“Japan and Myanmar have similar lifestyles. So, they are like Myanmar. To my knowledge, Japan has had no other arrangements with other countries regarding labour,” Ministry of Labour’s Permanent Secretary U Myo Aung told The Myanmar Times.
“They have offered to have this with Myanmar since we have also requested to send workers there,” he said.
Both countries are now discussing details of the labour migration arrangement, following which the Ministry of Labour will submit the MoU draft contract to the Office of the Attorney General of the Union to be confirmed and prescribed, said U Myo Aung.
“Now, we are negotiating to reduce the agency’s service fees.
“We also have asked their employers what kind of skillful labour they want and also have requested for the employers to pay for labour training,” he said.
Currently, Myanmar agencies have been sending workers to Japan to work in the agricultural, construction and commodity productions industries. Japan has a high demand for workers in their construction industry.
U Myo Aung said that agencies collect about US$2,800 from workers going to Japan. The Ministry of Labour is trying to reduce that service fee with the new MoU contract.
“Now both our countries have been planning to sign the MoU contract to increase cooperation. This is a good system,” said Myanmar Overseas Employment Agencies Federation’s general secretary U Kyaw Htin Kyaw.
“Every country should have these MoU contracts for labour migration so that we are available to protect the migrant workers,” he told The Myanmar Times on February 14.
He also said that with the new MoU, overseas employment agencies also have to send workers to Japan by connecting with the agencies in Japan. This will enable both governments to control, retrain, solve and help workers.
There are about 200 to 300 Myanmar workers who have been going to Japan for jobs monthly.
According to an official from the Ministry of Labour, there are over 10,000 Myanmar workers who have been going to Thailand every month and there are about 10,000 Myanmar workers who have been going to Malaysia and other countries for work.
Japanese Ministry of Labour’s statistics (October 2016) show that there are over one million foreign workers in Japan, of which 30 percent are from China and 16pc from Vietnam. Most of them work there mainly in the construction sector for the 2020 Olympics.