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Over 7,200 Japan firms employing foreign trainees broke law, gov't says

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Appalling treatment by J companies.

Japan is truly shocking .

-4 ( +33 / -37 )

"We will continue to make efforts to supervise and instruct companies," said a ministry official, with the number of foreign trainees in Japan on the rise after a drop due to the coronavirus pandemic.

They just keep saying that since this they importing those cheap labor, decades ago. In Japan nothing being changed.

How much they earn? Don't forget cuts they need to give to many parties.

https://prudentialemployment.com/en/internship/salary/

-3 ( +26 / -29 )

have made four foreign trainees work over 100 hours of illegal overtime a month.

Which means they were working over 200 hours total, as 100 hours is legal! They were working at least 50 hours per week OVERTIME, meaning close to or over 90 hours a week.

These people deserve to be compensated!

31 ( +37 / -6 )

So did they have to pay the unpaid wages?!!!

34 ( +34 / -0 )

So, what are they going to do about it? Are they going to penalise the companies and compensate the trainees? Or, are they just going to sweep it under the carpet with urges and pledges to fix the program? The same urges and pledges they were spouting in the mid-2000's when the mistreatment of these trainess first came to light? Move along people. There's nothing new to see here. It'll still be same in another twenty years. You can bet the J-Gov got their pension payments from these trainees. Even the ones that didn't get paid would still have had their pension payments deducted.

4 ( +24 / -20 )

So did they have to pay the unpaid wages?!!!

They might paid those regular wages but sometimes they choose not to paid overtime.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2022/11/16/national/vietnamese-trainees-overtime-pay/

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Wow! That is a lot of companies!

15 ( +19 / -4 )

Mistreatment of technical trainees such as violation of safety rules and unpaid wages is well known and has been around since the trainee program started. But why do they keep coming in? They can earn twice as much in Australia.

9 ( +17 / -8 )

Until there's an effective grievance system for the workers, penalties for the companies, and retribution prevention, this will never change. The local government or hiring agency will just tell them to go home if they don't like it. You can tell by the wording in this article that Japan has no intention of making any serious changes, e.g. "government considers overhauling..." "We will continue to make efforts to supervise..." As usual, make it look good on the surface while doing nothing in reality.

2 ( +13 / -11 )

Critics say that although the existing program is ostensibly in place to transfer knowledge and skills to developing countries, in practice it has been used as a cover for companies seeking to import cheap labor from abroad as the working-age population in Japan continues to shrink.

And most importantly boot them out the country after 2 years once their cheap labour has been exploited.

-11 ( +13 / -24 )

No worries as foreigners in Japan are not protected to the extent as Japanese are.

They’ll be replaced in a few years by a fresh batch

-14 ( +12 / -26 )

No wonder Japan is losing foreign workers among developing countries as well.

Unfortunately it won’t change as many things in this country

-11 ( +13 / -24 )

Among the violations uncovered by the inspections, 2,326 cases, or 23.7 percent, were in breach of safety rules such as unsafe use of machines, while 1,666 cases, or 16.9 percent, were related to unpaid wages, with one firm found to have made four foreign trainees work over 100 hours of illegal overtime a month.

Wage theft is endemic in Japan Inc. aided by the dearth of legal sanctions.

Funny when you think that theft of even a few coins or small items is treated so harshly.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

Another name for cheap labor, "foreign trainees".

-6 ( +14 / -20 )

Nothing will change excepting an extension of period to stay in order to abuse of desperate humans in this slave program...

-12 ( +13 / -25 )

Government sponsored slavery. No other way to describe it.

-7 ( +15 / -22 )

what about making foreign trainees work six days per week?

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

@Yubaru

Thanks for the breakdown. When you look at those numbers, it gives me chills. These workers need to get compensated and those sponsoring companies need to pay the retribution.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

You would get very similar results if you conducted the survey in companies with 100% Japanese work forces.

Ignored safety rules, unpaid overtime, no questioning the boss....

2 ( +12 / -10 )

You would get very similar results if you conducted the survey in companies with 100% Japanese work forces.

This. The entire labour system here is broken. It's just these foreign labourers tend to complain about it and expose the exploitation. The Japanese workers take it up the behind and never challenge it or even attempt do anything about it.

At least foreign workers can choose not to come to Japan. It's already actually happening as word of the conditions and pay is getting around, and it's only going to get harder to recruit them since many of these developing countries are booming economically. They're finding it better to stay at home. It's not going to turn out well for Japan and it's their own fault.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

In my very first year in Japan I had to do night shift 10pm-6am for 2 weeks.

When I asked how much the night shift hourly wage was the 'boss' gave me a very nervous looking while saying "kankei nai kankei nai" "there is no difference/are you tripping?".

By that time I already read/spoke fluent japanese, cant imagine what these people do to trainees and other laborers without a hint about the language.

I've also translated many job contracts where the company lists all the deductions from the worker's wage, including ¥3,000/month for "futon rental" and other absurds.

These crooks deserve to go under.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

How is Japan going to appeal to foreign workers with their record of treatment?

Easily. For every Vietnamese worker coming to Japan there are 7 disappointed applicants. They ALL know the conditions, pay, overtime, discrimination but CHOOSE to come as they can earn 5 times the salary. Do you think that conditions are really better in Vietnam?

The goal for many is 3 years in Japan, save their money, return with enough to buy a house or start a business.

Some wish to stay longer, more than 12,000 have just vanished in Japan, now working underground illegally.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

If Japan needs these foreign workers then the system needs to be overhauled from the top down. Laws, regulations and enforcement need to be strengthened with serious penalties for violating employers. Might take the creation of a new ministry that includes domestic labor laws. immigration laws and input from the Foreign ministry.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

The trainee program is just a form of legalized slavery. They've been exploiting and deceiving these trainees for decades. It's galling how the program is still up and running. It should be shut down and no, no new program should replace it because the same thing'll just happen again.

-6 ( +11 / -17 )

This twisted, exploitative, system - ostensibly beneficial for Japan's SE Asian neighbor countries and people - is merely an LDP / Nippon Kaigi tool for ensuring that people from such countries will not comprise a significant piece of Japan's permanent immigration pie chart (i.e., that they will soon leave after supplying cheap labor and paying taxes).

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Seeing how the system was systematically abused without any consequence why not make a list of companies for which there was never any problem, that did not broke the law and that had no complains from the trainees about their treatment? Those that did nothing wrong even when it was apparently so easy to do it should be rewarded in some way, for example by only letting those companies participate in the new system.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Another lip service story!

Disgusting treatment yet none of the perpetrators will be penalized as usual!

Has Japan no shame???

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

""Critics say that although the existing program is ostensibly in place to transfer knowledge and skills to developing countries, in practice it has been used as a cover for companies seeking to import cheap labor from abroad as the working-age population in Japan continues to shrink.""

And that is exactly what it is, the word trainee was used fir a cover up that's all.

If and when the government starts treating these employees NO DIFFERENT than any others in terms of Salary, Safety, and equal pay only then the abuse shall continue.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

You might be surprised to learn that Japan is not alone in the exploitation of foreign workers, it has been happening worldwide for decades. These workers are expected to work long hours for low pay and have the bare minimal of whatever healthcare is available. It is rife in the UK, the EU, and the USA because these countries attract the most immigrants.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

You might be surprised to learn that Japan is not alone in the exploitation of foreign workers, it has been happening worldwide for decades. These workers are expected to work long hours for low pay and have the bare minimal of whatever healthcare is available. It is rife in the UK, the EU, and the USA because these countries attract the most immigrants.

And this is the generic comment that doesn’t know about what is writing.

Countries in Europe like Germany and Sweden have excellent health care system unlike the US and in Europe employees can’t be sacked easily like in the US.

Furthermore Germany and Sweden since the late 70es accepted many immigrants from less developed countries at that time and integrated them and their families.

Seriously before writing and put all the west together people should do their homework.

And to stay in topic Japan need to change it’s mindset about it if it wants to remain competitive and attractive.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Overstayers have been working here for decades working for Japanese businesses like construction.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

They misspelled “slaves” as “trainees”.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

Among the violations uncovered by the inspections, 2,326 cases, or 23.7 percent, were in breach of safety rules..., while 1,666 cases, or 16.9 percent, were related to unpaid wages

A total of 21 cases deemed by labor standards inspections offices as serious or malicious violations have been sent to prosecutors, the ministry said.

Only 21 were deemed serious? Seems like they were off by 3,992.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Now that's a SHOCKER! NOT! Even English teachers get treated like slaves. Ooops reached the time limit. Fire him/her. Dont want the immigrants to to have the same rights as the Japanese teachers. Oops. Let's not sign him/her up for the pension, and let's pretend they work less than 25 hours......ON THE CONTRACT.

We are the minority people of Japan. But we must be grateful for what rights we have.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Thanks for the breakdown. When you look at those numbers, it gives me chills. These workers need to get compensated and those sponsoring companies need to pay the retribution.

After hitting the "post" button I went back and reread this line again

 one firm found to have made four foreign trainees work over 100 hours of illegal overtime a month.

and stopped to refigure the number of hours per week, roughly speaking here.

They worked their 40 hours per week, plus the additional 100 LEGAL overtime hours per month, meaning 25 hours per week, for a total of 65 work hours per week, before adding on the additional 100 "illegal" hours, meaning an additional 25 hours per week, for a total of 90 hours of work for 4 weeks in a month.

Meaning these guys were working at least 360 hours per month!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Somehow I’m not surprised by this.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Then make the law's easier to adhere to. The break them because they're too complex and strict to begin with. The country needs labor but the government is unwilling to make it easy to get people.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

They knew violations were going for decades now with all kinds of terrible treatment but they are still just "considering" actions.

The entire thing needs to be scrapped and all these workers need to be filed under people with JOBS pure and simple. Give them their workers rights and make sure they know them. Start shutting down the companies that violate them. No bowing for news cameras and saying your sincerely sorry that the worker thinks they are being mistreated, full blown shut these groups down. The major offenders getting punishments like "you can't hire new workers for the rest of the year" and other BS needs to stop.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Over 7,200 Japan firms employing Japanese trainees broke the law, gov't says

I fixed the title.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

When these companies hire these trainees they nothing but profit they automatically throw safety, and wage laws out of the door. They preach the language to get them employed to train them but they know how to skirt workers rights and wage laws knowing the workers are at their mercy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What a surprise; NOT !

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Apparently the practice of good business ethics is not a Japanese trait.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This is not the way to attract skilled workers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There's much progress in sight. It has become published news. lol

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

7,247 firms broke the law. 21 prosecutions. Says it all, really.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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