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Old 2009-01-27, 23:25   Link #81
TinyRedLeaf
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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Many elderly Japanese, too few caregivers
Quote:
Tokyo (Jan 28): Although there are jobs galore in Japan's nursing-care business, there are few takers. Low pay and working conditions that often stretch a caregiver's patience and stamina to the limit scare away even those who view welfare work as a personal calling.

Ironically, the global downturn may prove to be a godsend to nursing homes. By March, the end of the Japanese fiscal year, about 80,000 factory workers are expected to be out of work, and the government hopes to entice them to become caregivers.

Japan's nursing-care business is one of the high-growth sectors thanks to its rapidly ageing population. There are now about 1.1 million people working in the industry. But in five years' time, it is projected that the industry will require another 300,000 to 500,000 more workers.

That is because the number of elderly Japanese requiring nursing-care services will rise to six million, up 1.5 million from the present figure.

Monetary incentives
The government has set aside about 210 billion yen (US$2.4 billion) in this year's budget to increase insurance payments to nursing-care providers by an average of 3 per cent. In theory, that should give each nursing-care worker a monthly pay hike of about 20,000 yen.

However, that sum does not mean very much — a typical caregiver takes home about 200,000 yen a month, about 70 per cent of what a typical worker would make in other sectors. The money is enough for a single person to get by on, but much too little if he or she wants to get married and start a family. Poor salaries are said to be the chief reason one in five caregivers leaves the job after a while.

Earlier this month, the Labour and Welfare Ministry set up a project team to come up with concrete measures to fill vacancies in medical-related sectors, including 26,000 jobs in the nursing-care industry alone.

For instance, employers are to receive an incentive payment of 500,000 yen to one million yen for each person they hire as a caregiver. The government also plans to underwrite all the training costs for caregiver positions.

The government also plans to increase the size of interest-free loans to college students enrolled in nursing-care courses to help out with living and other expenses. The loans will not have to be repaid if the students agree to work for five years in an approved care facility after graduation.

Cheap foreign labour?
Free trade agreements with Indonesia and the Philippines have meanwhile opened the way for trained caregivers from these two countries to work in Japan.

Some 200 Indonesians are currently attending classes here to enable them to communicate in Japanese, and they are scheduled to move to nursing-care facilities around the country later this month. They are given four years to obtain the necessary caregiver licence in Japanese, failing which they would be sent home.

Care providers are allowed to hire them to do simple chores, most likely at lower than market rates since they cannot function as fully as their Japanese counterparts.

Critics suspect that the scheme may be just an excuse for some nursing homes to bring in cheap foreign labour. It was not long ago that many small Japanese factories, farms and fisheries caused a huge public outcry when it was revealed that they hired foreigners at meagre wages to do manual work on the pretext that the foreigners — most of them from Asian countries — were trainees.

"There are a lot of Japanese with the qualifications but who do not want to become caregivers. There are also many thousands of people without regular jobs. Working conditions should be made more attractive so that we can first get more of these people to become caregivers," said Mr Shiro Kawahara, chairman of Nippon Careservice Craft Union, which boasts nearly 54,000 members.

"Bringing in cheap foreign labour at this stage only stifles our attempts to improve working conditions for our members."

- THE STRAITS TIMES
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Old 2009-01-28, 05:09   Link #82
Cosmic Eagle
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Join Date: Jan 2009
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Originally Posted by ShimatheKat View Post
There we go. Tokyo. Kansai [actually the whole of WEST JAPAN] is the opposite of Tokyo, really. And West Japan is like 1/3 of Japan.
Not surprising really....I mean isn't Kyoto the seat of Japanese culture?

Although it seems people in Hokkaido have rather little to say about this and other issues....I wonder why.
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Old 2009-01-28, 06:44   Link #83
ZephyrLeanne
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Eagle View Post
Not surprising really....I mean isn't Kyoto the seat of Japanese culture?
More because it has Osaka. Every governmental unit has a second unit in Osaka.

Quote:
Although it seems people in Hokkaido have rather little to say about this and other issues....I wonder why.
Hokkaido is big, but has a smaller population than you might think, there are re-population plans under way by giving free land to developers who are even interested.
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Old 2009-01-28, 20:15   Link #84
Shadow Kira01
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Originally Posted by klowny View Post
If it was to raise the birthrate who would disagree?
Lots of people who are hit by the recession would definitely disagree. You cannot just think of increasing the birthrate without thinking things throughly. How much does it cost to raise a child? How safe are the procedures for giving birth? On top of that, it is currently a time of financial crisis and recession in which thousands of employees just turned unemployed. How are they going to manage to pay off their everyday expenses, while seeking a job? Also, whether they had bought stocks may also be an issue, considering the stocks are currently nosediving, just like the approval rates of prime minister Taro Aso who failed to lead Japan out of the financial turmoil caused by the US recession. And instead of coming up with a resolution, the Diet meetings are usually in a state of tug-of-war in which both the ruling coalition and the opposition parties are playing political football.
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Last edited by Shadow Kira01; 2009-01-28 at 20:15. Reason: fixed typo
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Old 2009-01-28, 22:33   Link #85
Demongod86
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In terms of cultural clashes though, I think there are plenty of people around the world that would love to be a part of Japanese culture more than they are now. I mean come on...I know this sounds a bit trite, but if you watched the show "I Survived A Japanese Gameshow", the culture is so utterly unique in how it juxtaposes such tradition with such great technology.

They're sort of like Starcraft's Protoss =P
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Old 2009-01-29, 00:10   Link #86
karasuma
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This is easy to fix. Just tax the hell out of singles like US does.,,
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Old 2009-01-29, 00:24   Link #87
Vexx
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
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Originally Posted by karasuma View Post
This is easy to fix. Just tax the hell out of singles like US does.,,
You know.. that's actually not a bad idea
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Old 2009-01-29, 00:24   Link #88
IvUaN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klowny
If it was to raise the birthrate who would disagree?
Spoiler for I also agree with you:

Also remember nobody knows what's going to happen in the next year, or after, everything could turn out pretty bad or thing's could start getting better from the next year on, nobody knows, and I think that's the problem. Yeah, sure a lot of people would like to have more children (well maybe not anybody) but still the problem is not wanting to do it, but simply as Shadow Minato say's just a lot of people can't afford it. I can come up with a very very good and sad example, myself, I have been searching for a job and I can't still find one, instead everyday I hear people is fired from their jobs simply because the economic situation is so bad companies can't afford to pay a salary to everyone, this is a sad situation and even sadder knowing it could turn out worse anytime.

Japan is not the only country affected, but now we see this seems to be affecting a lot of countries if I may say so.
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Old 2009-01-29, 01:03   Link #89
sa547
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow Minato View Post
Lots of people who are hit by the recession would definitely disagree. You cannot just think of increasing the birthrate without thinking things throughly. How much does it cost to raise a child? How safe are the procedures for giving birth? On top of that, it is currently a time of financial crisis and recession in which thousands of employees just turned unemployed. How are they going to manage to pay off their everyday expenses, while seeking a job? Also, whether they had bought stocks may also be an issue, considering the stocks are currently nosediving, just like the approval rates of prime minister Taro Aso who failed to lead Japan out of the financial turmoil caused by the US recession. And instead of coming up with a resolution, the Diet meetings are usually in a state of tug-of-war in which both the ruling coalition and the opposition parties are playing political football.
Bingo, you've just hit the nail on its head -- the expenses are a pain in the ass. Yep, that country has the highest costs of living on this planet, and in these days financial survival is a necessity.
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Old 2009-01-29, 01:36   Link #90
King Lycan
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Originally Posted by karasuma View Post
This is easy to fix. Just tax the hell out of singles like US does.,,
no bull cookies
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