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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Woes of foreign nurses, caregivers in Japan

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August 09, 2010 08:01:00
Eduardo C. Tadem
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Eduardo Climaco Tadem, Ph.D., is a professor of Asian Studies at the University of the Philippines Diliman. He is currently a visiting researcher at the Kyoto University Center for Southeast Asian Studies.

KYOTO, Japan—Jusuf Anwar, Indonesian ambassador to Japan, has bewailed the overly stringent Japanese national examinations for foreign caregivers and nurses. Out of the 500 Indonesians who took the examinations in 2008 and 2009, only two have passed and have become certified nurses.

Anwar revealed this concern at the “First Public Forum on Indonesia” held on July 23, 2010 at the Kyoto University Center for Southeast Asian Studies.

The problem, he said, is the “kanji” character proficiency part of the examinations. An added burden is that when they fail their exams on the third try, the nurses are obliged to leave the country immediately.

The examinations are part of the criteria introduced by the Tokyo government in line with the Indonesia-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (IJ-EPA) provision on allowing foreign caregivers and nurses to practice their profession in Japan. The IJ-EPA took effect in 2008 but two years after, Ambassador Anwar said he doubted its usefulness unless the examinations can be made less rigid to enable more Indonesian nurses and caregivers to qualify.


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