The infrastructure ministry plans to set up firms abroad to train foreign engineers on the Japanese language and construction technology to support the entry of Japanese construction firms in overseas markets, according to sources.
The firms will be established jointly by the public and private sectors. The first will be established in Vietnam as early as fiscal 2013 with the aim of capitalizing on the growing demand there for infrastructure development.
An agreement on the program is expected to be reached at a meeting of Japanese and Vietnamese officials and representatives of the construction sector this fall, the sources said.
Japanese construction firms usually employ local engineers for their overseas projects, but problems can arise over language, resulting in cost overruns due to the need to bring in additional Japanese staff.
The infrastructure ministry hopes the new firms will help boost the cost competitiveness of Japanese firms, which is seen lagging behind their Chinese and South Korean competitors.
The ministry aims to ensure Japanese firms continue to win orders for infrastructure projects by expanding their human resource networks. It also hopes to contribute to developing the construction industries and engineering skills in the target countries.
Steady economic growth has allowed infrastructure such as railways and roads to develop rapidly in Vietnam.