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Title: The politics of importing health and social care workers : Japan's economic parnership agreements with southeast Asian countries
Author: Siampukdee, Usamard
ISNI:       0000 0004 2712 7722
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2011
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A high rate of growth in population ageing combined with a low fertility rate has led to significant demographic changes in Japan. It is projected that one third of population will be aged sixty-five or over by 2050. The ageing population raises concerns regarding health and social care for the elderly, including fears about the shortage of Japanese workers in these sectors. In 2007, Japan included within an 'Economic Partnership Agreement' (EPA) an intention to allow Filipino nurses and other care workers to work in Japan and subsequently signed parallel agreements with Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. This was the first time in Japan's history that the government made a formal agreement to allow the deployment of migrant health and social care workers in Japan. This thesis will reveal the complex drivers behind Japan's acceptance of migrant nurses and care givers through EP As. It will also investigate the conflicts between different policy stakeholders, as theses reflect the context in which Japan's immigration policy is responding to population ageing and the commercialisation of health and social care labour in East Asia. Firstly, this thesis will argue that the desire to conclude economic and trade treaties, rather than the need for health and social care labour, has been the driving force for Japan's acceptance of migrant health and social care workers from Southeast Asia. Second, it will argue that disputes over the acceptance of migrant health and social care workers have been managed through restricted implementation mechanisms - such as training and professional licensing system - and that this provides a method for exploiting the cheap labour of migrant workers and controlling them on a temporary basis. Lastly, the policy of accepting migrant nurses and caregivers through EPAs reveals the contradictions between Japan's desire to maintain its restrictive immigration policy and the need to address the implications of population ageing as well as to respond to the pressure exerted from labour exporting countries in the region to open its borders to their health and social care workers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available