Fri, Oct 24, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Agreement over Japanese visas forthcoming: MOFA

CONSIDERATION Only New Zealand and Australia have offered to grant one-year working visas for Taiwanese under 30 years old to work in places such as sheep farms

By Jenny W. Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Japanese working holiday visas are expected to be made available to young Taiwanese by the end of this year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday.

Hsu Juei-hu (徐瑞湖), deputy secretary-general of the quasi-official Association of East Asian Relations, said negotiations are in their final phase.

“We’ve been engaged in talks with our Japanese counterparts on the issue and have begun discussions on the details of the plan,” Hsu said. “We should be seeing great results soon, and I hope that the deal can be sealed by the end of this year.”

Hsu said the Japanese foreign ministry welcomes the program in which young Taiwanese are permitted to work in Japan for one year. But its labor ministry was still attempting to ensure the program would not take away jobs that could be available for young Japanese.

So far, only New Zealand and Australia have offered to grant one-year working visas for Taiwanese under 30 years old. Visa holders are allowed to work in part-time jobs at places such as orchards or sheep farms.

In related news, Hsu said that exchanges between Taiwan’s and Japan’s local governments are very close, noting that the number of Japanese governors visiting Taiwan so far this year has already reached a record high.

“To date, 12 Japanese local governors have visited or are scheduled to visit Taiwan this year, which is a record,” he said, adding that several mayors and commissioners from Taipei, Kaohsiung, Tainan, Chiayi, Hualien and other cities and counties in Taiwan have also visited Japan this year.

Masanori Tanimoto, governor of Japan’s Ishikawa Prefecture, and Wataru Aso, governor of Fukuoka, are slated to visit Taiwan from Nov. 5 to Nov. 7 and Nov. 10 to Nov. 12 respectively, Hsu said.

Hsu also announced that the 33rd Taiwan-Japan economic and trade conference will be held from Nov. 5 to Nov. 6 in Taipei, with more than 100 government officials from Japan and Taiwan set to attend..

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA

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