A memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which would pave the way for skilled Cambodians to work in Japan was signed in Tokyo on Monday by representatives of both governments.
Seng Sakada, the director-general of the labour department under the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, and Shoko Sasaki, the director of the immigration bureau under Japan’s Ministry of Justice, signed the MoU.
Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Sam Heng and Takashi Yamashita, Japan’s Minister of Justice, presided over the signing ceremony.
Yamashita said Cambodia and Japan celebrated the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations last year.
He heralded the initiative to improve opportunities for Cambodian workers as “clear evidence of the close relationship between the two countries”.
Sam Heng lauded the new scheme as a result of “continuous collaboration efforts” between Japan and the Kingdom.
Of about 11,000 Cambodians who are registered to live in Japan, 7,000 currently work under the designated technical internship programmes, he noted.
Through this new scheme, Sam Heng said, “skilled Cambodian workers can grab this golden opportunity to benefit themselves and both countries in accomplishing these objectives”.
Tokyo amended its laws on matters related to recruiting, training and importing foreign workers on December 8 last year. When the amendment becomes effective on Monday, Japan will start issuing two new types of visa for skilled workers “Level I” and “Level II”.
Meanwhile, Sam Heng said, the technical internship programmes already in place are set to remain unchanged.
He said skilled workers refer to those trained to work in a number of sectors, such as elderly care, agriculture, construction, spare parts, machinery and electronic manufacturing, shipyard, auto repair and maintenance, aviation, food and beverage, housekeeping, and fisheries and aquaculture.
Apart from Cambodia, Japan plans to welcome 345,150 additional skilled workers from Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar and Nepal within the first five years.
Cambodia is the second country that signed the MoU, six days after the Philippines had done so.