Japanese envoy congratulates 214 Filipino nurses, caregivers for passing language training

Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko has congratulated the 214 Filipino nurses and care workers who recently passed the Preparatory Language Training that would qualify them to go to Japan.

Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko (left) delivering his remarks during the closing ceremony of the Japanese Language Training for the Japan-bound 214 Filipino nurses and caregivers. (Embassy of Japan Manila)

“Omedetou! Congrats! The EPA 13th batch Filipino nurses and care worker candidates have formed a solid foundation of the Japanese language through online training. Wishing their success in Japan,” Koshikawa said during the virtual closing ceremony of the training on Aug. 26.

The training for nurses and caregivers is part of the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement, a comprehensive bilateral trade and investment agreement between the two neighboring Asian economies aimed at increasing trade and investment opportunities. Signed on September 9, 2006 in Helsinki, Finland, JPEPA is the first bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) for the Philippines after 50 years.

Due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, classes for language training were held online. Candidates were given a daily living allowance and internet funds, while computer tablets were provided on loan for the duration of their training.

The training program is aimed to have the candidates obtain the basic knowledge and usage of the Japanese language and study-specific vocabulary and essential expressions for nursing and caregiving.

The candidates were also given lectures on Japan – general life culture; and, will further learn how to acquire the habit of autonomous learning so that they can continue to study the Japanese language beyond the program.

Upon arrival in Japan, the Filipino candidates will undergo another four months of intensive Japanese language training prior to their work term in Japanese hospitals and care facilities.

Aside from Koshikawa, Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III also delivered his message to Filipino healthcare workers through video streaming. They were joined in the ceremony by Philippine Overseas Employment Administration chief Bernard Olalia, Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Ben Suzuki of the Japan Foundation Manila, Philip B. Sanvictores of Nihongo Center Foundation Inc., and Takashi Tsunoda of the Japan International Corporation of Welfare Services.