Philippine university students will be allowed to work as interns in various industries in the southern Japanese prefecture of Okinawa under a program approved Friday, to address labor shortages there in certain industries.
The first students are expected to begin internships in the hotel and nursing care industries as soon as next month, with the number of interns predicted to reach around 100 by year-end and possibly include other industries.
The internship program was agreed in a deal between five private universities in Manila and two Naha-based groups supporting foreign workers in Okinawa. The scheme is also aimed at recruiting people to work in Okinawa in the future.
"There is a demand for Filipino workers from various industries as they can speak English and are hospitable," said an official of the secretariat of the cooperative for foreign nationals working in nursing care services in Okinawa.
"I hope they will consider Okinawa as a career choice after internship," the official added.
The five participating schools are Mapua University, University of the East, Jose Rizal University, the Philippine Women's University and Lyceum of the Philippines University.
The support center for foreign nationals including those of Japanese descent, and the cooperative for foreign nationals working in nursing care services in Okinawa, both located in the Okinawa capital Naha, will act as brokers between the universities and the hotel and nursing care industries in Okinawa.