A GROUP of Japanese medical professionals is set to arrive in Cebu this month to learn English in preparation for the 2020 Olympics.
Fujita Health University (FHU) has tapped Cebu Doctors University Hospital (CDUH) to be its partner school for its 34th Overseas Training tour on Aug. 20 to 27. The group consists of 18 Japanese professionals from different hospital departments—medical technologists, radiology technologists, and nurses including head nurses and professors handling rehabilitation, geriatric and academic affairs.
In a letter sent by FHU president Kiyotaka Hoshinaga to CDUH president doctor Potenciano Larrazabal Jr., the objectives of the tour are to “cultivate humanity, to improve English skill and to improve coordination among various medical professionals.”
“We believe that Cebu is the most suitable place for attaining these objectives. Japan is currently expected to ride on the wave of globalization and so are Japanese medical professionals in terms of verbal communication and understanding of the medical circumstances in foreign countries,” said Hoshinaga.
Tourism Development Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. commended CDUH for organizing the English language program targeting professional Japanese nurses with theoretical and practical nursing courses.
“Your initiative will surely encourage more Japanese students to visit the country, not only to enjoy the attractions and activities in Cebu, but more importantly to communicate more effectively in English at the same time learn practical nursing skills as well as the infamous Filipino brand of bedside manner and caring for patients,” said Bengzon in his letter to Larrazabal.
He added the endeavor will facilitate government efforts to showcase Cebu to the Japanese market, both as a tourism and education destinations.
According to Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 Director Rowena Montecillo, the arrival of the group is a good marketing move for Cebu, as it continues to position itself as a premier English as a Second Language (ESL) destination in the country.
“This is a good opportunity for us,” said Montecillo.
Tokyo City was chosen to host the 2020 Summer Olympics on July 24 to Aug. 9, beating Istanbul and Madrid.
The Japanese capital will be the first Asian city to host the Olympics twice, having also hosted the 1964 games. Japan will be hosting its fourth Olympics. Sapporo and Nagano hosted the 1972 and 1998 Winter Games, respectively.
Aside from this group, some 200 taxi drivers of MTK Japan will also be arriving this month to learn English. MTK is one of the biggest taxi operators in Japan.
DOT 7 is aggressively pushing ESL among Japanese tourists following the improved connectivity between Cebu and major cities of Japan.
Although the numbers aren’t that significant yet compared to Koreans taking up ESL, the Japanese market considered promising.
“Not only that we are cheaper for ESL studies compared to our ASEAN neighbors, but the increased direct flights between Cebu and Japan could fuel more Japanese arrivals, not only for ESL but also for leisure,” she said.
Japanese students taking up ESL in Cebu stay the longest, from six months to one year. There are also some who stay for only a week.
But compared to other foreign visitors, the Japanese are high-spenders and usually engage in high-spending activities like diving and other aqua sports.
From January to May 2016, Japanese arrivals in the country stood at 223,042.