Foreigners to need ’skills’ to live in Japan

As suggested in the [Justice Ministry] panel’s interim report released in May, the panel said foreigners who want to work in Japan, including those of Japanese descent, must have a certain degree of proficiency in the Japanese language to be granted legal status.

[Senior Vice Justice Minister Taro] Kono called the government’s current policy of granting preferential treatment to people of Japanese descent a “mistake” and said the policy must be reconsidered.

“Many children of those ethnic Japanese who do not speak (the language) are dropping out of school, which must be stopped,” he said, adding that the lack of language ability is becoming a major problem for foreign workers.

“The government must take responsibility for building a system to teach Japanese to them,” Kono said.