June 23, 2020 / 9:55 AM / 19 days ago

Japan to step up measures to attract foreign finance workers: ruling party draft

FILE PHOTO : High-rise buildings are seen at the Shinjuku business district during sunset in Tokyo, Japan, May 31, 2018. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan will boost visa support, lure more international schools and streamline procedures for obtaining investment management licenses to attract highly skilled foreign finance workers, according to a draft proposal from the ruling party seen by Reuters.

Japan has sought for years to attract foreign professionals in the sector to improve Tokyo’s standing as a global financial centre, and the proposal aims to push the government to accelerate such moves, with Hong Kong residents in mind.

China on Saturday unveiled details of a new national security law for Hong Kong, which has raised fears among democracy activists and some foreign governments that Beijing is further eroding autonomy there.

“Given the current geopolitical situation in Asia, Japan should take advantage of being a safe business location, which is supported by solid democracy and the rule of law,” said the proposal by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, while not mentioning specific countries.

Japan will improve the educational environment for families of highly skilled foreign workers by enticing more international schools as well as boosting visa support for assistant staff, the proposal said.

The 20-page document is set to be submitted to the government later this week with the aim of being reflected in the annual economic policy guidelines, which will be finalised in mid-July, according to two government sources who declined to be identified.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe suggested in parliament earlier this month that Japan could take in Hong Kong residents employed in the financial sector or other specialised areas as China moves to impose new security legislation.

Tokyo ranked third in Z/Yen Group’s rankings of global financial centres published in March, up from sixth place in September, while Hong Kong, which had faced domestic political turbulence, fell from third to sixth place.

Reporting by Takashi Umekawa; Editing by Giles Elgood

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