ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Japan are exploring ways to expand cooperation for employment of Pakistani skilled workers in Japan.
Japan is facing serious labour shortage, and the government has decided to accept foreign human resources, with specific expertise and skills.
A new ‘Status of Residence’ for specific skilled workers has been created that became effective on April 1.
For this purpose, the Japanese government has amended the ‘Immigration Control Act’ and took comprehensive measures for the acceptance of foreign workers residing in Japan.
Within the next five years, Japan expects to hire services of 340,000 skilled workers.
“Stakeholders show interest in opportunities for Pakistani people to work in Japan and I have talked to find ways for these opportunities with the ministry of foreign affairs and economic affairs division besides stakeholders like ministry of education and National Vocational and Technical Education Commission,” said Yuji Tokita, head of the Economic and Development Section at the Embassy of Japan in Islamabad.
The Japanese government has already signed a memorandum for cooperation with the Philippines, Cambodia, Mongolia, Myanmar and Nepal. Agreement with Vietnam has been reached substantially, according to the official.
Besides, Pakistan and Japan in February signed a memorandum of cooperation in Tokyo on technical intern training programme. This is the first institutional arrangement between the two governments which will open up Japanese market for Pakistani workers.
The memorandum will play a vital role in contributing to the human resource and economic development of Pakistan as well as in promoting bilateral cooperation.
Mr Tokita said that the intern training programme was different from the skilled worker programme, and it would establish a direct link between the Pakistani and Japanese companies in the private sector. The two sides would liaise to connect the Pakistani interns with the Japanese companies.
For Pakistan, skilled workers living in Japan and in Pakistan were under consideration.
About the IT sector, the Japanese official stated that Pakistani skills in IT sector were much appreciated by the Japanese companies and business people.
All foreign skilled workers entering Japan for employment would have to pass the skills examination and the Japanese language test before signing the employment contract with the accepting organisation.
A skilled worker could stay in Japan for only five years and could not take along the family, the Japanese official added.