The programme is designed for people between 18-30 years of age who are interested in spending some time studying, working or travelling in another country (young Slovaks are set to enjoy the same rights in Japan). The aim is to get to know the local culture, traditions, and other aspects of life, in order to strengthen the mutual understanding between these two nations distant from each other.
The cabinet at its May 18 session agreed that the quota for visas issued within the framework of this programme will be 400 in 2017. As this platform will be valid from June 1 of this year, Slovakia will issue a maximum of 220 visas by the end of 2016. The working holiday platform does not have the features of an international treaty, so it does not establish any obligations under international law.
This programme is one of several items proving the progress of Slovak-Japanese cooperation, Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák said in talks with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida during his visit to Tokyo on the same day.
“Our good relations can be confirmed by the fact that we’re meeting for the third time in a year,” Lajčák said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. He went on to say that since their last meeting in November, Slovak-Japanese cooperation has been pushed forward on several levels. “We’ve agreed on the working holidays programme, negotiations about a social security agreement are in progress, Japan took part in the GLOBSEC 2016 international security forum in Bratislava for the first time and this autumn, several members of the Japanese business association Keidanren will visit Slovakia,” Slovak minister said.
The visit of Keidanren representatives will open up new possibilities in terms of economic cooperation between Slovakia and Japan, according to Lajčák. At the moment, there are more than 50 Japanese companies in Slovakia, and they employ more than 10,000 people. He stressed Slovakia’s continued interest in Japanese investments. Lajčák also informed his Japanese hosts about his country’s priorities during its upcoming presidency of the EU Council.