Sat, Apr 04, 2009 - Page 4 News List

Japan youth holiday program to start in June: ministry

WORKING HOLIDAY The program is open to 2,000 young adults between the ages of 18 and 30. There is no limitation as to what type of job the holiday worker takes

By Jenny W. hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Applications to join a youth holiday program in Japan will be accepted from June 1, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

Young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 can apply for the one-year working holiday visa, said Hsu Juei-fu (徐瑞湖), deputy secretary-general of the Association for East Asian Relations.

“We hope that through this program, young adults from both countries will have the opportunity to learn about each other's culture,” Hsu said.

Japan is the third country to ink a youth working holiday program with Taiwan, after Australia and New Zealande signed up in 2004.

For the first year, both countries are offering 2,000 slots, Hsu said, adding that the figure would likely increase depending on the number of applications and the effectiveness of the program.

For example, when Japan first signed a deal with South Korea, both countries put the limit at 2,000. But given the success and popularity of the program, the number was boosted to 7,200 last year and is expected to rise to 10,000 by 2012.

Young adults seeking to be accepted into the program must be Republic of China (ROC) citizens with no criminal record or major health issue, the ministry said.

All applicants must present financial statements proving they have sufficient funds to support their stay in Japan — in addition to proof of insurance and a round-trip ticket between Taiwan and Japan.

Individuals who have been accepted in the program will not be eligible to apply again in the future. Proficiency in Japanese language is not a requisite.

Face-to-face interviews will only be conducted if necessary, Hsu said.

Hsu added that applicants are not required to have a job offer before departing for Japan.

There is also no limitation on what type of jobs the holiday worker takes, Hsu said.

He added that applicants can visit the Web site www.koryu.or.jp/taipei-tw or call (02) 2351-7250 for more information.

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