As is the wont of governments in most developing countries, the government of Pakistan has not been able to send either technical personnel for further on-job training, or workers for jobs, to Japan even a year after it signed agreements with the government of Japan in this connection. In February 2019, the governments of Pakistan and Japan had signed two agreements — one pertaining to a technical internship programme and the other to export of skilled workers. Under the first category, technical personnel were to be sent to Japan for further training; they were to benefit from Japan’s technical and scientific skills and knowledge.
Japan had announced 345,000 such openings from all over the world, and had signed memorandums of cooperation with 11 countries. This arrangement is to continue for five years, and, if needed, would be extended for another five years. Under the second category, skilled workers were to get jobs in Japan. Around 70,000 jobs were available in Japan for workers from 70 countries. The government of Pakistan has authorised the state-owned National Vocational & Technical Training Commission and the National University of Technology to recommend aspirants for skill enhancement in Japan.
There are, however, conflicting views on the issue. According to the executive director of the technical university, things have been delayed because they have not received demand from Japanese enterprises. When his attention was drawn to what Japanese diplomats say on the issue was just the reverse of what he says. He said, “I don’t think so the Japanese diplomats think so.” The coronavirus pandemic cannot be held accountable for the delay involved in materialising the agreements. The agreements were inked in Feb 2019 and coronavirus emerged on the scene in November. Now at this stage when the pandemic is accelerating, Japan can, obviously, do nothing to take in trainees and foreign workers.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 25th, 2020.