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Care, social (Re)production and global labour migration: Japan’s ‘Special Gift’ toward ‘Innately Gifted’ Filipino workers

Journal Article


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Abstract


  • The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)1 concluded by the Japanese and the

    Philippine governments on 9 September 2006, was described in the Japanese

    media as a ‘new step toward opening Japan’s labour market’ (Asahi Shimbun

    2006b). Similar to Japan’s previous free trade treaties with Singapore, Mexico and

    Malaysia, the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA)

    mainly concerns tariff reduction to facilitate bilateral exchanges of goods and

    services (Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) 2006).2 Yet, its distinctive feature

    is its facilitation of the movement of ‘natural persons’ – more specifically, the

    JPEPA allows for the Philippines to send up to 400 nurses and 600 ‘care’3

    workers to Japan over a period of two years (Asahi Shimbin 2006a). Indeed, the

    government of Japan has signed a similar EPA with Indonesia, which includes the

    same clause, permitting Indonesian nurses and care workers to work in Japan

    (MOFA 2007b). Further, it is currently discussing the possibility for the reception

    of Thai care workers through the recently ratified EPA with Thailand (MOFA

    2007a). Given Japan’s strict immigration regulation over the entry of the so-called

    ‘unskilled’ workers,4 such deregulations of the inflows of ‘foreign’ labour to

    Japan is remarkable, especially in terms of care workers whose professional status

    has not yet been verified in Japanese labour market (Son 2007; Takagi 2006). The

    proposed inflow of immigrant care workers to the Japanese labour market has accelerated

    heated debates over how to cope with the acute demand for elder care in the

    context of a historically unprecedented expansion of the aging population. These

    concerns are further expounded by a range of socioeconomic as well as demographic

    changes that have led to a dramatic shrinking of the Japanese labour force.

Publication Date


  • 2009

Geographic Focus


Citation


  • Onuki, H. (2009). Care, social (Re)production and global labour migration: Japan’s ‘Special Gift’ toward ‘Innately Gifted’ Filipino workers. New Political Economy, 14 (4), 489-516.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-70649096952

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2664&context=lhapapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/1659

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 27

Start Page


  • 489

End Page


  • 516

Volume


  • 14

Issue


  • 4

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom

Abstract


  • The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)1 concluded by the Japanese and the

    Philippine governments on 9 September 2006, was described in the Japanese

    media as a ‘new step toward opening Japan’s labour market’ (Asahi Shimbun

    2006b). Similar to Japan’s previous free trade treaties with Singapore, Mexico and

    Malaysia, the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA)

    mainly concerns tariff reduction to facilitate bilateral exchanges of goods and

    services (Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) 2006).2 Yet, its distinctive feature

    is its facilitation of the movement of ‘natural persons’ – more specifically, the

    JPEPA allows for the Philippines to send up to 400 nurses and 600 ‘care’3

    workers to Japan over a period of two years (Asahi Shimbin 2006a). Indeed, the

    government of Japan has signed a similar EPA with Indonesia, which includes the

    same clause, permitting Indonesian nurses and care workers to work in Japan

    (MOFA 2007b). Further, it is currently discussing the possibility for the reception

    of Thai care workers through the recently ratified EPA with Thailand (MOFA

    2007a). Given Japan’s strict immigration regulation over the entry of the so-called

    ‘unskilled’ workers,4 such deregulations of the inflows of ‘foreign’ labour to

    Japan is remarkable, especially in terms of care workers whose professional status

    has not yet been verified in Japanese labour market (Son 2007; Takagi 2006). The

    proposed inflow of immigrant care workers to the Japanese labour market has accelerated

    heated debates over how to cope with the acute demand for elder care in the

    context of a historically unprecedented expansion of the aging population. These

    concerns are further expounded by a range of socioeconomic as well as demographic

    changes that have led to a dramatic shrinking of the Japanese labour force.

Publication Date


  • 2009

Geographic Focus


Citation


  • Onuki, H. (2009). Care, social (Re)production and global labour migration: Japan’s ‘Special Gift’ toward ‘Innately Gifted’ Filipino workers. New Political Economy, 14 (4), 489-516.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-70649096952

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2664&context=lhapapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/1659

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 27

Start Page


  • 489

End Page


  • 516

Volume


  • 14

Issue


  • 4

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom