Photo/IllutrationChief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

SAPPORO--Moves are afoot to raise the job prospects for foreign graduates of Japanese universities and slash monthly cellphone fees by as much as 40 percent.

The policy objectives were cited by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga during a lecture he gave in Sapporo on Aug. 21.

Suga said foreign nationals graduating from Japanese universities ought to have better luck finding employment in Japan in the future as the government plans to introduce a new residence status that will allow them to seek a broader range of employment.

The primary aim is to ease a growing labor shortage and give graduates more options to remain in Japan.

“The ratio of foreign nationals who find employment here after graduating from Japanese university is just below 40 percent,” Suga noted.

The government's most senior spokesman also mentioned that the government will address monthly fees for mobile phones, which are far higher than elsewhere.

Suga said he believes carriers can afford to cut their monthly rates by “40 percent or so.”

He added that the government will raise the issue during an Aug. 23 meeting with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

“The pricing for mobile phone service is way too unclear and too expensive compared to that of other nations,” Suga said.

He said major mobile service providers are raking in excessive profits.

“The mobile service uses public radio waves. The profit should be returned to the users.”