Number of foreign caregivers who passed Japan’s certification exam doubled in 2017: welfare ministry


Japan has seen a sharp increase in the number of caregivers accepted from overseas via economic partnership deals who have passed the national certification examination, the welfare ministry has said. A total of 213 foreign caregivers passed the fiscal 2017 exam, more than double the previous year’s 104, the ministry said Wednesday.  Vietnamese, who were allowed to take the test for the first time, accounted for 89 of the successful exam takers, the biggest group by nationality. Of all Vietnamese who took the exam, 93.7 percent passed. Japan started accepting caregivers from Vietnam in fiscal 2014 through an economic partnership agreement. Under the framework, people from Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia can come to Japan and work in nursing facilities. The foreign caregivers are required to study Japanese during their time in Japan. If they want to continue to work in the nation, they are also required to pass the certification test. The performance on the test — which is given in Japanese — reflects a higher level of Japanese language skills required of caregivers from Vietnam compared with those from other nations. Sixty-two Indonesian caregivers passed the exam, with the pass rate standing at 38.5 percent. The number of successful exam takers from the Philippines was also 62, giving them a pass rate of 37.8 percent. A record high 420 foreign caregivers took the exam. Including Japanese, a total of 65,574 people passed the test, meaning the pass rate was 70.8 percent. The welfare ministry forecasts that Japan will face a shortage of some 380,000 care workers at elderly nursing care facilities in 2025, at which time all of Japan’s first baby boomers will have turned 75.

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