Contradicting findings of govt and parents’ representatives from Japan visit questioned

After the parents’ representatives went to Japan to follow up on the various issues raised by the students who went to Japan through the ‘learn and earn’ program, a team from the government also made a visit to Japan. Both the teams came up with their findings after examining the situation faced by the students in Japan.

Both the findings point to the students facing difficulties in making ends meet and having to repay loan on a monthly basis. However, there are differences in the findings that were pointed out in the National Assembly (NA).

“Among various findings, the collective report by the parents’ representatives and Japan’s legal adviser team says that 95 percent of the Bhutanese youths in are not happy in Japan, whereas the government’s finding contradicts the finding by concluding that 70 to 80 percent are doing well and are happy,” pointed out the Khamdang-Ramjar MP, Kuenga Loday during the question hour session of the NA yesterday.

He further asked for clarifications on the report and findings of the government from the visit to Japan, and the way forward to resolve the issue while stating that the problem faced by the youth in Japan is evident.

The labour minister, claimed that the issues faced by the Bhutanese youth is not as severe as reported in social media and the Bhutanese and Japanese media.  “While carefully examining the situation, the news gives a different perspective, and perhaps it is not true that all the students want to return home,” he said adding that this was agreed to and concluded by the seven-member delegation team from both the government and the Opposition.

On the common issues, he said doing part time job while studying and requiring to repay the loan was attributed to the situation of not being able to make an ends meet in most cases.

However, he said it should be appreciated that the youth want to continue their stay and are determined to work even harder even though it is challenging.

“The issue is not about studying or working, it was rather about minimal probability in finding jobs and obtaining working visas once their study is completed. These are their two main problems,” the labour minister said.

To address the two main problems, he said the government delegation team met with the all the relevant Japanese authorities to appraise them on issues, where an agreement was made to provide help. “They cooperated with us to resolve the issue and agreed to render help if needed, it has become much easier for us.”

Lyonpo informed the NA that the problems may not be resolved immediately, but it is becoming convenient to deal with. “While filing a court case might be the other way to resolve the issue, the government will not interfere and will let the court pass a truthful verdict.”

Meanwhile, MP Kuenga said, “It is an irony that the government is conclusive about its view that there is not much problem, while on the other hand, the youth have to repay loans, attend classes, and work part time jobs. Students are also blamed for not attending classes and more, but we also need to understand the reason deeply.”

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