Vietnam Welcomes Japan’s New Worker Recruiting Program

Nhat Trung

11:40 27/06/2019

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The two countries aim to sign an accord soon on accepting Vietnamese workers through the program, which launched in April, opening the door to workers in 14 industries faced with acute labor shortages.

Vietnam Welcomes Japan’s New Worker Recruiting Program

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc - Photo Courtesy: AP

According to Nikkei in the latest article, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Wednesday he "welcomes" Japan's new visa program for foreign workers and called for more cooperation in "this most promising area."
Hanoi "stands ready to prioritize collaboration with Japan in this area," Phuc told reporters here. The two countries aim to sign an accord soon on accepting Vietnamese workers through the program, which launched in April, opening the door to workers in 14 industries faced with acute labor shortages.
Vietnam, already a major source of foreign labor for Japan, has the potential to lead the list under the new program, providing much-needed help in such areas as nursing care and food service.
Phuc called for Tokyo to create an environment facilitating Vietnamese workers' adjustment to Japan, and said the two sides will work together to crack down on abuses by brokers.
The more than 300,000 Vietnamese people already in Japan are "a treasured source of human capital for Vietnam, while at the same time also contributing to Japanese society," he said.
In June, the first Vietnamese accepted to go back to Japan in the tokutei visa arrived in Japan and started his second new life there. It is estimated there will be more Vietnamese going to Japan provided that the working conditions are not too tough and workers receive adequate payment.
In May this year, Prime Minister Abe announced the creation of a new visa type, provisionally named the “Specified Skills” (tokutei ginou, 特定技能) visa from April 2019. The policy shift signalled a move to open Japan’s doors to the much-needed additional foreign labour that would help plug the gaps in sectors feeling a particular strain.
In the original announcement, the government proposed to allow more than 500,000 foreign workers to be employed by five industries by 2025. These industries were agriculture, nursing care, construction, ship building and lodging and hospitality. In a significant departure from current laws, the visa requirements would not include a degree and would allow holders the chance to upgrade to permanent residency in Japan.
Since then, it has been drafting the details and a recent update shows that there will in fact be two new visa statuses: Specified Skills 1 and Specified Skills 2, that will potentially apply to 14 industries in total. The industries that will qualify are to be jointly decided by the Ministry of Justice and the ministry responsible for the industry itself.

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