According to news reports, a Justice Ministry panel has recommended that Japan should limit the number of foreign workers allowed into the country and require those who are let in to acquire a command of the Japanese language.
Japan is debating ways to boost its aging workforce while taking into account public fears that admitting more foreign workers could lead to a rise in crime. Accordingly, the head of the panel, Vice Justice Minister Taro Kono, has suggested limiting the proportion of foreigners to 3% of the population, compared with 1.2% now. People with specialist skills should be favored over manual laborers, according to a ministry press release on the report.
Source: Reuters.com "Japan panel proposes limits on foreign workers" (May 31, 2006)