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Japan dealing with nursing shortage

Aug. 8, 2008 at 6:24 AM

TOKYO, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- A group of 205 Indonesian caregivers and nurses became the first foreign group to arrive in Japan, which is facing a shortage of such workers.

The workers will be allowed to take up jobs under a bilateral economic partnership agreement, Kyodo reported.

Their arrival also marked Japan's acceptance of foreign workers in medical and nursing-care fields which are facing a big labor shortage, the report said. There is, however, concern among some Japanese that such a program may lead to lowering of working conditions for such professionals.

Foreign workers would be required to learn the language and other cultural values.

The Indonesian group is largely made up of women, the report said.

The bilateral agreement calls for Japan to accept 600 caregivers and 400 nurses in two years.

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