The Japanese government has decided to create a new visa that will allow foreign nationals with certain skills to work in Japan for up to 5 years. Technical trainees would be able to extend their stay for a maximum of 5 years.
Government officials are working to compile an economic and fiscal reform policy that is expected to be approved by a Cabinet meeting next month.
The officials say applicants for the new visa will need to pass an exam to assess their knowledge, skills and Japanese language proficiency.
But those who have completed a government-backed technical internship program will not be required to take the test.
Foreign trainees are currently eligible to stay in Japan for up to 5 years.
The new visa will allow them to stay in Japan for a maximum of 10 years, but they will have to return to their home country once after completing the technical internship program.
The government says it will not allow, in principle, the holders of the new visa to bring their families, but there may be exceptions if they can prove they have advanced professional skills.
The officials will submit a draft of the basic policy to next week's meeting of the government's Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy.