JITCO sparks Japan fever among youth

KATHMANDU: Nepali youths are undergoing Japan-fever ever since the government selected 168 foreign employment agencies for Japanese International Training Cooperation Organisation (JITCO) in early May. Though the process has not been finalised yet, Japanese language institutes of Kathmandu valley are experiencing a swell in language learners.

“There are many youths visiting us for language training,” said Dhiman Niraula of Miteri Japanese Bhasha Bidhyalaya. Several other Japanese language institutes are also getting more learners. “In this batch, we have 50 per cent more students than there were in the previous one,” said Rati Maharjan of Sakura Japanese Language School.

Basic Japanese language skills — reading, speaking and writing — are prerequisites for JITCO along with industrial affiliation. However, youths pursuing Japanese language learning are not industrial workers. “Some students are asking me about JITCO but I don’t know about the process,” said Niraula.

The Ministry of Labour and Transport Management (MoLTM) has not provided minimum information about JITCO and confusion grips Nepali youths. The youths studying Japanese language hope to go Japan by hook or crook but most of them refused to talk about their plans.

“If it needs industrial affiliation, I will manage it,” said Prakash Pant of Palpa, revealing his plan to go Japan through JITCO. He is currently working in a Kathmandu-based commercial bank.

The Nepali industrial sector doubts JITCO will be implemented fairly. “It’s no more than industrial training. How can the government mobilize foreign employment agencies and get success?” said Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI) president Kush Kumar Joshi. He hoped Nepali youths wouuld benefit. JITCO offers a year’s training and two-year industrial internship.

“It depends how we explore the market in Japan and manage it here,” said manpower agency owner Madan Mahat.