Be wary of bogus Japanese language centers – expert

By Benjamin Lim Vergara

FILIPINO workers aspiring to work in Japan must be extra cautious in enrolling in some Japanese language centers that are not accredited with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

Recruitment and migration expert Emmanuel Geslani said Japan has opened up job market for 500,000 foreign workers which Nihongo is one of the requirements in qualifying for work in Japan.

Geslani warned that many of these language training centers have victimized Filipino workers with the promise of being able to land jobs in Japan after their very expensive language course in Nihongo. He said that with the recent news of more job openings in Japan for agriculture, construction, shipbuilding, nursing and care giving, some of these language training centers sprouted up especially in the provinces where supervision and monitoring of local government units is lax.

Foreign workers will be allowed to stay in Japan for five years under a new framework that covers some categories – agriculture, construction, lodging, nursing and shipbuilding.

The foreign workers will be required to pass a test demonstrating proficiency in the relevant field and the Japanese language. Those who go through the country’s foreign trainee program will be exempted from the test and could stay for a total of 10 years.

Geslani said that a record 1.28 million foreigners were working in Japan in 2017, more than double the 480,000 in 2008. Nearly a third of them, at 29 percent, were from China, followed by 19 percent from Vietnam, 12 percent from the Philippines, 9 percent from Brazil and five percent from Nepal.

The framework will make inroads into solving a severe labor crunch in Japan while creating jobs for foreign workers, which have thus far been limited to highly specialized positions due to concerns that an influx of immigrants could lead to a rise in crime.

The framework will include the five-year limit as well as barring foreign workers form bringing family members with them.

Geslaniadded that the Philippines has been deploying Filipino workers toJapan for the past years but mostly trainees with large companies.

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Benjie Vergara
A veteran reporter covering the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. He is currently writing for Manila Times, the Philippines' oldest newspaper.

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