NILS Fukuoka Times

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What’s Happening Now in September 2018 Fukuoka & Japan


Foreign caregiving trainees to get financial aid to study Japanese – Nationwide

The labor ministry will launch a new system to financially aid foreign trainees in the field of caregiving in learning Japanese and acquiring technical knowledge amid growing demand for such foreign workers, ministry officials said Monday.

Foreign trainees are expected to make up for a labour shortage in the field of caregiving in Japan, but their jobs require greater proficiency in communicating in Japanese than other business fields. To attract more foreign trainees to the country, the government aims to improve their environment for studying the language. The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has requested a budget of 1.3 billion yen ($11.6 million) for the fiscal year starting next April.

According to the ministry, facilities accepting foreign caregiver trainees will be entitled to receive the subsidy through each prefecture. The amount of financial assistance per capita will likely be decided when the Cabinet compiles the budget draft at the end of the year.

Foreign caregivers may receive a subsidy for attending Japanese language schools as well as purchasing related study materials to take Japanese-Language Proficiency Tests, while those who dispatch Japanese language teachers to caregiving facilities will also qualify for the aid. Foreign caregiving trainees need to understand basic Japanese equivalent to the “N4” level under the five-category Japanese-Language Proficiency Test, in which the “N1” is the highest level, when entering Japan. In their second year, they have to pass the “N3” level. The ministry is also considering some remedies to allow second-year trainees who failed N3 to stay in the country.

The government is aiming to start accepting more foreign workers from April by introducing a new status of residence in such sectors as nursing care, agriculture, construction, lodging and shipbuilding, where labour shortages are particularly serious.

Kansai airport fully back in business 17 days after typhoon havoc – Osaka

Kansai International Airport fully resumed operations on Friday, 17 days after a powerful typhoon flooded its facilities, crippling the western Japan region’s main international air gateway. Long lines of travellers formed in front of check-in counters at the airport in Osaka Prefecture from early morning after the northern area of its No. 1 terminal reopened. It was the last section to have remained closed due to the flooding from Typhoon Jebi on Sept 4.

A total of about 470 domestic and international flights, the same level as before the disaster, were scheduled to depart from and arrive at the airport on the day, its operator said. Nearly 80 percent of the airport’s cargo area is expected to be restored by the end of this month. As of Thursday, however, the number of foreign visitors coming to Japan through the airport was about 50 percent of the level a year earlier, according to the Osaka Regional Immigration Bureau.

Before the closure, around 20,000 foreigners entered Japan at the airport each day and it was used by an average of around 80,000 passengers. The season’s 21st typhoon flooded the airport’s No. 1 terminal building, one of its two runways and a power-supply facility, while high waves and strong wind caused a tanker vessel to crash into the sole bridge connecting the airport, located on a manmade island in Osaka Bay, with Japan’s main island of Honshu. The airport suffered a blackout in most of its buildings and was unable to drain water that had flooded the runway.

It was not until Sept 7 that the airport partially reopened, using the No. 2 terminal building and one runway. A week later, it started using the southern area of the No. 1 terminal building and the other runway. During the disruption, two airports in the vicinity — Itami and Kobe airports — hosted 44 domestic flights through Monday that had been scheduled to use Kansai airport. Train services to and from the airport resumed Tuesday after a railway operator fixed damage to tracks from the tanker collision, although the road section of the bridge is not expected to fully reopen until around May 2019.

ANA reduces fares to and from Kansai International Airport – Osaka

All Nippon Airways (ANA) has announced a special fare for international and domestic flights to or from Kansai International Airport (KIX). The special fares are related to the efforts of Japan Tourism Agency and Japan National Tourism Organization to promote the continued use of KIX through the “Kansai Inbound Tourism Revival Plan.”

The tourism revival is needed due to the destruction caused by Typhoon Jebi. On Sept 4, Typhoon Jebi caused flooding of KIX’s runways and terminals and the main access bridge to the airport was severely damaged. This damage caused many inconveniences to the passengers flying to or from KIX. On Sept 20, domestic flights returned to normal operations and on Sept 21, international flights resumed normal operations as well.

The ANA special fares include discounts for flights between Kansai International Airport and China, including Hong Kong along with discounts of the “ANA Discover JAPAN Fare” for flights to and from KIX.


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