Tokyo >> The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry will assist small and mid-size manufacturers recruit foreign workers as laws change to allow more foreigners to work in Japan next year. The move is expected to help smaller companies suffering from labor shortages.
The ministry will conduct sessions to explain how to hire foreigners and provide recruitment training.
Also, the ministry will provide advice to new employees about living in Japan and assist them with administrative procedures.
According to a survey conducted by the economy ministry last year, 94 percent of small and midsize companies reported labor shortages, and 32 percent said the shortage had negatively affected their business.
The shortage has been increasingly felt by construction machinery, machine-parts and metal-stamping companies.
The government plans to ease residency requirements beginning in April 2019.
Currently, foreign workers are allowed to stay in Japan for up to five years. The new law will extended this to 10 years.
The government has designated five business sectors — agriculture, nursing care, construction, shipbuilding and accommodation service — eligible for the residence status.