Japan holds exams for foreigners newly eligible for Category 2 residence status

Japan has begun holding exams for foreign workers whose job types have been newly added to the list of fields that are eligible to get the country's Category 2 residence status.

Japan is drastically expanding the fields for qualified foreign skilled workers to attract more talented people from abroad amid the intense global competition for such workers.

The new status allows skilled foreigners to have no limit on applying to extend their stay in Japan and bring family members to the country.

The types of work allowed are limited to ones suffering workforce shortages. The Cabinet in June expanded the number of fields from two, namely construction and shipbuilding to eleven, including agriculture.

On Monday, 47 foreigners working in the field of manufacturing related to items such as industrial machinery and information, took a written test at a venue in Osaka, western Japan.

Officials say that in addition to passing the test, workers need no less than three years of field experience to qualify for the status.

A 35-year old man from the Philippines who was taking the test said he has been in Japan for seven years. He said he wants to invite his family to the country and expressed hope that he will work permanently in Japan.

More exams for workers in other types of fields are scheduled for later dates.