Photo/IllutrationA Japanese-Brazilian married couple who met at a plant they both work at talk of picking up their 2-year-old son at a child-care facility every evening in their prefectural-run residence room in Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, in 2005. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Restrictions barring a group of foreign workers from bringing their families to Japan should be scrapped, one of the nation’s most influential business lobbies said on Jan. 21.

Keizai Doyukai (Japan Association of Corporate Executives) said they should be allowed to do so, in a report voicing the business group's opinions on the recent revision of a law on foreign workers that will take effect in April.

Under the revision, workers with a No. 1 sub category of “specified skills” work visa can stay in Japan five years but are not allowed to have their families join them.

“Regarding other countries mainly the United States and those in Europe, it is the exception not to allow foreign workers who are staying in a country for a year or longer to be accompanied by their families,” Keizai Doyukai said.

Those possessing a No. 2 sub category of “specified skills” work visa can have family members come with them. However, very few can get one as it requires applicants to have higher skills than the No. 1 visa does.

“Another framework should be set up so foreign workers can be with their spouses and children after working in Japan for a certain period of time,” Keizai Doyukai said.

“Stabilizing the lives of (foreign) workers and their families will eventually lead to improvement of companies’ productivity,” the group added.