Bangladesh poised to enter Japan’s labour market

  • SM Nadim Mahmud and Golam Mujtaba Dhrubo,
    Published: 2019-08-27 17:52:11 BdST

Japan will recruit about 350,000 foreign workers from different countries, including Bangladesh, to meet its labour needs.

The inclusion of Bangladesh on the foreign workers’ list came to light after the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding in Tokyo on Tuesday.

In December, the Japanese parliament passed the bill to hire 334,000 workers over five years. 

Japan initially listed Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand to hire workers from. Bangladesh is the eighth country to appear on the list.

As part of the plan, Japan introduced two types of visa for the workers in April. Foreign workers having minimum technical education will be allowed to work for five years in Japan. Their families will not be allowed to accompany them.

Those who belong to the skilled manpower group -- researchers, academicians and businessmen -- will be allowed to stay in Japan as long as they want and can take their families along.

A memorandum of cooperation on a basic framework was signed by the expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment ministry of Bangladesh with the justice ministry, health ministry, foreign affairs ministry, labour and welfare ministry and national policy agency of Japan in Tokyo, Shiplu Zaman, an official at the Bangladesh Embassy in Japan, told

Japan expressed interests in hiring workers from Bangladesh when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina highlighted the issue during her Japan visit in May.

“We have already adopted different programmes to prepare skilled manpower to meet Japan’s demand. Bangladesh has formally gained the opportunity to enter the labour market in Japan, which will bring benefits to both countries,” said Rownak Jahan, secretary of the expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment ministry. 

The ministry has running a four-month course on the Japanese language in 26 technical training centres in the country since Feb 2018, he said.

Japan will accept skilled workers speaking Japanese language in 14 sectors, including care worker, building cleaning management, machine parts & tooling industry, industrial machinery, electric and electronics sector, construction, shipbuilding, automobile maintenance and agriculture, said Zaman.

Japan has been added as the new destination for the migrant workers in Bangladesh, said the officials at the ministry. Earlier, there was no scope for Bangladeshi workers to migrate to Japan.

“We’ll try our best to export skilled manpower as demanded by Japan,” said Joint Secretary Jahangir Alam.

“It takes at least eight months to prepare a person into a skilled labour to go to Japan. I believe we’ll be able to export skilled manpower as demanded by Japan,” Benazir Ahmed, chief of Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies, told

Bangladesh is all prepared to export labour as demanded by Japan, said State Minister for Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Imran Ahmed.