Japan cracks open the gates

Japan has long kept its gates closed to outsiders, making immigration virtually impossible to outsiders (unless you’re Alberto Fujimori). But the elderly population’s growth, coupled with low fertility (only about 1.25 children per couple), means that there’s dire need for more health care workers. A joint economic agreement signed with the Philippines a few years ...

606525_nurse5.jpg
606525_nurse5.jpg

Japan has long kept its gates closed to outsiders, making immigration virtually impossible to outsiders (unless you're Alberto Fujimori). But the elderly population's growth, coupled with low fertility (only about 1.25 children per couple), means that there's dire need for more health care workers. A joint economic agreement signed with the Philippines a few years ago will allow for a few hundred Philippine nurses to move to Japan for jobs. The Japanese are making a big deal out of this, since they don't allow foreigners to migrate. But they're only taking about a hundred per year to start. This is a country that has a population of 127 million! Japan had better get with the program. Overeducated Philippine nurses need jobs, Japanese eldery need health care, it's a perfect match. Yasutoshi Nishimura, a member of the house of representatives in Japan, thinks that within the next five years there could be some 10,000 Philippine nurses in the country. Hopefully they'll be welcomed with more than reluctant acceptance.

Japan has long kept its gates closed to outsiders, making immigration virtually impossible to outsiders (unless you’re Alberto Fujimori). But the elderly population’s growth, coupled with low fertility (only about 1.25 children per couple), means that there’s dire need for more health care workers. A joint economic agreement signed with the Philippines a few years ago will allow for a few hundred Philippine nurses to move to Japan for jobs. The Japanese are making a big deal out of this, since they don’t allow foreigners to migrate. But they’re only taking about a hundred per year to start. This is a country that has a population of 127 million! Japan had better get with the program. Overeducated Philippine nurses need jobs, Japanese eldery need health care, it’s a perfect match. Yasutoshi Nishimura, a member of the house of representatives in Japan, thinks that within the next five years there could be some 10,000 Philippine nurses in the country. Hopefully they’ll be welcomed with more than reluctant acceptance.

Christine Y. Chen is a senior editor at Foreign Policy.

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