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NEW DELHI :

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Indian workers would be granted a new status of residence—‘Specified Skilled Worker’—by Japan, the government said after a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Under the memorandum, a joint working group will be set up to follow up on the implementation. The memorandum will “enhance people-to-people contacts, foster mobility of workers and skilled professionals from India to Japan," the cabinet statement added.

India has been talking about supplying skilled workers to the global market by mapping domestic skill training programmes with the requirements of different countries.

According a 2019 post by the World Economic Forum (WEF), more than 27% of the population in Japan is over 65 years of age, with a birth rate of 1.43 in 2017— well below the replacement level. It said the country will face a shortage of 6.44 million people in the labour force by 2030. Tokyo alone will be short 1.33 million workers. The legal movement of skilled workers will not only take care of such shortages, but also boost India’s remittance economy.

India followed by China, Mexico, the Philippines and Egypt continued to be among the top five countries in 2020 for foreign remittances, the World Bank said. It, however, estimated India’s remittance receipt at $76 billion, a drop of 9% due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The government listed the 14 sectors as: nursing care; building cleaning; material processing; industrial machinery manufacturing; electric and electronic information related industry; construction; shipbuilding and ship-related industry; automobile maintenance; aviation; lodging; agriculture; fisheries; food and beverages manufacturing; and food service industry.

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