Japan’s oft-discussed “aging crisis” is opening doors to one segment of international students in particular, according to a recent article published in The Japan Times. As Japan’s older population continues to swell, so do opportunities for foreign nursing care students and prospective caregivers hoping to work in Japan. Here’s a closer look at the report, along with what potential international students and eventual job-seekers need to know.
An Aging Population
Countries all over the globe face a looming threat: rapidly aging populations are anticipated to impact everything from social welfare to economic prosperity. In fact, according to data shared by the World Economic Forum, “While the proportion of people over 65 years old around the globe is currently 10%, it is expected to jump to 22% by 2050.”
Topping the list of nations in terms of aging demographics? Japan, where a full 35 percent of the population will be over the age of 65 by the year 2100. It follows that providing care for these people has been identified as a critical issue.
Welcoming Foreign Talent
In an attempt to meet growing demand for qualified caregivers, Japan’s nursing schools are enrolling a greater number of international students thanks to a legal amendment designed to make it easier for them to acquire resident status following the completion of their training.
Current bilateral economic partnerships with Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam permit prospective caregivers to obtain resident status after completing three years of work experience and passing a national qualification exam. However, a recent amendment to immigration law soon to come into effect will put resident status within immediate reach of academically qualified, state-certified international caregivers. Not only that, but the Japan Association of Geriatric Health Services Facilities is also looking into establish a scholarship fund for prospective caregivers.
While the Japan Times highlights several remaining obstacles for foreign nursing care students and caregivers, including language and cultural barriers and low pass rates on national qualification exams, insiders are quick to point out that international caregivers are very much welcome. Said Japan Association of Certified Care Workers chairman Junya Ishimoto, “So long as (aspirants) obtain a qualification, their nationality does not matter.”