San Fernando, Pampanga—The aging and declining working-age population of Japan has triggered the establishment of a technical school in Pampanga to supply that country’s future demand of foreign workers.
As many as 10,000 Filipino workers are seen needed to continue Japan’s growth and development to maintain or increase its gross domestic product.
The school that will supply Filipino workers to Japan is the Philippines Arayat Training School (PATS), which will first train about 300 people, then toward 10,000, with all having guaranteed jobs among the top 50 companies of Japan, Arayat Mayor Emmanuel Alejandrino said.
Alejandrino said the students will undergo extensive training related to civil engineering, construction, hotel management, nursing care, and agriculture, among other skills needed in Japan.
He said the proposed project got the go signal by Gov. Dennis Pineda. The school will be constructed in the first week of November on five hectares of land in Barangay Tabuan, Arayat.
The amount needed for the project and its target date of completion was not specified in a statement from the provincial capitol.
According to Fumio Tarmura, chairman of PATS, the construction of the school is in partnership with the local government, after they made representation with the council to help the community and its indigent families.
“The council of this 1st-class municipality was elated with the project that will uplift and improve the living conditions, specially those located in the other part of the provinces,” Tamura said.
The town is famous for the dormant Mt. Arayat and as the birthplace of the Hukbalahap rebel group under the late Luis Taruc, which fought the Japanese during World War II and extended it to the national government as it demanded agrarian reform in the country.
Japan’s demographic profile, based on 2014 government data, showed its current total population of 127 million is expected to shrink to 107 million (by 16%) by 2040. By 2050 this will further shrink to 97 million or about 24% less due to low fertility.
Japan is the third biggest economy of the world and a member of the most advanced countries known as G7. It needs foreign workers to solve its chronic manpower shortage, an example of which is a famous international 24/7 convenience store that had already scale down its whole-day operation due to a lack of manpower.
Government data in 2017 showed Japan had a GDP of US$4,872 trillion, with a per capita of $38,428.10 and a growth rate of 1.7 in the same period.
A total of 2.6 million foreign workers help to sustain Japan’s growth and development, with Filipinos accounting for about 270,000 of them, followed by Chinese, South Koreans and Vietnamese.
Filipinos account for the 4th highest number of foreign workers in Japan, which is also referred to as Nippon, the land of the Rising Sun.
Under Japan’s reformed immigration law, a new working visa scheme was implemented last April where aspiring applicants must be 18 years and older, must acquire the skills needed in the country, and must pass Japanese examination and requirements, Tamura said through an interpreter.
Under the new visa procedure, workers who pass the requirement including the Special Skill No. 7 may reside for five years in Japan and continue thereafter.
Although foreign immigration remains unpopular among Japanese citizens, immigrants are now rapidly emerging as a key component of the country’s tight labor market, government data also showed.
Japanese teachers will also facilitate a one-year intensive education among the applicants through a school system where they will be taught the language, culture and business skills of Japan, while a Filipino teacher will be responsible for the training skills.
To speed up the implementation of program, extensive training for an advanced secondary Japanese two-year preparatory course will be taught to current year high school students in the municipality, Alejandrino added.