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Chinese trainee wins compensation for withheld pay

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a trainee program often accused of being a cover for importing cheap labor.

Their is no ‘accused’ about it. All of these trainees are being abused as cheap labor in one way or another. Either by being underpaid, overworked or being forced to work in dangerous places, like Fukushima Daiichi. I personally know a young Philippine guy who was delivering newspapers. He was given twice as many runs as his Japanese counterparts. He received no extra pay for overtime work, which was written off as traffic problems and was constantly threatened with being fired if he did not complete all the runs. He is not on the trainee scheme though. He is a full time student.

These kids are naive and just bullied by their Japanese employers.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Well done to her! To those scumbag farmers, youre gonna have a frugal Christmas

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Japan regularly rips its workers off. Especially the poor and young.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

It's interesting that these apalling things are going on in countries where payment of the correct rate is not a financial problem---Australia is another country where this sort of thing happens-sometimes by companies where the owner is very wealthy.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@seafog538 - It's interesting that these apalling things are going on in countries where payment of the correct rate is not a financial problem---Australia is another country where this sort of thing happens-sometimes by companies where the owner is very wealthy.

Do you have any proof of this?

What happens in Australia has nothing to do with Japan’s import if slave labor.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I think it takes about one minute to be trained to wrap basil.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I feel bad for her. Well i guess is nice for her she at least got a little of the justice. It was ridiculous she needed to wait that long to sue them. Would have done it the first year instead waiting till 2018. Either she is desperate for work or her hometown pay is even worse then this.

Actually getting some compensation can only happen to modern Japan. Half the world still use cheap labor and abuse workers. Reason why cheap labors happen anyway is mainly because back at their countries the condition is even worse. No need to be so surprise about a case like this. Every society has this and they just hidden it better. You are ignorant if you think this only happen to Japan. Reason why Japan get the spotlight light is that, while other countries can get away with it and Japan don’t is because everyone expect modern Japan to the perfect example for others. Readers who said Japan does this to everyone need to read more international news about the world and learn more about the current state of it.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Unfortunately these are the types of people many of the new wave of foreign trainees will have to deal with. Not exactly the creme of the crop! Excuse the pun.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

she bundled 200 bunches of Japanese basil an hour

The training program for foreigners was introduced in 1993 to transfer skills to developing countries.

I am confident that this skill is already known by all countries both developed and developing. As such she was being used as slave labor. There would be no training and no transfer of skills to China in the position this woman had. Oversight of this program clearly needs to be increased and properly policed.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

It's not really any wonder Japan is #1 on the watchlist of human labor traffickers in Asia, and they still engage in the slavery they have for years. The trainee program is nothing but that, and Abe wants to expand it.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Actually getting some compensation can only happen to modern Japan. Half the world still use cheap labor and abuse workers. Reason why cheap labors happen anyway is mainly because back at their countries the condition is even worse. No need to be so surprise about a case like this. Every society has this and they just hidden it better. You are ignorant if you think this only happen to Japan. Reason why Japan get the spotlight light is that, while other countries can get away with it and Japan don’t is because everyone expect modern Japan to the perfect example for others. Readers who said Japan does this to everyone need to read more international news about the world and learn more about the current state of it.

Please stop. Just stop with the 'well, everyone else does it,' excuse. It's rather pathetic.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Actually getting some compensation can only happen to modern Japan. Half the world still use cheap labor and abuse workers. Reason why cheap labors happen anyway is mainly because back at their countries the condition is even worse. No need to be so surprise about a case like this. Every society has this and they just hidden it better. You are ignorant if you think this only happen to Japan. Reason why Japan get the spotlight light is that, while other countries can get away with it and Japan don’t is because everyone expect modern Japan to the perfect example for others. Readers who said Japan does this to everyone need to read more international news about the world and learn more about the current state of it.

I love hearing from Japanese users who just can’t accept any kind of criticism of their country. We know what is happening regarding global news, you don’t need to tell us.

so you’re saying Japan needs to hide it better, not actually address the issue? Seems legit....

The issue is Japanese businesses offering these “programs” in the guise of helping people from developing countries but in reality it is exploitation. Japan has a terrible record as a developed nation regarding labour laws even among its own people.

Any proof that other developed countries get away with similar programs?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I'm shocked by the court's decision to not bother adding damages to the ruling, not necessarily for her claim of sexual harassment, but as more compensation for what the farm's owners tried to get away with. And where, exactly does that fine go? Into government coffers, undoubtedly. And if it does, that means the government is profiting from the mistreatment of labour.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

You are ignorant if you think this only happen to Japan. Reason why Japan get the spotlight light is that, while other countries can get away with it and Japan don’t is because everyone expect modern Japan to the perfect example for others.

What are you talking about? Other countries do this, and when it happens, it gets called out in their media. Japan isn't being singled out here like you are trying to portray, you're just reading a website about Japanese news, that is reporting news on something that happened in Japan. This isn't some international conspiracy - it's a Japanese news organization (Kyodo).

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The court recognized that her overtime pay was 400 yen per hour, calculating that she bundled 200 bunches of Japanese basil an hour and was paid 2 yen per bunch. The ruling said that she worked every day until 9 or 10 p.m. and occasionally until midnight.

WTF!!! Y400/hr for ""overtime pay""...………….so does that mean she was typically earning what Y1-200/hr between 9 to 5??

FRIGGING insane!

JAPAN, labour laws, can you just put on your Nikes & DO IT! ENFORCE LABOUR LAWS

This isn't rocket science & most cases should be sorted in a minimal amount of time but no it takes years

Japan please! Some attempts to stop the abuse of vulnerable foreigners & ALSO please stop the abuse of JAPANESE as well would be nice as well!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What are you talking about? Other countries do this, and when it happens, it gets called out in their media.

And this was called out in the Japanese media and a Japanese court gave her compensation.

The difference is that in the US or the UK is that when this happens is that US and UK newspapers do not have comments sections where foreign nationals pile in to make sweeping claims about "slave labour" in the US or the UK.

The use of "slave labour" in this context is not only inappropriate but a gross insult to those in the US and other countries whose ancestors were literal slaves. It is also an insult to those still in chattel slavery in some parts of the world.

"Slaves" do not get paid wages. "Slaves" do not have the option of quitting. "Slaves" cannot apply to the courts and win compensation.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I thought it was actually the average legal pay for trainees working on farming, since the ones I worked with, years ago, were earning 350 yen per hour, on a flat schedule (working overtime without being paid extra for that, from Monday to Saturday and some Sundays). They were earning that, like other Chinese working in nearby vegetable dealers. And the funny thing is, they were trainees peeling potatoes and carrots, with those peelers you can find at home. I wonder, what new technique were (are) they supposed to learn in Japan when it comes to peeling vegetables...

For those 350 yen per hour they had a small place to live in, and they had to pay for all of the services and their food.

I wouldn't just blame the Japanese owners for that, since the broker was Chinese and he would appear from time to time with new trainees. Now I think it's something like a big business, were the business owners and the brokers make their money from people in need.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"The difference is that in the US or the UK is that when this happens is that US and UK newspapers do not have comments sections where foreign nationals pile in to make sweeping claims about 'slave labour' in the US or the UK."

How is it possible for you to even know this with certainty? There are hundreds, probably thousands of media websites in the U.S. and U.K. that allow people to upload comments either anonymously or not. There is no way to know for certain the nationalities of the people who upload comments on those websites, and I really doubt any person has enough time to read everything out there in order to claim with certainty what you wrote above.

But let's just play along here and pretend that Japan is somehow unique and alone among the nations of the world in having newspapers and other media websites "where foreign nationals pile in to make sweeping claims about 'slave labour.'" Should foreign nationals not be allowed to upload such comments on newspapers and other media websites based in Japan? If so, why not? What about Japanese citizens who, for whatever reason, are inclined to view Chinese trainees in Japan like the person in this story as de facto "slave labourers" and wish to use that term in their own online comments?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Her treatment was abhorrent. And for every trainee that finds a lawyer, there are many more who cannot access one. The lack of regulation and supervision of the trainee program shows that, honestly, the Japanese government couldn't care less if foreign workers are mistreated! As long as business bodies are happy...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"The training program for foreign subjects was introduced in 1910 to transfer skills to developing countries..."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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