TOKYO, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- The Japanese government approved on Tuesday a policy package in preparation for acceptance of foreign workers under the new visa system in 2019, local media reported.
According to the 126-point policy package, Japan will accept up to 345,150 foreign workers in five years starting from April 2019 in 14 sectors including construction, restaurant and nursing care.
Under the program, about 100 one-stop consultation service centers will be set up across Japan to offer information and advice to foreign workers on issues such as employment, medical services, child-raising and education.
The consultation centers will offer service in 11 languages, including English, Chinese, Indonesian and Vietnamese.
Under the new policy, blue-collar workers in sectors facing a labor crunch will be able to obtain two new categories of visas.
One category allows workers to stay for up to five years without bringing relatives. More skilled workers in specific areas can stay in Japan for more than five years after renewing licenses and are allowed to bring family members.
The policy package came up as an effort to address Japan's labor shortage and a response to wide-spread concerns that the hastily crafted labor bill lacked details and may expose the workers to exploitation.
According to a nationwide opinion poll conducted in mid-December, among 1,035 respondents, 65.8 percent voted against the decision to introduce foreign labor and only 24.8 percent were in favor.