Nepal signs preliminary deal with Japan to export labour

Kathmandu, March 25

Nepal has signed a preliminary agreement with Japan to pave the way for the Tokyo to import Nepali labour in the future.

The MoU between the two countries was inked in the presence of Labour Minister Gokarna Bista, who said that Japan stands to become a popular destination for Nepali labourers. The minister also thanked the Japanese government for agreeing to sign the deal.

Following the deal, a new unit will be set-up at the Ministry of Labour to coordinate with the Japanese government on the modality of recruitment of Nepali workers by Japanese employers. This means that the services of ‘manpower’ agencies (middlemen) who connect labourers with potential employers in Japan will no longer be needed. Japan is expected to agree to adopt a model similar to the one chosen by South Korea to bring in Nepali labourers.

According to sources, both governments have already reached an agreement on how to recruit the workers, and what benefits to grant them. However, the issue of the cost each worker has to bear is still under discussion as Nepal has requested Japan to allow Nepalis to enter its job market at zero cost.

The Japanese government recently decided to recruit workers from various Asian countries such as Nepal, China, Indonesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam after it experienced a shortfall in labour supply. According to the reports, Japan plans to employ 345,000 foreign workers in its 14 industrial areas.

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