An agreement to promote the movement of skilled Indian workers to Japan in a total of 14 sectors was signed between the two countries on Monday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said. The areas under which skilled Indian workers would be eligible to seek employment in Japan include construction, shipbuilding and ship-related industry, automobile maintenance, nursing, aviation, agriculture, fisheries and food services industry among others, it said.
Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and Japanese Ambassador Suzuki Satoshi signed the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) on a "basic framework for partnership for proper operation of the system pertaining to Specified Skilled Worker (SSW)", the MEA said in a statement. It said the MoC will help promote the movement of skilled workers from India to Japan.
"The MoC covers 14 categories of specified skills under which skilled workers from India who meet the skills requirement and Japanese language tests would be eligible for employment in Japan on a contractual basis," the MEA said. "It is also expected that the skilled Indian workers who go to Japan under this MoC will acquire new skills while working in Japan," it said. The MEA said a Joint Working Group (JWG), comprising officials from both countries, will be constituted in the near future to work out the operational details and a smooth implementation of the programme.
Speaking on the occasion, Shringla said skill development has been an important aspect of the India-Japan special strategic and global partnership. "In 2016, we signed the 'Manufacturing Skill Transfer Promotion Programme' agreement for training 30,000 persons over 10 years with Japanese-style manufacturing skills and practices," he said. "I am sure that this agreement will not only aid in the movement of skilled Indians to Japan to meet the requirements of the Japanese market, but will also enable greater interaction between our peoples and strengthen people-to-people ties," Shringla said.
He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has placed high priority on a quick operationalisation of the MoC. "I am also informed that Prime Minister (Yoshihide) Suga, when he was Chief Cabinet Secretary, was one of the prime movers of the SSW programme to address the needs of Japan's skilled labour market. With an early operationalisation of this MoC, both our countries can synergise our strengths and have mutually beneficial outcomes," the foreign secretary said.