3 foreigners pass tough nursing exam

Two Indonesians and one Filipina have become the first among hundreds of applicants from their countries to pass Japan’s state nursing examination, the health ministry said Friday.

Yared Febrian Fernandes and Ria Agustina, both 26 from Indonesia, and Lalin Ever Gammed, 34, from the Philippines, were among 47,340 people, including Japanese, to pass this year.

The three are the first successful applicants from Indonesia and the Philippines since Japan began accepting nursing applicants in 2008 and 2009 under economic partnership agreements (EPAs).

The examination is conducted in Japanese, and 251 other would-be nurses from Indonesia and the Philippines failed this year’s test.

There were 82 applicants from Indonesia last year. None were successful.

Indonesians and Filipinos who are qualified as nurses in their home countries can only work in Japan in limited trainee nurse roles and must pass the state exam within three years. Failure means they have to return to their home countries.

The two Indonesians are training at Sannocho Hospital in Sanjo, Niigata Prefecture. They told a news conference that they were relieved and happy to pass.

Gammed is at Ashikaga Red Cross Hospital in Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture.