Japan needs Filipino workers

DAVAO. Japanese Assistant Press Secretary Natsuko Sakata said they are opening their labor market to migrant workers to address its labor shortage. (Ace Perez)

THE Japanese Government has identified the Philippines as one of nine priority countries where they’ll source additional labor force, a foreign official said.

Japanese Assistant Press Secretary Natsuko Sakata said in an interview on Sunday, February 10, at the Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao that they’ll open its labor market on April 1, 2019 to augment its workforce in at least 14 specialized fields identified with severe labor shortages.

These fields are building cleaning management; care workers; machine parts and tooling industries; industrial machinery industry; electric, electronics and information industries; construction industry; shipbuilding and ship machinery industry; automobile repair maintenance; aviation industry; agriculture; fishery and aquaculture; accommodation industry; manufacture of food and beverages; and food service industry.

“We are estimating around 345,000 migrant workers needed in Japan for the next five years,” she said.

She enumerated that along with the Philippines; China, Nepal, Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Myanmar are identified as priority labor sources.

Sakata said Japans is presently challenged with its ageing population and having less children joining the labor pool, hence its government’s move to open its labor market to migrant workers.

“Filipino workers are very talented, young, and reliable,” she said.

However, she cleared that workers from the nine priority countries can’t apply in all the 14 specialized fields. She said Japan’s concerned ministries will determine which of the employment opportunities identified under the specialized fields are available for each country.

“By end of March or earlier, we shall announce which of the 14 fields, Filipinos can apply,” she said adding that guidelines will be set to prevent abuses against migrant workers.

In order for a worker to qualify working in Japan, one should pass skills and Japanese language examinations to ensure that workers are already prepared for employment.

Japan and the Philippine government are also working on the memorandum of understanding to ensure the safety and welfare of the Filipino workers in Japan, she said.


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