Migration and Diasporas
Japan has been a frontrunner among countries that face serious shortage of workers in the long-term care services sector. Since about ten years ago, it began recruiting foreign workers to fill the gaps by accepting Indonesians (from 2008), Filipinos (from 2009) (and Vietnam from 2014) as “candidate careworkers” under a government-to-government agreement. In 2017, it accelerated efforts to recruit foreign workers by introducing two other strategies, the technical training program and the study visa schemes. Partly because of strong preference of employers, many of those who came from the Philippines have nursing degree and/or professional nursing license (called Philippine-educated nurses or PENs). In this presentation, I first describe and analyze the behavior of PENs employed in the long-term care services sector using survey data (n=150). What are the characteristics of PENs working in Japan’s long-term care sector? How long do they plan to work in this sector and what are their future job preferences? Are they inclined to undertake international stepwise migration? I then use the results to examine whether and to what extent the current foreign care worker policies of Japan can provide the much-needed solution, not only in the short run but more importantly, in the next 20-30 years when the demand for labour in this sector is expected to further increase.