Olympian task prompts Japan to open door for foreign workers

By VnExpress   November 18, 2016 | 03:06 pm GMT+7
Olympian task prompts Japan to open door for foreign workers
A worker works at an assembly plant at Pha Rung shipyard in Vietnam's port city of Hai Phong, east of Han on October 4, 2016. Photo by Reuters

Ahead of the 2020 Olympics, Japan is in more need of foreign workers than ever.

Japan is recruiting more Vietnamese workers aged between 20 and 30 to tackle labor shortages in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, local media has reported.

Japanese businesses, in the latest recruitment drive, are aiming to hire as many Vietnam technical interns as possible with the first batch of 500 workers due in November, said Tran Thi Van Ha, head of the Overseas Labor Management Agency under the labor ministry.

The recruits will receive training in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City for one month before they set off to work in Japan, said Ha Xuan Tung, a ministry official.

“The base salary ranges from VND25 million ($1,100) to VND30 million ($1,300) per month,” Tung said, adding that the Japanese government has pledged to offer financial support to Vietnamese interns of more than $5,000 each. Vietnam's average annual income was $2,100 last year, according to the World Bank.

Since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came to power at the end of 2012, the number of foreigners living in Japan has risen by almost 10 percent to 2.2 million, with the number of “technical interns” rising 27 percent and the number of foreign students up 36 percent.

Statistics show that Japan has become the second largest labor export market for Vietnam in recent years.

Vietnam sent around 27,000 technical interns to Japan in the first nine months of this year, compared to 30,000 workers for the whole of last year.

Between now and 2020, Japan plans to recruit more foreign laborers from the Southeast Asian region due to a shortage of domestic supply.

Japan is in need of skilled construction workers for 2020 Olympic projects and other infrastructure investment in its north-eastern region, said Pham Viet Huong, deputy head of the Overseas Labor Management Agency.

He expects more Vietnamese workers to move to Japan given the fact Chinese laborers are shifting to other markets in search of better incomes.

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