plans adopted on Tuesday, one-stop facilities, tentatively named Centers for Multicultural Information and Assistance, will be established at about 100 locations nationwide. These centers will provide consultations on administrative procedures and everyday life in 11 languages -- Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Vietnamese, Thai, Portuguese, Indonesian, Nepalese and Tagalog -- using translation apps and other means.

The government will also seek to ensure all regions have Japanese-language schools, and new qualifications will be given to Japanese-language teachers.

Other measures will include providing information in multiple languages to make it easier for non-Japanese families with small children to use medical institutions and child care facilities.

News source: Nikkei
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