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Japan town mulls hiring foreigners as regular staff from FY 2025

Oizumi Town Hall is seen in Gunma Prefecture. (Mainichi/Tsutomu Takahashi)

OIZUMI, Gunma -- The government of this east Japan town is considering hiring foreigners as regular employees from as early as fiscal 2025, it has been announced.

    Oizumi Mayor Toshiaki Murayama revealed the plan during a Sept. 4 press conference. According to the town, it will be the first municipality in Gunma Prefecture to recruit foreign nationals as regular staff members if the plan goes ahead.

    Specifically, the town will drop the Japanese nationality requirement for regular municipal government jobs, and assign foreign nationals to divisions not dealing with personal information. "There are various hurdles, but we must take a step forward," the mayor told reporters.

    According to the town, as of the end of May it was home to about 8,300 foreign residents, accounting for some 20% of its approximately 42,000 population. The latest move will allow taxpaying foreign townspeople to get involved in civic management, thereby helping improve services for fellow non-Japanese locals.

    Foreign regular staff will be assigned to construction and civil engineering work, such as park management and road repairs, as well as general office work. They will not be promoted to managerial posts, and will not be involved in the exercise of public authority, such as imposing and collecting taxes.

    Elsewhere in Japan, Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture and Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, already hire foreigners as regular workers.

    (Japanese original by Jo Kamiuse, Ota Local Bureau)

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