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Filipino Nurses and Caregivers Begin Arriving in Japan this Month

Filipino registered nurses and caregivers will be going to Japan this month to undergo a six-month language and culture training under a trade agreement signed three years ago. The training will prepare them to work in Japanese hospitals and elderly homes.

Faced with an aging population, Japan recently relaxed its immigration policies turning to foreign nurses for the care of its elderly.

The move, however, was criticized by the Japanese Nursing Association. It said that Filipinos might not have sufficient understanding of Japanese culture to work as caregivers. It added that the agreement will take jobs away from skilled Japanese nurses.

For its part, the Philippine Nurses Association last year said that the agreement undermines our nurses' dignity and professionalism.

"Even with a bachelor’s degree earned from four years of higher education in the Philippines, proof of competence by virtue of having passed the Philippine Licensure Examination and three solid years of work experience, the Filipino nurse will go to Japan not to fully practice the nursing profession but to become a trainee."

"Under the JPEPA, the Filipino nurse must train under the supervision of a Japanese nurse for up to three years. If unable to pass the nursing licensure examination in Japanese, the Filipino nurse would have to be deported," wrote erthswhile PNA President Dr. Leah Paquiz.

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