Filipino housekeepers arrive as part of program to bolster sagging labor numbers

Housekeeping operators are looking to increase more foreign maids in Tokyo.

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Housekeeping operators are looking to increase more foreign maids in Tokyo, taking advantage of a special deregulation-zone system, as the need for such services is expected to grow.

Two Filipinas, Jocelyn Paloma Oledan and Marianne Paragua Culaniban, on Wednesday flew from Manila to Tokyo’s Haneda airport, where they were welcomed by their employer, Tokyo-based housekeeping services firm Bears Co.

Both said they were happy for the chance to work in Japan, which they called a safe country, adding that they had few concerns about their time in Tokyo.

Current immigration law does not permit foreign workers to be employed as maids for Japanese households. But Tokyo, Osaka and Kanagawa have been allowed to accept them by taking advantage of the special deregulation-zone system.

Conditions for firms wishing to partake in the system include paying workers a salary equivalent to Japanese peers and offering necessary training. Housekeepers must also have at least one year of professional experience and have basic Japanese skills.

A handful of firms have already started such services in Osaka and Kanagawa while Bears said the demand is higher in Tokyo.

Oledan and Culaniban are the first foreign maids for Bears.Under the system, created to alleviate Japan’s labor-shortage woes in the sector, workers receive a special visa that allows them to stay for a maximum of three years.

Yuki Takahashi, executive vice president of Bears, said labor shortages in the housekeeping sector continue to plague the industry.

As more women continue working after marriage or having children, the need for housekeepers is steadily growing, so a push is needed for more foreign workers to be accepted, according to Takahashi.

Source: Japan Times
Image: Bank Image



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