SAKAI CITY, Japan – There is a growing need for Filipino English teachers and nurses in Japan, Consul General Maria Teresa Taguiang said, although interested applicants must meet some requirements first, among them being able to speak basic Nihonggo.
Interviewed by GMA News Online during the 2014 Sakai-ASEAN Week early this month, Taguiang said there is an increase of Filipinos coming to Japan to work as English teachers.
“They (Japanese) want to increase their competence in English so they are starting very young now in education,” Taguiang said.
Taguiang then cited a Filipino here who she said has been working as an English teacher for 40 years.
“There is an opportunity when you find the right avenue,” she said.
Aside from English teachers, demand for Filipino caregivers and nurses is also starting to pick up in Japan, Taguiang said.
“There is a demand. The only hurdle there is you have to make the competency that is needed if it is within that program,” she said.
She said Filipino nurses who want to work in Japan need to pass a new Japanese regulated licensure exam for nurses after their training.
“We have this economic cooperation agreement with Japan where our caregivers and nurses can come here to train but they have to take the exam to get the license,” she said.
Taguiang said that apart from meeting the requirements, learning how to speak Nihonggo is mandatory in Japan for foreign workers.
“The best way is to have a background of the language because that is the way by which you can find out what are the opportunities that are here,” she said.
“You don’t really have to master it but you have to have a good grasp to get along in the profession and performance in the job,” Taguiang added.
In a separate interview, Sakai City Mayor Osami Takeyama said they are willing to provide assistance to Filipinos once a solid demand to work there is established.
“We could look for places of opportunities where the people of the Philippines can display their abilities in Japan,” he said.
“One example are the students working in Sakai while studying at Osaka Prefecture University. So maybe if the students of the Philippines are willing to do the same thing maybe we can seek the opportunity to provide a place where they can work at the same time they can study,” he continued.
There are around 200,000 Filipinos currently in Japan with at least 80,000 residing in the Osaka prefecture.
According to Taguiang, many of them were integrated into the Japanese society and are married to Japanese nationals.
“There is a growing number of second generation Filipino-Japanese [here],” she said.
(Source: KBK, GMA News)