Japan will conduct tests to work as foreign caregivers in the country in Cambodia, Nepal, Myanmar and Mongolia this fall under a new visa program, according to government officials.
Japan's labor ministry said last week that the exams aimed at securing more workers in the short-staffed sector will be held between October and November.
Since introducing the new visa system on April 1, Japan has already carried out tests for potential caregivers in the Philippines. Exam preparations are under way for those in China, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, according to an official at the ministry.
The visa system was introduced as part of Japan's efforts to cope with a chronic labor shortage due to its rapidly graying population and declining birthrate.
Foreigners with certain Japanese language and job skills can apply for a Specified Skilled Worker No. 1 resident status, which will allow them to work in 14 sectors, such as nursing care, construction and farming, for up to five years in total.
Applicants for certified caregivers can get the status if they pass a Japanese language proficiency exam, which is required for all 14 sectors, as well as two other tests to evaluate nursing care skills and Japanese technical words.
The exams are scheduled for Oct. 27-30 in Phnom Penh, Oct. 27-28 and Nov. 5-6 in Kathmandu, Oct. 30-Nov. 1 and Nov. 4-7 in Yangon and Nov. 14-17 in Ulaanbaatar.
In the Philippines, Japan has held five nursing care tests since April, and will conduct them again in three cities including Manila from August through November. So far 166 have passed the exams.