Myanmar student’s observation of life in Japan

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Myanmar government’s procedural complication and confusion

When I came to Japan as an international student, I prepared various documents. There are so many documents to submit to the Immigration Office in Japan, but I understood the deadline for submission and when the COE (Certificate of Eligibility) would be granted. Therefore, I was able to prepare for Japan relatively smoothly.

However, the Japanese government has made COE scrutiny for Myanmar students stricter since 2017. Therefore, many Myanmar people have been changing the purpose of visit to Japan from “to study” to “to work”. When working in Japan as a technical intern trainee or a specified skilled worker, the Japanese government’s certificate of eligibility is hard to be granted, but the Myanmar government’s procedure to allow the Myanmar workers to work in Japan is equally or more complicated. Let us take a look at some of the annoying and confusing issues.

table of contents

  1. Frightening Interview
  2. Questions that cannot be answered
  3. Approved Sending Agencies
  4. Summary

1.Frightening Interview

Many of Myanmar’s sending agencies are located in Yangon. Therefore, until recently people who wanted to work in Japan had to come to Yangon from their local village, and try a job interview opportunity while studying Japanese there. There were more than 100 people gathered at the interview by a large Japanese sending agency. Sometimes Japanese interviewers come directly to the interviews. When they hire 7 people, they would accept 21 interviewees. Those who do not pass until the last interview are disappointed and must return home. They have to give up dreams of working in Japan. The cost of living in Yangon is high, so if they have money, there seems to be no problem, but people who don’t have money are at a loss because they borrow the cost of living and study from someone and takes the interview.

Many Myanmar people stop working to study Japanese when they decide to work in Japan. If you quit your job, you will lose your income. Thus, these people become desperate to go to Japan, but there are many people who can’t pass the interview to go to Japan nearly two years.

So, at the time of the interview, everyone was extremely nervous, and I saw a lot of people who couldn’t even introduce themselves properly in Japanese. Then, the Japanese interviewers think that he cannot speak Japanese at all, and they would not choose such a person. Despite the fact that they can speak somewhat, because they met Japanese for the first time and there are many interviewers in front of him, that makes the interviewees too nervous. Job seekers who fail in interviews often ask me to find a job without an interview.

2.Questions that cannot be answered

When Myanmar people pass the interview, they usually ask me when he can go to Japan. It is the hardest question for me. Sending agencies cannot answer. My seven students were selected after the interview in 2018, but they could go to Japan in November 2020. I don’t know why they were made to wait so long, but they didn’t work for two years because they thought they were ready to go to Japan soon. As a result, they could go to Japan, but without working for 2 years they faced a hard time.

Even now, I introduce jobs for specified skilled workers, but the workers always ask me when they can go to Japan.

3.Sending Agencies

I’m used to preparing for documents for technical intern trainees for a long time. However, I do not know how to prepare documents for specified skilled workers of whose system has recently launched. When I first started introducing jobs for specified skilled workers, I started working with a large sending agency to dispatch specified skilled workers. I received the necessary documents from a Japanese company and handed them over to the sending agency, but I did not get permission from the Myanmar Ministry of Labor even after one year. I was really troubled. I couldn’t say for sure why it took so long or what the problem was. I questioned the agency over and over again why, he said that the submitted documents were lost. I thought he told a lie, but I couldn’t help it. It was my mistake to think that a big sending agency in Myanmar would be able to prepare documents for the new system well.

If you were involved in such a sending agency, I would feel really sorry for the Japanese company waiting for the worker and Myanmarese workers.

4. Summary

The document procedure to go to Japan is a very time-consuming system in Myanmar. I can understand our government thinks of welfare of its own people, but I think it’s going to be more of a problem than a good. I hope the government can think of a better system that will simplify the procedure for those who want to work in Japan quickly.

written by Htet Htet Aung