30% of Tokyo nursing homes use foreigners

More than 30 percent of nursing homes in Tokyo are hiring foreign caregivers, according to a survey by a social welfare body.

The Tokyo Council of Social Welfare found that 196 foreign workers are employed at 101 of the capital’s elder care facilities. The survey covered 389 facilities and drew responses from 316.

Japan recently began accepting foreign candidates seeking licenses to work in care-giving and other social services fields, but more than half the facilities surveyed cited the language barrier as a challenge.

“We need systematic language education programs to improve their professional vocabulary and daily conversations,” an official of the council said Wednesday.

By nationality, Filipinos comprised more than half of foreign caregivers, followed by Chinese, Taiwanese and South Koreans.

More than 90 percent of the workers are women, the survey said.