カテゴリーのアイコン Case Studies
Many Internationals Work With Us at Our Home Care Service Company
Oct 20, 2023
7 min read
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Do you want to know what working and living in Japan is like? Read our interview with home care support company Careline to find out more!

Company Name: Careline, Inc.
Type of Business: Home-visit care, disability support, in-home care support

Representative Director : Mr. Takayuki Sakura
Management Division : Mr. Akiyoshi Matsuyama
Service Provision Manager : Mr. Junel Umetsu
Service Provider : Ms. Maria Rita



---When did you start hiring internationals?


Actually, right after we started this company, we knew that we had to promote both foreign nationals and Japanese since there is a shortage of labor in all industries.

We ourselves had studied a lot about technical intern trainees and other specific skills, but at first, home care skills were not covered. So nursing care was not covered.

---What kind of people were the first internationals who joined your company?


His name is Mr. S. We have been in this company for 11 years this year, and when we were only in our third year, half-internationals with a visa joined our company. I think that was the beginning of Careline. He was introduced to us by an acquaintance.

--- How was the conversation with Mr. S?


Well, He could listen, but he was not so good at speaking. We had a clear policy of having foreign nationals take the N-ken (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) at the company's expense and paying them an allowance, so we had them study as they went along.

Junel Umezu had just graduated from the graduate school of Waseda University and was about to start working, but I happened to be able to recruit him through a friend of mine.


His Japanese language skills are very high, and he has become a leader in organizing foreign nationals in our company.

--- Are there many situations where visiting caregivers need to use brute strength for their job?


I think people have the impression that facility-based nursing care requires strength since you have to move quickly and steadily to complete a predetermined task. Since ours is a home-visit care, it is more important to be physically fit or healthy rather than strong.

When we go out to visit clients, we often have occasions to use our bicycles. I think it is important to have a solid basic physical strength.

--- Is there anything you find difficult when working with internationals ?


There is a language barrier, but nowadays, we can manage it surprisingly well with the help of tools. In our case, we use the groupware Lark, and the automatic translation makes communication easy.

--- What are the impressions of the people who use your company's services toward internationals?


The evaluation is very good. They seem to give the impression of being polite and hardworking. In some cases, they are even better than the Japanese. However, we are very careful when we first introduce them in the service since It is sometimes difficult for the current elderly generation to accept them.


But, I feel that they're much more accepted by your customers than people would have expected, aren't they?


Yes, they are. However, since home-visit care involves sending someone to the other person's home, we have to be very careful in the beginning. I try to remain with them until the person in charge says, "You don't have to worry about following me anymore”. This is regardless of whether they are Japanese or international.

--- Perhaps the reason why internationals are able to settle in your company so well is because you take good care of them.


I would be very happy if that were the case.

--- We would now like to talk to Ms. Junel Umezu and Ms. Maria Rita. Have you been in Japan for a long time now, Mr. Umezu? I heard that you were originally planning to work for a Japanese company after you graduated from graduate school.


I have been in Japan for 14 to 15 years now. Japan is experiencing a labor shortage, so I have been interested since I was a student in how to use international labor.

(Center: Ms. Maria Rita, Right: Mr. Junel Umezu)

I was interested to know how the communication between the Philippines and Japan is done.

--- Are you in charge of communicating between internationals and Japanese?


Yes. Maria, for example, can understand detailed nuances in Japanese. There are differences between the Filipino and Japanese ways of thinking, and there are some verbal misunderstandings, such as "I didn't expect it could be perceived in this way." I cover those areas.

--- From Maria's point of view, how do you feel about Junel's presence?

Maria Rita:

He is very resilient. I feel relief when I am with him. Even though he is young.

--- What are some of the challenges of your job? 

Maria Rita:

When I had to pick up and drop off children with disabilities. It is a little difficult when they touch or hit strangers unexpectedly. It's not so much physical exhaustion as mental exhaustion.

But all the staff members call out to me. They ask me "How was your day?"


We had already talked about the need to organize a system in place for accepting foreign residents. If something happens, we immediately report it. If there is something we don't understand, we must take action immediately without leaving it at that.

We have to prevent a similar situation from happening again. That is why we always try to talk together when something happens.

--- So, you communicate with each other frequently? 


We have regular 1-on-1 meetings (once every month or two months), which is a good opportunity to find personal worries.

I think this is one of the advantages of being a small company, or perhaps it is because we work with a small number of people that we are able to pay close attention to.

--- Are there any problems you are aware of in the industry or in your work? 


The population shortage has left the industry itself short-staffed, and we need to make better use of foreign human resources. However, nursing and caring are popular among Filipinos.

Home-visit nursing care is a uniquely Japanese way, so there are many nationalities in the industry who do not understand this well. For example, there was a person from Peru once, and I had to explain it to him from the beginning.

I feel that there is a big obstacle to starting a new career in Japan, even from an institutional standpoint—for example, caregivers. Even if you have been a caregiver in the Philippines for decades, you have to study and gain experience from scratch to work in the field in Japan. That is the problem.

--- Is what you do in Japan for caregiving different from what you do in the Philippines?


What we do is probably about the same. However, some companies require international workers to have a high level of Japanese, making them hesitate to work in Japan.

In the U.S., as long as you find a job, you are immediately assigned. Many Filipinos want to come to Japan because of the proximity, but they end up working in the U.S. because of that issue.

I think it would be better to review the employment situation in this area.

ーーI see. Thank you very much for your valuable talk today.


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