104 Indonesian nurses, caregivers to depart for Japan

A total of 104 Indonesian nurses and caregivers are to depart for Japan on Monday despite a still low number of foreign workers in Japan who have passed local examinations for health professionals since the program started in 2008.

Wearing batik clothes and able to speak some Japanese, the group attended a pre-departure ceremony at the residence of the Japanese ambassador to Indonesia hours before flying to Osaka or Tokyo.

“As the length of Japanese language training has been increased from six months at the beginning, and now to nine months, and to 12 months by next year, we all hope more candidates can pass the local examinations,” Indonesian Minister of Manpower and Transmigration Muhaimin Iskandar said.

He added there have been only 17 Indonesians who have passed the examinations in Japan to qualify as professional nurses.

The new staff will augment their three months of Japanese language training in Indonesia with another six months in Japan.

The number of Indonesians now in Japan under the program is 686, while 64 nurse candidates have returned home after failing in the test, which is in Japanese, and deciding not to have another try.

Besides Indonesia, the Philippines has also sent health professionals to Japan under a similar program.