Japanese firms eye former Vietnamese interns: newspaper hinh anh 1A Vietnamese intern at a factory in Japan's Niigata prefecture (Source: Reuters)

Tokyo (VNA)Japanese enterprises are competing to attract Vietnamese workers who used to work in the country as interns after the ‘specified skills visa’ policy was launched on April 1, The Yomiuri Shimbun reported in its July 8 issue.

The policy introduces a new visa category that allows foreign workers employed in 14 types of jobs, including nursing care, restaurants and construction, to remain in the country for up to five years.

According to the newspaper, in mid-June the Hanshin union of iron and steel workers, which includes manufacturers operating in the iron, steel and machine manufacturing sectors in Hyogo prefecture, organised a workshop in Ho Chi Minh City to introduce the new visa policy for former Vietnamese interns.

The union’s representative showed hope that these interns would return to Japan to work, said the article, adding that the union started receiving skilled interns in 2003, and has to date trained around 3,000 foreign workers.

In addition, another union in the construction field is planning to attract former Vietnamese interns.

However, Japan has so far made little progress in accepting more foreign workers. As of the end of June, there had been 320 applications for the new “specified skilled worker” residence status. Of that number, only 20 applicants had been granted the status. This is far from the government’s target of accepting up to 47,550 foreign workers this fiscal year.

Among 14 types of jobs regulated in the policy, just three are organising skill tests – a compulsory condition to receive foreign workers.

As of late 2018, there were 328,000 foreign interns working in Japan, a half of whom are Vietnamese.-VNA