Japan to hire 50,000 Filipino nurses and other workers starting 2019

Starting next year until 2025, Japan will be hiring at least 50,000 Filipino skilled workers including nurses, farmers, and those from the construction, hospitality and shipbuilding industries.


Tokyo announces that Filipino workers will have a chance to get employed in their country in the next six years once Prime Minister Shinzo Abe finalizes new rules to give temporary residence to foreign manual laborers.


Ambassador Koji Haneda said Japan’s parliament is set to deliberate during its extraordinary session in autumn on the creation of a new residency status. The status, he added, would allow foreign workers in a wider range of industries to stay for five years.


“While we are waiting for the rules and regulations of this new scheme to be released, I personally estimate more than 50,000 workers from the Philippines will come to work in Japan with this new work permit by 2025,” Haneda said.


The upcoming new policy effectively lifts the ban on the recruitment of foreigners for manual labor, thus nursing, farming, construction, hospitality and shipbuilding industries are expected to hire Filipino skilled workers.


“In order to accept more foreign workers in Japan, we will create a new residency status for foreign workers with a certain level of expertise or skill from next year,” Haneda said.


He explained the Philippines and Japan have three defining aspects in their economic partnership which are the cooperation in infrastructure development, mutually beneficial trade policies and “people-to-people ties.”


“In this area, Japan and the Philippines can form truly mutually complementary relations. Japan faces an aging society and lacks labor force while the Philippines is abundant with young labor force with great potential,” he said.


“Filipino workers are expected to help Japan address the issues arising from aging society. Japan can provide qualified Filipino workers with job opportunities,” the ambassador added.


Haneda cited Japan’s announcement in May it would welcome over 500,000 foreign workers between 2019 and 2025 to help fill the labor shortage in the face of Japan’s aging population and the need to increase its potential growth rate.


But at the time, Tokyo did not say how many slots would be allotted for specific countries although they will join the 1.28 million foreign workers already in Japan, based on data from the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare.


Of the total foreign workers in Japan, 12 percent or about 153,600 are from the Philippines which belong to highly specialized fields, such as engineering and the academe.


Japan currently allows the hiring of only highly-skilled foreign workers and given Haneda’s estimates under the new program, one in 10 job openings starting summer of 2019 will be filled by a Filipino.


Japan is the Philippines’ top export market and its largest foreign investor with over 1,500 Japanese companies operating in the Philippines, mostly engaged in manufacturing and business process outsourcing. (via Daily Tribune)

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