Watami restaurant to set up Singapore unit to source foreign workers

SINGAPORE, NNA - Major Japanese restaurant chain operator Watami Co. will establish a joint venture in Singapore to train and send Southeast Asian workers to Japan in response to Tokyo’s drive to accept more foreign workers.

Watami said Wednesday the joint venture with IT Global Corp., a Japanese human resources provider under the wing of ITbook Holdings Co., will be established this month, with a plan to initially dispatch Cambodian workers.

The equally owned joint venture, tentatively named Global Dream Street, will be capitalized at $1 million and provide language education, practical job training and follow-through service, Watami said in a statement.

“We are in tie-up talks with a Japanese-language school in Cambodia. We also have a plan to form a staffing entity,” a Watami spokesman told NNA.

The joint venture plans to mainly train workers for the restaurant sector, he said.

Watami and IT Global said they will also establish another joint venture in Tokyo, tentatively named W&I Dream Model, in June to offer Japanese-language training for foreign workers and staffing services for Japanese companies in various sectors.

On April 1, Japan launched a new visa system to bring in more foreign workers to the country, which is struggling with an acute labor shortage due to a rapidly graying population and declining birthrate. (NNA/Kyodo)

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