NHK's latest opinion poll suggests that Japanese voters are divided over the idea of more foreign workers coming into the country.
NHK conducted its monthly opinion poll over the weekend. More than 1,200 responded. The telephone survey asked how people feel about a potential major shift in the country's immigration law.
During the current Diet session, lawmakers will be discussing a bill aimed at relaxing the country's rules over foreign workers coming into Japan. The country currently accepts highly skilled professionals from abroad, like researchers and lawyers.
The legislation is aimed at allowing blue-collar workers into the country. It would create two new visa categories.
One would allow foreigners engaged in simple labor to stay in Japan for up to 5 years, but would not allow them to bring family members.
The second would allow more skilled workers to bring their families, and extend their five year stay indefinitely.
If the bill passes, officials estimate an additional 40,000 foreign workers would be accepted into the country in fiscal 2019.
Respondents were asked what they think about expanding the number of foreign workers into the country. And the results suggest voters are split over the idea.27 percent of respondents say they approved. 30 percent said they disapproved. While 36 percent said they were undecided.