The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) announced that Japan needs almost 345,000 foreign workers to cover the country’s labor shortage.

Jocelyn Sanchez, the deputy of the POEA, said the job openings are not limited to Filipinos, but the Philippines was among the countries to deploy workers to Japan, GMA News reported.

Sanchez said Japan was in need of workers in the food service sector, manufacturing, food and beverage, care workers, building and cleaning management, construction, aviation and agriculture.

The POEA said the Philippine and Japanese governments had met to discuss a new skilled worker visa system. Under the new system, workers will be categorized into two groups depending on their skills and line of work.

Workers can either be given a five-year contract or be issued a contract for more than five years, which would allow them to bring their families to Japan and apply for an immigrant visa.

According to Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, there were about 153,000 Filipinos working in Japan, or 12% of its 1.28 million foreign workers.