“We’re trainees from Cebu, Philippines, under the Technical Intern Training Program. We do plumbing for Japan’s waterworks bureau, who secures water resources and provides a stable supply of clean water for the public. Life is good. But grocery prices and living costs are so high when converted back to pesos. I’ve been here for a year and a half now. I try to help my folks back home by sending some of my income. I’m still single so I don’t have a family to worry about except mom and dad. Before coming here, we had to study Japanese for six months. And then when we got here, there was an intensive one-month study to help us integrate and understand the culture. I must admit, it was difficult adjusting in the beginning. But once you get the hang of it, it’s smooth sailing. I just hope the company likes me so they’ll renew my contract and hire me full-time. Maybe I might even settle down in Japan. Who knows? The possibilities are endless.”

They’re resting their arms on a traditional ice cream cart that serves Sorbetes and is peddled by street hawkers in the Philippines.

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Finding diversity and inclusion. Breaking down barriers one post at a time. Stories and snapshots of foreigners making their way in Japan.

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