Last January 12, 2009 the Memorandum of Understanding or MOU between Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and Japan International Corporation of Welfare Services (JICWELS) was finally brought into force to answer the vast number of unemployed Filipino health care professionals (referring to nurses and caregivers) as well as to respond to the health care needs of the aging population of Japan. was formulated under the free trade agreement and bilateral investment treaty called JPEPA basing on the Framework for Movement of Natural Persons. The training and employment under the free trade agreement is footed on its provision under Chapter 1 Article 1 stating, to liberalize and facilitate trade in goods and services between Japan and the Philippines. The bright opportunity for Filipino nurses in Japan loosened its grip on the outcry of unemployment in the country.

Last year the POEA announced its opening for the fourth batch of applicants for the said working opportunity in Japan and lately, the report of 13 Filipino nurses who had passed the Japan Licensure examination was an overwhelming glory for its effectivity.  It is nonetheless an up roaring signage for future employment progress in Japan.

In connection, potential nurses who are aspiring to be one of the Filipino nurses in Japan, need to know the basics about this. Under the MOU, the POEA is the one who is in charge for the recruitment of potential nurses while the accepting agency is the JICWELS.  The Filipino candidate for “Kangoshi” should meet the following requirements before being able to practice the nursing profession in Japan:

  • Must have graduated from a four year course in nursing referring to as Bachelor of Science in Nursing and must have passed the Philippine licensure examination
  • Must have at least three years of working experience
  • Must undergo the six- month skills and language training in Japan
  • And must have passed the Japanese Nursing Examination with maximum of three attempts.

It was indicated that the candidate will first undergo an aptitude and interview exam with the JICWELS to facilitate the matching with their employers in Japan. They should also pass the required medical examination for them to successfully qualify as Filipino Candidate for “Kangoshi”. Expenses for the basic requirements is said to be shouldered by the applicant. On the other hand, airfare and training costs will be supported by the employer. It was specified in the MOU that being a candidate does not necessarily guarantee an employment, instead the candidate still needs to pass the certification for eligibility for the national examination in Japan.

To add up, the Filipino candidate for Kangoshi will receive an allowance during the six- month training for skills and language enhancement as stated. Likewise, those Filipino nurses in Japan will be given 2- year stay duration for them to comply for the licensure examination. After they passed the said examination, they will be then given the chance to practice their profession as nurses. According to POEA’s Administrator Jennifer Manalili, qualified Filipino nurses in Japan is entitled for the same salary equivalent to what Japanese nurses receive with accordance to same tasks and qualifications.

Applicants are advised to register online through: or The POEA strictly reminds the applicants that those with complete documents are the ones who will be given priority.

JPEPA is the first bilateral treaty ever since both countries signed for the Parity Rights Agreement in 1946. Its hints has been controversial before it has finally been recognized in our country; but it does provide an eloquent agenda that the second largest trading partner of the Philippines, next to the US is now open for foreign workers.


  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Philippines Overseas Employment Administration and the Japan International Corporation of Welfare Services. (January 12, 2009). Retrieved last May 23, 2012 as mou_jpepa.pdf.
  • Policy Brief by the Senate Economic Planning Office. (September 2007). Japan- Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA): An Assessment. Retrieved last May 22, 2012 from,%20An%20assesment.pdf
  • Sun Star Davao Newspaper. (September 18, 2011). POEA Opens 4th Batch for Nurses in Japan. Retrieved last May 22, 2012 from
  • Uy, V. (January 12, 2009). RP Nurses Can Now Apply for Japan Jobs. Retrieved lasy May 23, 2012 from
  • WikiPilipinas. Japan- Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA). Retrieved last May 23, 2012 from


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