The Japanese government is planning to add a new resident status category aimed at foreign care workers to make it easier for them to be employed in Japan.
The proposed amendment could be submitted to the Diet as early as the beginning of next month in an attempt to get the bill passed during the current ordinary Diet session, sources said.
The proposal is part of a push to use qualified care workers from overseas to fill a labour shortage in the field as Japan’s elderly population grows faster than ever before.
The amendment has already been approved in legislative meetings of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition party Komeito. It is expected to obtain Cabinet approval shortly.
At present, only nationals of Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam are allowed to work in the field in Japan under economic partnership agreements.
Those from other countries, even if they have obtained relevant qualifications in Japan, are currently unable to work in the field due to the lack of an appropriate resident status category.
The catch to the new visa status is being made in an effort to crack down on misuse of the visa system within Japan – the government is planning to make those who submit false declarations punishable by up to three years in prison and to promptly revoke their resident status if found to be carrying or using such documentation.