This Week In Japan
Friday, May 3, 2019
The latest headlines in Japan for the week of April 29, 2019
Immigration Agency Raises Japanese Language School Standards
Currently there are 749 Japanese Language schools in Japan. This number of schools has grown rapidly over the past 5 years but the quality of the Japanese language education has not kept up with demand. The Immigration Agency plans to raise the standards for these schools so that the average student attendance rate would have to rise from 50% to 70% or more over and average of 7 months.
Further, 70% of the students completing the course have to either go on to go on to attend Japanese University or get certified by a language proficiency test to prove that their language ability is above the level of daily conversation. If schools fail to meet these standards for 3 consecutive years they will no longer be allowed to accept foreign students. The new rules will require schools to undergo standard checks yearly and continuously report outcomes to the authorities.
To read more about Japanese Language Proficiency Standards here are some useful links:
Shortage of Doctors During 10-Day Golden Week Holiday
Like all other industries in Japan the medical industry is facing labor shortages. The 10-day Golden Week this year brought about additional challenges for hospitals that were unable to find doctors to work during the holidays. Generally, hospitals opt to hire part time doctors to handle emergencies and inpatient care during public holidays to give their full time doctors a break and shift away from the notorious perception that doctors have to work extremely long hours.
However due to the doctor shortage, hospitals, especially those in rural areas are unable to find people to work during the long break and have had to request their full time doctors work. Medical outsourcing companies have also reported that hospitals are willing to over higher pay in order to secure some doctors during golden week.
To read more about doctor shortages in Japan, here are some useful links:
Digital Luggage Storage Services on the Rise
With tourism booming in Japan, tourist traveling major cities like, Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka struggle to find places to store their luggage while on the move. Coin lockers in station areas are constantly full and elbowing through crowds large suitcases is exhausting, not to mention it causes more chaos and congestion in the already over crowded public transportation system.
To help solve this problem, Tokyo based company Ecbo Inc. plans to help ease the situation. Their online platform pairs travellers with nearby storage facilities so they can store their luggage quickly and conveniently. Ecbo Cloak service was launched in 2017 and started by allowing travellers to store their luggage in 1000 locations for up to a few days. The locations can be anything from coffee shops, karaoke joints, or beauty parlours. The space is booked via smartphone or on the company website and the rates are standard per piece of luggage.
To read more about digital luggage pairing services here are some useful links:
2 Narita Airport Employees Contracted Measles
Narita Airport officials confirmed on Tuesday that 2 employees at the airport have been infected with measles. One woman on April 20th and a man a few days later both contracted the virus. The woman stayed home from work and is believed to have not spread the virus. The man developed a fever on Tuesday the 23rd but continued his shifts on Wednesday and Friday before being official diagnosed on Sunday.
The source of the virus is yet to be found.
Japan was declared measles free in 2015 but with the recent global surge of the virus due to many people opting out of vaccination there has been 200 reported cases of the virus in Japan last year. Medical experts believe that the rise of foreign tourists is directly linked to the re-emergence of the disease in Japan.
To read more about measles in Japan here are some useful links: