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Japan has one of the strongest economies in the world. Obviously Japan can afford to build nursing colleges and train nurses. But it has chosen to drastically cut spending on health and other social services and instead spend the money on the military. And it has decided to import nurses from the Philippines. Japan will get these nurses at no cost: Filipinos will pay for their training with their taxes.

Japan is not the only culprit. England imports nurses from the Philippines, and Australia imports doctors from wherever. This is a continuation of the plunder of colonial times.

We try to justify this by saying that the nurses will earn more here than at home and that their remittances will help both their families and the Filipino economy. But this is to justify the exploitation of the Philippines by Japan and other wealthy countries. We exploit and impoverish them, then pretend to offer them a helping hand! If we really wanted to help poor Filipinos, we would try to create jobs for them in the Philippines.

A Good Samaritan sister in Nara told me earlier this month that, in the Philippines, many people have scars where they have had a kidney removed. Apparently many sick people from Japan go to the Philippines to buy kidneys. We are using the Philippines for such resources. Why don’t people buy kidneys in Japan? Why don’t people in Japan offer kidneys to their fellow citizens?

And in return for their nurses, it seems that, under the new Economic Partnership Agreement, Japan will send toxic waste to the Philippines.

paul mccartin

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