THERE are many Japanese who want to work as caregivers and nurses. But tortuously long hours and low wages have forced many to look for better-paying jobs. After all, people do need to think about having a family and kids in the future.
Will the recent group of 300 Indonesian-trained nurses and caregivers fill the gap?
They cannot, not unless they first pass the requisite Japanese examinations, a feat easier said than done because of the huge language hurdle.
Until the Indonesians pass those examinations, they are most likely to end up performing the less specialised role of caregiver in the meantime and even then, perhaps a limited role. Hopefully, the Indonesians are fully aware of what they are in for, or else they could come away very disappointed.
I believe the Japanese are worried. It's not a comforting thought at all to know that foreigners without an adequate knowledge of Japanese are going to be allowed to work with Japan's elderly.
The Indonesians that came here may be bursting with excitement and expectations at the thought of learning about Japan and earning, from their point of view, a sizeable salary to take home. But the expectations of the Japanese are certainly not high.