Japan's population is growing old and people are needed to take care of them. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Japanese government is aiming to hire 10,000 Vietnamese caregivers by 2020 due to a labor shortage in the country’s nursing sector. On Wednesday a government official said Japan will first hire 3,000 Vietnamese to look after its aging population within one year, The Japan Times reported.

According to Japan’s labor ministry, an additional 550,000 will be needed in 2025 due to the country’s rapidly aging population. Vietnam is willing to send caregivers to Japan and the two countries are expected to soon sign an agreement.

Japan is also considering inviting others from Indonesia and Cambodia. Since 2008, Japan has hired people to take care of the elderly from Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Last November, Tokyo imposed a new law to add nursing care to the list of fields in which foreigners can work under a training program. However, there is a struggle to secure foreign caregivers as they are required to speak Japanese and possess certain qualifications.

There were about 1.9 million caregivers in Japan as of March last year. According to the labor ministry, about 2.45 million caregivers will be needed in Japan by 2025.