Japan will conduct tests in Cambodia, Nepal, Myanmar and Mongolia this fall for prospective caregivers who want to work in Japan under a new visa program, according to government officials.
The labor ministry said last week that the exams, aimed at securing more workers in the short-staffed sector, will be held between October and November.
Since introducing the new visa system on April 1, Japan has carried out tests for potential caregivers in the Philippines and will conduct more from August through November. So far, 166 people have passed the exams.
Preparations are also underway to conduct tests in China, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, according to an official at the ministry.
The visa system was introduced as part of Japan’s efforts to cope with a chronic labor shortage due to its rapidly graying population and low birthrate.
Foreign nationals with Japanese-language and certain job skills can apply for the Specified Skilled Worker No. 1 resident status, which allows them to work in 14 sectors such as nursing care, construction and farming, for up to five years.
Applicants seeking to become certified caregivers can obtain the status if they pass a Japanese proficiency exam, which is required for all 14 sectors, as well as two other tests to evaluate their nursing care skills and familiarity with certain, technical Japanese vocabulary.
The exams are scheduled for Oct. 27 to 30 in Phnom Penh, Oct. 27 and 28 and Nov. 5 and 6 in Kathmandu, Oct. 30 to Nov. 1 and Nov. 4 to 7 in Yangon and Nov. 14 to 17 in Ulaanbaatar.