Japan to allow foreign technical trainees to provide home-visit nursing care

Japan's health and welfare ministry has decided to allow foreigners in programs for technical training and specified skilled workers to provide home-visit nursing care, to address the country's serious shortage of caregivers.

At present, a limited number of foreigners certified as care workers are permitted to provide home-visit nursing care, which is done by one worker. This is because it is difficult for them to get help or guidance from other staff.

Foreign technical trainees and specified skilled workers with residency status are not permitted to engage in the industry.

A ministry panel on Wednesday approved a plan to let them become home-visit caregivers if they meet certain conditions.

Specifically, candidates will have to complete a beginner's training course on caregiving techniques.

Employers will also need to train them in Japanese lifestyles and means of communication, and have their staff accompany the trainees for actual practice over a certain period.

Ministry officials will visit the employers to check whether people are being properly trained, and will begin a consultation service for foreign caregivers to prevent and address possible harassment.

The ministry plans to solicit public comments on the plan, and start implementing it as early as fiscal 2025, which begins next April.