- Japan Association for Urban Sociology
- 日本都市社会学会年報 (ISSN:13414585)
- vol.2014, no.32, pp.133-148, 2014-09-05 (Released:2015-12-03)
Japan's declining population is severely impacting rural areas and cities and causing shortages of care workers. In recent years, Indonesian and Filipino candidates are coming to Japan under the economic partnership agreement (EPA) program to take the country's certified care worker license (kaigo-fukushishi) exam after completing three years of on-the-job training at care facilities nationwide. However, Japan's initial attempt to import foreign care workers was far from completely successful; even though the government subsidized the costs for learning Japanese and taking the national exams, many candidates returned to their home countries. For the first batch of Filipino kaigo-fukushishi candidates who came in 2009, only around 30% passed the exam in January 2013. Based on follow-up research of 49 from the first batch of Filipino candidates, this paper answers the following two questions: What attributes of candidates ease settlement at rural care facilities? What attributes and working experiences are necessary for successful examinees? Our findings suggest that (1) Internet access at care facilities is crucial to ease the settling of candidates, and (2) candidates who are already qualified nurses in their home country but decided to become care workers in Japan have an advantage in taking the national exam because of their basic medical knowledge. On the other hand, since the international labor market demand for Filipino nurses is high, the possibility always exists that they might move to another country.