Japan holds work visa exam in Vietnam

Japan's government has held its first examination in Vietnam for people to get work visas including residential status for specified vocational skills.

The government in 2019 introduced a new visa category that gives residential status to foreigners with specified skills to work in nursing care and restaurant services and other sectors. Vietnam established the methods for operating the new program and holding the test.

More than 20 Vietnamese took the exam in Hanoi on Tuesday. The exam included a test of practical skills for processing rebar.

Vietnamese account for about half of foreign technical intern trainees in Japan, making them the largest such group.

Tuesday's exam was held amid high expectations in Japan for skilled Vietnamese workers.

A 29-year-old man said the test was difficult but that he thinks he will pass, as he was well-prepared.

He said he wants to work in Japan to help his family lead a good life.

The number of foreigners holding residential status for specified vocational skills was about 15,000 at the end of 2020. The number is far lower than the Japanese government expected.

The government plans to actively accept workers from abroad and introduce more areas of vocational skills for such exams in Vietnam.