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Japan to conduct full-scale review into foreign trainee program

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Why wait with putting up a panel of experts until the end of the year? And then have discussions for months or years? And then urge . . . ? Make decisions NOW!!!

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Until we start to see concrete results and for those abused trainees to be fairly treated and compensated, this is nothing but lip service to appease Japan's international peers.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

After how many deaths or abuse cases ?

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

Well, better late than never, right.

Wonder how many (hundreds, thousands??) were exploited during the past couple of years.

Cheap workforce, that's all it was and still is.

0 ( +11 / -11 )

working illegal working hours and not receiving wages.

Wage theft, excessive unpaid overtime, deaths from overwork and pitiful salaries are all massive issues with Japanese workers.

https://japantoday.com/category/business/update1-seven-eleven-failed-to-pay-wage-portions-to-store-workers-for-years

Furukawa told a press conference. "I want to bring this long-standing issue to a historic conclusion."

The only improvement in labor conditions will be the "expert panel" salaries and their bank accounts.

6 ( +15 / -9 )

agree with all of the above.

The question is what is the outcome going to be? are they going to scrap the program? Are they going to URGE violators to stop the abuses?

I mean it good that an investigation is being conducted, but I just hope that some good will come out of it and that its not just for Tatemae.

Only time will tell, so lets wait and see

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

A couple days ago a JT article pointed out the need to reform policies and oversight of foreign worker programs. Today this article indicates that they are moving in the correct direction. Whether these corrections will be effective is yet to be seen.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The government will set up a panel of experts as early as by the end of this year to move forward discussions to make specific revisions to the program.

What a great example of corporatocratic Newspeak to say nothing will be done.

"After the government vets the candidates' qualifications for entry into the expert panel, a round table will be convened to set up the exploratory steering committee; aiming to convene the expert panel at a later date TBA; with discussions to commence subsequently and moving forward on issues related to the program".

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Here's what I understand by Internship - correct me if I am wrong :

Intern = no pay, but, with expectation of job prospect given experience, at the end of the internship.

A.K.A. Slave Labor

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Having seen these expert panels over and over again, my money is on new guidelines that put the onus of compliance on the workers while creating a legal frame work to protect companies from any legal consequences. Something like you can only make a complaint when are in your home country, but to take it further you have to be in Japan. And have a permanent resident visa?

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Example expert panel looked into excessive overtime, the result raised the monthly “‘legal limit” from 40 hrs to 100. So don’t expect too much.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Just change the name from “intern” to “post COVID-19 economic discounted labor recovery solution”.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Scrap the trainee programme altogether, and arrange regular working visa programmes under which an equal pay is guaranteed for an equal work at the Japanese workplace, regardless of nationality.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

I think it is not good, it will cause even more worker shortages in Japan.

The program should be expanded.

Of course, it has some demerits but overall it is good for Japan.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

An increasing number of cases of harassment and abuse of foreign trainees has resulted in mounting criticism at home and abroad with claims that it is a cover for companies to import cheap labor rather than a program to transfer skills to developing countries.

The trainee program has been known as a cesspool in and outside of Japan, as well as national and foreign human rights organizations for years. Not holding my breath for any breakthrough any time soon.

"This is a system that makes it difficult for trainees to create a career path and is structurally prone to human rights violations," Furukawa told a press conference. "I want to bring this long-standing issue to a historic conclusion."

...

At the study sessions earlier this year participants were told that the purpose of the program was to contribute to the international community through human resource development but the reality was that foreigners are being used to make up for a labor shortage, according to Furukawa.

It IS interesting though that the J-gov recognizes it for that it is...human exploitation. Looks like they can't hide things anymore. Has maybe the lid has been blown out into orbit?

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Nothing's going to change. That's one thing that can be guaranteed.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

The Japanese government said Friday it will launch a full-scale review into the country's foreign technical intern program to address issues of human rights violations and inadequate support for trainees

No they won’t.

Do they think we’re new here?

No one is buying this crap.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

why all of you are working damn "fast"?

how many more have to be killed or abused till your last "meeting" where you may decide "something"?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Wonder how many (hundreds, thousands??) were exploited during the past couple of years.

Don't fool yourself, they know the conditions and pay here. The conditions are bad but much better than the countries they are coming fro. The pay is low, but again 3 or 4 times the salary in their own countries. Thats why there is no shortage of "trainees" wanting to come to Japan/

Cheap workforce, that's all it was and still is.

Exactly, you know it, the employers know it and so does every applicant to join it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Where do I sign up ?

Oh wait, I’m a gringo. I can’t

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Ultimately, the trainee program is nothing more than a reflection of how Japan treats workers in general (incl. Japanese ones): as a throw-away / expendable resource. Nothing (new) to see here.

This being the reason why "black companies" are still thriving, worker-shafting regulations / rules are still piling up, heck even articles about how the J-gov is increasingly become a "black company" as well as far as public servants' working conditions do go have been piling up over last decade.

The problem being that in a super-aging low-fertility society, Japan may (and will!) ultimately run out of...human resources. Forget compensating through AI and automation as tech-staff is already in (too) short supply in Japan. It is just a vicious circle going in, well, circles at an ever-increasing speed and already overheating...

Things not looking good...at all...

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The program should look at qualifications, not only by the foreign interns but by the companies hosting the so-called training. Companies and its executives must first pass an Organizational Inclusion Assessment conducted by labor professionals before they are allowed to host foreign trainees. If companies can teach its managers and workers to be civil to foreigners (and not think that they are better human beings), the 'cheap labor' and 'slavery' issue won't look so bad.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Does that make it ok? Taking advantage of desperate people is not really a good look to most people.

Don't fool yourself, they know the conditions and pay here. The conditions are bad but much better than the countries they are coming fro. The pay is low, but again 3 or 4 times the salary in their own countries. Thats why there is no shortage of "trainees" wanting to come to Japan/

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan is for Japanese only, so if you don't speak Japanese Life here is getting worse.

Even the Big Multi-Nationals such as Apple & Microsoft are behind this line of thinking - look at their Japan Websites or Support services if you wish to question that...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Just cancel that thing already and start paying living wages and full benefits to local residents. If my minuscule company can do it, big transnational firms can certainly do it, too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Brokers for these workers in their home countries are almost like dispatch companies, but worse. If the government wants reform, they should only accept applications directly from workers in their own language.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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