Brunei Darussalam
This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Japan mulls measures over growing driver shortages

TOKYO (XINHUA) – The Japanese government is planning to introduce measures to address severe labour shortages in the country’s transport and logistics industries, local media reported.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida yesterday told the press he will convene a ministerial meeting next week to discuss a package of measures to tackle the possible shortage of truck drivers, according to local media.

The plan was announced after Kishida’s visit to a logistics firm in Tokyo, national news agency Kyodo reported, as the introduction of overtime regulations on truck drivers is expected to cause a serious shortage of such workers.

The so-called “2024 problem” will limit overtime work for truck drivers to 960 hours a year starting in April next year as part of the working-style reforms.

Apart from incentives for the automation of cargo handling work and reduction of re-deliveries, the measures were also expected to promote the use of self-driving technology, according to the prime minister, who also reiterated intentions to better treatment for truck drivers.

In the meantime, Japan is running short of bus and taxi drivers as it struggles to find new employees as older drivers retire. The situation is predicted to get worse.

A lack of drivers is forcing bus operators nationwide to cut their number of regular routes, according to Japanese transport officials, who also predicted that the country will be short of over 30,000 bus drivers by the fiscal year of 2030.

In Japan’s taxi-driving sector, which is long dominated by an aging workforce, the number of drivers at the end of March logged a sharp drop of 20.4 per cent from four years ago, a separate survey conducted by the Japan Federation of Hire-Taxi Associations showed.

A truck driver delivers a package in Tokyo. PHOTO: THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN