More spots open up for Hong Kong-Japan working holiday scheme

Quota for cultural exchange programme to increase to 1,500 young people from both places a year

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 August, 2016, 7:01am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 August, 2016, 7:01am

A popular working holiday exchange scheme between Hong Kong and Japan will be expanded, with spots for six times more young people.

The Labour Department yesterday announced that the quota for the Japan edition of the Working Holiday Scheme will be raised to 1,500 people per year. Japan was added to the programme in 2010 and about 1,700 young Hongkongers and 450 young Japanese have taken part in the exchange.

Welcoming the increase, Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said: “The substantial increase in the quota will provide more opportunities for [young people] from both places to broaden their horizons through living and working temporarily in Hong Kong or Japan while [on holiday]. It will also enhance the cultural exchange between the two places.”

The programme was designed to promote cultural exchange between young Hongkongers and their counterparts from 10 other participating nations, including New Zealand, Australia, South Korea and the United Kingdom, with 71,000 joining the scheme from the SAR.

Japan is considered one of the most-favoured tourist destinations for Hongkongers, and it is also the city’s third-largest trading partner.