Okinawa accepts technical intern trainees from Indonesia
February 13, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo
To accept foreign on-the-job trainees, the fisheries industry and farmers set up the Churashima Cooperative Union. The union accepted 13 trainees from Indonesia this month and began training programs such as Japanese language classes. It is the first time for a cooperative union in Okinawa to host foreign trainees. Trainees aim to receive the qualification Technical Intern Training II in a year. After receiving the qualification, the trainees will stay on for two years of on-the-job training. Using trained people, affiliated companies will consider starting businesses in Indonesia in future.
Nine out of 13 trainees will work in fisheries companies and four at chrysanthemum farms. After studying Japanese for three months in Indonesia and another Japanese lesson for three months at Sanko Suisan, the head office of the union, the trainees will start on-the-job training in March.
At Sanko Suisan, trainees will learn how to cut tuna and process squid. At the Izena Fisheries Cooperative, the trainees will use mozuku for training.
A 27-year-old trainee from Bali, I Komang Arsika said that he wanted to work at a farm in Okinawa and then become a Japanese language teacher in his home country. Eighteen-year-old Kholidin, who will work at the Izena Fisheries Cooperative, said that he wanted to create a fishing company back in Indonesia.
Trustee of the Union Kiyoshi Umazume commented, “The biggest merit is to have youthful workers. Working in the same position as Japanese workers is also beneficial for the trainees.”
Ten companies and individuals currently belong to the union. The union targeted the agricultural and fisheries industries. However, it added the food-processing industry after changing the rules of affiliation. The union receives inquiries from construction industries that have been short of workers. The union plans to increase the number of affiliate companies.
The union started in June 2012. It began accepting foreign technical intern trainees in fiscal 2013.
Domestic industries can accept foreign trainees through the Technical Intern Training Program for no more than three years. The Japanese government bans manual labor in the program. The government intends to increase foreign workers to allow for rapid construction ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana)
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