Japan to join bid for 2023 WorldSkills

TOKYO (The Japan News/ANN) - The government plans to join the bid for the 2023 WorldSkills Competition, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

The government aims to foster young technical experts who will lead the country’s manufacturing in the future, sources said, through the holding of the international event in which young people from all over the world compete on vocational skills.

If realised, it will be the fourth time Japan has hosted the event following the 2007 WorldSkills Competition held in Shizuoka Prefecture.

In the WorldSkills Competition, young skilled workers aged 22 or younger compete for such skills as machine assembly, welding, lathe work and plumbing. The aim is to improve technical levels in respective countries and promote international friendship. The international event started in 1950 as an annual competition, but since the 1980s, it has been held every two years in principle. Japan joined the competition in 1962 and has been one of the top gold medal-winning countries. 

At the 2007 WorldSkills Competition in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan took first place by winning 16 gold medals. However, Japan has been losing ground to countries such as South Korea in recent years, ending up with fourth place in the 2013 competition and third place in the 2015 competition.

Meanwhile, due to the effects of the low birthrate, the wider use of industrial robots, an increasing move to relocate domestic plants overseas and other issues, the number of people working in the domestic manufacturing sector is on a downward trend. According to the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, the number of people employed in the manufacturing industry was 12.02 million in 2002, but the figure declined to 10.35 million in 2015.

In order to maintain and improve Japan’s technical levels, it has become an urgent task to strengthen education and training to develop young skilled workers at companies, industrial high schools and other organizations.


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