The Society for Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language asked the government Monday to toughen a Japanese-language proficiency requirement for foreign nursing care interns.
The request came after an advisory panel for the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry lowered the requirement for foreigners before undergoing on-the-job training at nursing care facilities in Japan. The ministry is planning to adopt the lower requirement in the fiscal year starting in April 2016.
The lowered requirement describes the proficiency as “understanding basic Japanese words,” against “understanding Japanese words used in daily life to some extent” under the earlier requirement.
“Communication is important for personal nursing care,” said the society’s leader, Sukero Ito, a professor at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, after he made the request to Keiko Nagaoka, a senior official in the ministry. “The lowered requirement is insufficient.”
Ito also said a system will be required to help interns improve their Japanese proficiency after starting training.