Sunday, July 13, 2008

インドネシア看護師 Indonesian Nurses

Recently, I have read of an idea to take some 5,000 Indonesian nurses into Japan, to work as caregivers in Japanese nursing homes. Well, I have to say that I am totally against the plan.


First of all, language. They will have six months of Japanese language instruction. This is too short. I know, because I was born in America, and when I first came to Japan, I knew nothing of Japanese.


It takes about 2 years to get a basic conversation ability. This is fine, as long as you have some job, that does not require much Japanese language ability.


However to speak Japanese well enough to work in a Japanese company, it takes about 8 to 10 years. And here we another very important factor. To work well in a Japanese work environment, one must have a great understanding of Japanese culture. In the Japanese medical establishment, this will be very important, as it has a very strong hierarchy.


And it is very possible that some of them will want to bring their families to Japan. While this is understandable in human terms, the pay given to these caregivers will be quite low. And will the other family members speak Japanese? It is not likely. So if we imagine 3 family members per caregiver, we have a total of 20,000 people coming, most of whom cannot get a job or participate in Japanese society.


And yet the pay they do get will probably be better than what they can get in Indonesia, they will try to stay permanently. I think all this plan will do is create a permanent non Japanese under class in Japan.


Why not hire young Japanese? Or why not hire some of the foreign residents of Japan? There are some 200,000 Philippino residents living here, why not give them the jobs? Of course, they should speak, read, and write Japanese, but they already live here. Most of them do understand Japanese language . And they would have much more understanding of Japanese society than some new person.


I really do not think this plan has been thought out well.


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