ISLAMABAD: Even as Japan looks to open its doors to workers from Pakistan, few Japanese companies are aware of the potential that Pakistanis offer as workers, nor have many Pakistanis applied for opportunities there thus far.
This was disclosed by the Japanese Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister of Japanese Embassy Yusuke Shindo was speaking during a media talk alongside Japanese Embassy Counsellor and Head of Culture and Public Information Section Ryuji Iwasaki in the federal capital.
Japan, he said, was keen on inviting more and more skilled and semi-skilled Pakistani workers to its shores with a view of promoting and strengthening bilateral bonds apart from overcoming the challenges of an ageing Japanese population.
Shindo said that Tokyo greatly values its relations with Islamabad, adding that Japanese markets can offer a lot of opportunities to the Pakistani workforce in the categories of technical intern training; specified-skill and highly-skilled professions.
However, Shindo said that given the potential and scope of this programme, the number of people participating in its scheme was very small.
The deputy chief of mission, though, conceded that both sides need to work to increase this number.
To a question, he said that many Japanese companies simply do not know enough about the Pakistani workforce and their potential, which is why they prefer workers from other countries.
“Imitiaz Ahmed (Pakistani Ambassador in Japan) is doing a great job to spread awareness about Pakistani potential. However his efforts can bear more fruit only when supported by the government and Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” he added.
Underlining various impediments to increasing the number of Pakistani workers in Japan, Shindo said that the most obvious one was language.
In this regard, he said that the Japan Foundation in Pakistan has undertaken various Japanese language courses. Such courses, he said, are offered twice a year, in July and December.
“March 27 is the deadline for [Japanese language] course being offered in July 2020.”
Talking about technical interns and specified-skill workers, the diplomat said that this programme aims to transfer technical skills, techniques and knowledge to foreign countries including Pakistan, through “On the Job Training (OJT)” in Japan. This will help contribute to the human resource development of Pakistanis, he said.
He said that applicants should be at least 18-years-old in good health and must be nominated by the National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) or the National University of Technology (NUTECH).
Published in The Express Tribune, March 21st, 2020.
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