The global migration of care labour: Filipino workers in Japan
Additional Publication Information
This chapter focuses on the implications of a new agreement between Japan and the Philippines as a way of exploring the contradictions and tensions surrounding the migration of Filipino care workers to Japan, where, as Yuki Tsuji (this volume) argues, a rapid expansion of the aging population accompanied by a dramatic shrinkage of the Japanese labour force has triggered heated debates over how to cope with the acute demand for elder "care:' The Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) - the bilateral Economic Partnership Agreement [EPA] signed in September 2006 and ratified in December 2008, which allows for the Philippines to send up to four hundred nurses and six hundred care workers to Japan over a period of two years (MOFA 2006) -was described in the Japanese media as "[a] new step toward opening Japan's labour market" (Asahi Shimbun 2006). The government of Japan has also signed a similar EPA with Indonesia, which includes the same clause, permitting Indonesian nurses and care workers to work in Japan (MOFA 2007b). Given Japan's strict immigration regulations regarding the entry of so-called "unskilled" workers/ such deregulation of the inflows of "foreign" labour to Japan is remarkable, especially in terms of care workers whose professional status has not yet been verified in the Japanese labour market (Son 2007; Takagi 2006).