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Japan to hire more Filipinos — Speaker Romualdez

By: Gabriel Pabico Lalu - Inquirer.net | June 18,2024 - 09:46 PM

japan romualdez

Photo from Speaker Romualdez’s Facebook page.

MANILA, Philippines — House of Representatives Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez announced that following a meeting with Japanese officials in Tokyo on Tuesday, more Filipinos will be employed by the Japanese government in crucial sectors.

Romuladez, in a statement, said he was able to secure the commitment of their counterparts in the National Diet of Japan, particularly during high-level discussions with Japanese Speaker Nukaga Fukushiro and Vice-Speaker Kaieda Banri.

Romualdez said Kaieda acknowledged Japan’s demographic challenges — like the decrease in population — and how Filipino workers have contributed to addressing these challenges.

READ: PH, Japan Speakers to boost defense ties, expand trilateral ties with US

“Japan is facing a decrease in population, and in this regard, Japan truly appreciates the Filipinos working here, especially elderly care workers,” Kaieda said.

“We are looking forward to welcoming more Filipinos to work in Japan,” he added.

Romualdez, meanwhile, emphasized the potential for enhanced cooperation between the two nations, particularly in upskilling the labor force.

“The Philippines has a growing population, so we are more than happy for our people to come and work here after receiving the appropriate training,” the Speaker said.

“It creates an ideal environment for Japan to continue investing in the Philippines, not just in human resources but in Japanese-trained human resources, which will further promote economic cooperation between our countries,” he added.

Aside from hiring Filipino workers, Nukaga said Japan will also continuously help the Philippine economy’s progress, with 1,400 Japanese companies operating in Southeast Asia.

The Japanese Speaker also acknowledged the significant presence of Filipinos in his hometown of Ibaraki Prefecture.

“I will continue to cooperate with the Philippines to help uplift the Philippine economy,” Nukaga said.

“Ibaraki Prefecture’s Sakuragawa City and Sakai Town have sister city relations with Bacoor and Marikina, respectively, leading to about 7,000 Filipinos working in the prefecture. I would like to promote more local exchanges between our local authorities,” he added.

Both leaders of the respective countries’ legislature said the meeting and the vow for a stronger cooperation bodes well for the celebration of the Philippines and Japan’s diplomatic relations.

“We are happy because this is a great lead-up to the celebration of 70 years of our diplomatic relations in 2026,” Romualdez said.

“Japan and the Philippines have built a very good bilateral relationship […] Japan and the Philippines, both island nations, have a strong foundation to build good relations and friendly bridges,” Nukaga replied.

Romualdez and several ranking lawmakers from the House are in Japan for a meeting with their counterparts on various issues involving the two countries.  Earlier, the Speaker said the relationship between the Philippines and Japan is at an all-time high, because of the strategic partnership of the two Asian countries in terms of development and security arrangements.

Among the defense and development programs that Romualdez cited were the provision of Y600 million-worth of defense aid under the Official Security Assistance (OSA), signed last November 3, 2023 when Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio visited the Philippines.

Romualdez also thanked Japan for protecting the 300,000 Filipinos in the said country, which includes overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

“We have very strong diplomatic relations, particularly involving defense and economic ties. We express our deep appreciation for Japan’s role in securing, nurturing, and accepting over 300,000 Filipinos who reside here,” he said.

“Our countries have continually engaged with each other since last year, a clear indication of the firm commitment of both our countries to our decades-long cooperation,” he added.

Aside from Romualdez and Nukaga, other House officials led by Secretary General Velasco also held discussions with their counterparts, particularly with Japanese House of Representatives International Affairs Department Director General Yamamoto Hironori, to exchange best practices for a more efficient legislative work.

Velasco said that the meeting underscored the commitment of both nations to strengthen parliamentary cooperation.

Among the best practices discussed in the meeting, Velasco said, were digital transformation of legislative processes, effective public consultation mechanisms, and strategies for enhancing legislative oversight.

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TAGS: Japan, Martin Romualdez

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