PETALING JAYA: Putrajaya is looking to sign an agreement with Tokyo which will see Malaysian blue-collar workers being sent to work in specified sectors in Japan under a visa programme launched last month.
Kyodo News reported that the two countries are aiming to sign a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) when Human Resources Minister M Kula Segaran visits Japan in July.
The Japanese news agency reported that the memorandum will provide a basic framework for information sharing for workers in sectors such as construction, farming and nursing care, as Japan looks to hire more foreign workers due to its rapidly ageing population and low birth rate.
“We are working with the Japanese government to formulate an MoC on sending workers to Japan as they have opened up 14 sectors to foreigners,” Kyodo News quoted a Malaysian official as saying.
“We are hoping to sign it in Japan in July. It’s in the final stages, hopefully, it can be done,” the official said, adding that the scheme could potentially create up to 50,000 jobs for Malaysians in Japan.
The official went on to say a survey revealed that Malaysians were willing to upgrade their skills to join any sector, citing the higher starting salary as a major draw.
Japan has signed such MoCs with the Philippines, Nepal, Mongolia, Cambodia and Myanmar after the visa programme was implemented on April 1.
It is currently negotiating with China, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. Malaysia would be the 10th country to provide workers.