The government has announced plans to create a special agency to oversee the foreign trainee program which has come in for criticism for exploiting foreign workers.
According to the government, the agency -- which will have legal authority -- will re-evaluate the purpose of the Technical Intern Training Program to provide interns with a wider variety of occupations as well as the possibility of extending their work period, Sankei Shimbun reported Friday.
More specifically, the training program will be extended from 3 years to 5 years. Some occupations related to nursing and care-giving will be added to the current 69 categories.
In response to increasing concerns over human rights violation, there will be more measures to protect employees, a government spokesman said.
The most common complaints include employers delaying payments, taking workers' passports, pressuring trainees to work long hours and not letting them leave their dormitories overnight, Sankei reported.
To deal with such cases, the agency will examine contracts between employers and agencies that arrange for foreign trainees to come to Japan. If violations are found, the agency will face the loss of its license.
The Japan International Training Occupation Organization will also be given more authority to supervise companies that accept trainees.
The government plans to submit a bill to create the supervisory agency to the Diet this spring.© Japan Today