Japan is changing its immigration policy because it needs workers. Japan is an aging society. This means it does not have enough workers to work many jobs. Japan's government has decided to allow many workers other countries the country to help fill the jobs. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his government will meet December 28 to approve the plan. If the plan is approved, it will become law April 1. The new law would allow to 345,000 foreign workers to help labor shortages. Many these workers will work the construction, fishing, healthcare and agriculture industries. They will be largely low-skilled workers and will need to pass a Japanese language test.
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Saturday that Japan had to change and allow more foreign workers to help the economy. He said: "If Japan simply continued the same path, we would find ourselves a very difficult situation." He also said the government would make sure the foreign workers can quickly adjust to life smaller Japanese cities and towns. He said: "We want to ensure they have the right environment which to live and work." Japanese people are having fewer children. The fertility rate is now only 1.4 children woman. The rate should be 2.1 for Japan to have enough Japanese workers. Japan's population is already dropping about 400,000 people a year.