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A case study on migrant care worker policy in Japanese long-term care

Yuhwi Kim 1

1한국보건사회연구원

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to analyze the policy on migrant work in Japan’s long-term care system. To do this, I investigate how migrant work has been allowed in Japan’s long-term care system and how migrant care workers are working in Japan’s long-term care system. Introducing the EPA(Economic Partnership Agreements) care worker program in 2008, Japan began to accept migrant workers. Since then, Japan has expanded its migrant work policy in the long-term care system introducing the "care worker visa" in 2017 and the "new worker visa" in 2019. The current policy on migrant work in Japan’s long-term care system has two schemes, and they are the EPA care worker program and care worker visa scheme. Under the current system, migrant work is found mainly in the care facility services. The migrant workers should hold the qualification of the certified care worker(kaigofukushishi) and receive equal treatment to Japanese care workers in terms of the wage and the working condition. Although the share of migrant workers in Japan’s long-term care system is too small to improve the labor shortage in long-term care, the policy has been designed to have a lower possibility of degrading the service quality and worsening the working conditions in long-term care labor market. Japan’s experience on the policy on migrant work in the long-term care system gives implications for South Korea’s long-term care system. The policy on migrant work in elderly care should not simply focus on solving the labor shortage problem and consider all the relevant aspects including the service quality, the labor market for elderly care, and migrant workers’ rights.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.