On March 26, 2013 the health ministry announced that just 30 candidates of nurse from the Philippines and Indonesia had passed the qualification test in February. The examination is mandatory to be nurses in Japan.
The passed candidates have represented the passing rate of 9.6 percent for foreigners which is down from 11.3 percent observed in the previous year. On the whole the passing rate was 88.8 percent. Despite efforts by the health, labour and welfare ministry, the dip in the rate has been noticed this year.
Efforts were made so that the foreign candidates can find it easier to succeed. The efforts also include to give the foreigners 30 percent more time to complete the test than their Japanese counterparts. The foreigners were also given the complimentary transliteration of Kanji in to hiragana due to which the candidates do not have to memorise the characters .
The passed candidates came to Japan between 2009 and 2011 so as to take the advantage of bilateral free trade which gives an opportunity to work as nurses and care works in Japan. On Monday the ministry said that it will launch a measure in April so as to persuade the nursing care facilities to hire care workers candidates from the two countries.