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More Vietnamese trainees made to join Fukushima decontamination work

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Statements don't do anything, put these Yakuza construction company CEO's in jail and then you will get action.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Just confirms what we've already sent here before. "Trainee" translated from Japanese into English means "slave"

14 ( +19 / -5 )

Said not sent damned autocorrect

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@ gogogo - CEOs in jail ahahahahahaaaa

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The Justice Ministry and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare have released statements, saying decontamination work does not fit the purpose of the trainee program.

But what have you done to ensure that it does not happen? I almost get the feeling that this statement is an attempt to "shut the barn doors AFTER the horses have run out" kind of thing here!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Anyone really surprised?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

This is just going to continue as Jinc need and are used to slave labour/foreign trainees, use which ever term you prefer.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Using desperate foreigners to clean up your own (dangerous) mess is....sorry, I just can't find the words!

Somebody needs to fess up and face the music over this.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

So, what’s the going rate for modern slaves in Japan?

10 ( +13 / -3 )

I wonder if these foreign trainees also received the correct amounts of ‘danger money’ for working on the site or did the employer oocket it? This whole foreign trainee system is set up very loosely and easily abused by one of the many unscrupulous Japanese employers.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

The Japanese "journalist" who wrote this story conveniently omitted the name of the construction firm responsible.

Very odd to focus on a suspected violation and then keep us in the dark over the violater's identity.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

The government claimed a few weeks back it would stop this from happening.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Japanese company: Hey (insert nationality here), you want to get a job in Japan?

Foreign trainee: Sign me up!

Japan company: Alright, we're going to pay you only marginally higher than what you earn back in your country while also making you work overtime, unpaid of course, no leave and no complaining. How's that sound?

Foreign trainee: As long as the pay is higher than what I make back home I guess.

Japan company: Oh yeah, although it's not in your job description, we're also going to have to ask you to help in decontamination work, is that fine with you?

Foreign trainee:........

0 ( +7 / -7 )

they always have recourse to the fair and impartial japanese legal system......oh....

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Japanese company: Hey (insert nationality here), you want to get a job in Japan?

Foreign trainee: Sign me up!

Japan company: Alright, we're going to pay you only marginally higher than what you earn back in your country while also making you work overtime, unpaid of course, no leave and no complaining. How's that sound?

Foreign trainee: As long as the pay is higher than what I make back home I guess.

Japan company: Oh yeah, although it's not in your job description, we're also going to have to ask you to help in decontamination work, is that fine with you?

Foreign trainee:........No problem. When I get to Japan I will just disappear and find another job.

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

‘and the company did not give them a detailed explanation of the decontamination work beforehand.’

Of course they didn’t. Workers are treated like livestock . Everything on a need to know basis, and Vietnamese workers, pfffft, DONT need to know. Grubby little business by even grubbier little operators. I’m sure there was some horrible mistake made and that the situation is very ‘regrettable’. Followed by some meaningless bow which always comes after getting busted for something everyone knew all along was wrong. In reality , getting caught is the only thing that is actually regrettable.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

No one should be sent to work in Fukushima whether its a Vietnamese or an Osaka day worker without being told what the work is. How much they will receive. Where they will stay and what charges they will have to pay. What food will be provided. What healthcare will be given. The number of hours to be worked. The decontamination work outside of the NPP is not dangerous and a chance for some people to earn a bit more than elsewhere but workers are still needed in Miyagi.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

@Econostat

As for your equivalency attempt, I checked the first item on your list.

I learned that Kamaljit Bhalla, owner J&K Heating and J&K Electrical Services (the violator and company name are public knowledge, unlike in the Japanese case) was arrested and convicted of worker abuse, and is under 15 month house arrest and is banned from hiring minors.

After it was learned he was employing a foreign worker, the local labor federation is demanding his company also be banned from employing “vulnerable workers” and that the worker be placed in a safe work environment.

This single Canadian incident has prompted not just quick legal and administrative action that punished the company owner, but a large amount of attention from the media.

No one is saying all worksites throughout the world are always safe. But the Japanese “intern” system is a long-time a systemic abuser exploited by habitual liars and cheats, and it’s frustrating when the public is not allowed to learn who is even responsible or how the abusers can continue to get away with their sleazy behavior. Teeth-sucking and calling the incident “regrettable” ain’t the solution. Criminal charges and punishments are.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

So, what’s the going rate for modern slaves in Japan? when you add all the overtime theyre required to do agent fees they have to repay etc, the rate is actually less that the minimum wage at around 500~600yen/hr

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Japan introduced the program in 1993 with the aim of transferring skills to developing countries.

I am sorry to announce this, but no one needs training in any country on how to shovel debris and use a broom.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

I wouldn't be surprised if these Foreign Trainees had to pay for the "privilege to work in Japan"....

5 ( +5 / -0 )

So its not enough that Japan is using foreign workers as slave labor.. they want to put their lives at risk too. Brilliant

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Based on past violations and tipoffs from workers, the labor ministry last year inspected 5,173 workplaces across the country. Of those, 3,695 were found to be in breach of labor standards. Violations included failure to pay adequate overtime and subjecting workers to unsafe conditions. The number of violations was up 24% from the previous year's 2,977 places.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/Economy/Abuses-rampant-in-foreign-trainee-program-Japan-labor-ministry-finds

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The program has long been notorious. Foreigners, mostly from Asian countries such as China, Vietnam and Indonesia, are “subjected to conditions of forced labor, sometimes through the government’s” industrial training and technical internship program in Japan, the U.S. State Department said in June in its annual Trafficking in Persons Report.

There have been numerous reports of trainees toiling under harsh conditions for miserable wages after coming to Japan with high hopes for a program that was set up to provide them with professional skills over a three-year period.

In reality, some workers have suffered sudden death from “brain and heart ailments” while others have committed suicide.

Employers are “forcing (trainees) to obey orders by taking their passports and bankbooks away,” says lawyer Shingo Moro, a member of the Fukui Lawyers Association who has been advising trainees in the Hokuriku region on the Sea of Japan coast. “It’s a human rights violation, more than simple labor problems.”

An audit by the Justice Ministry’s Immigration Bureau found that a number of employers force their foreign trainees to work for around ¥300 per hour — less than half the national average minimum wage of ¥764. Some were found not to be paying their interns a single yen.

In the program’s roughly 20-year history, dozens of young participants in their 20s and 30s have died or took their own life.

According to the Japan International Training Cooperation Organization (JITCO), which is charged with supervising host organizations and businesses, 304 trainees invited to Japan under the training program since 1992 have died, 29 by suicide. In addition, 87 of the deaths among these young people were blamed on “brain and heart illnesses.”

Host organizations are supposed to conduct a quarterly audit to see if employers are engaged in illegal acts or human rights violations. But an investigation by the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry found that these organizations have failed to spot almost every illegal act by the employers.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/08/13/national/japans-foreign-trainee-program-suffering-shocking-lack-oversight/#.WtgGJ0xuL5q

There's ALOT more such as personal examples and how Japan hush hushes and covers the whole thing up.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Since the start of the decontamination work, the removal of top soil, cleaning drains and river banks and the transportation of the one cubic meter plastic bags to storage locations there have been no reported health problems with any of the workers. The radiation levels are very low.

I do think that the whole decontamination operation is a waste of public money and the evacuated areas should have remained in force until the end of the nuclear disaster site in 50-100 years.

It is being done to force the former residents back to their communities and homes and ending the assistance compensation payments.

I think the going rate the workers receive in their hand is ¥5000 to ¥10000 per day. I think the government is paying out ¥15,000 per day.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The government introduced strict guidelines and regulations for the JITCO.

Including inspections and prosecution of companies violating them.

It the government can not guarantee the rights and protect those workers here under the JITCO then the program should be stopped.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

For crying out loud JAPAN when the HELL you enforce any sort of labour laws, ban slave labour, actually JAIL these offending companies, NAME them in the press etc etc

The govt here is clearly complicit in all these abuses of both Japanese and foreigners!!!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@zichi. We always have the same argument. I have only been to Fukushima twice with my Geiger counter. There is loads of this decontamination stuff everywhere in rotting plastic bags. It is 7x more than the the rest of japan and 2.5 times more than Tokyo. These slave workers , like the Osaka day workers will breath radiation, drink radiation and eat radiation. In Kobe you are fine, but these desperate people will wake up in 10 years time with cancer.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

"The Justice Ministry and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare have released statements, saying decontamination work does not fit the purpose of the trainee program."

And what have these ministries done to remove foreign trainees from such sites, or to prevent their exposure to dangerous working conditions or abuse? Nada.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Goodlucktoyou

@zichi. We always have the same argument. I have only been to Fukushima twice with my Geiger counter.

No argument but I don't accept your findings because you provide no proof and only hearsay and you are an alarmist and conspiracist on too many issues. You went several years ago too.

I prefer more upto date readings provided by the organizations working there now including both NGO's and government readings and prefecture government readings and those from Fukushima citizen groups. Excluding the NPP plant and its immediate area, other locations have greatly reduced radiation levels although there are still locations inside the exclusion zone with hotspots.

Currently, Rokkasho Mura 1,661 nSv/h. Nami Akougi, 3,195 nSv/h both at higher levels than allowed. The level at the Daiichi plant is 14,000 nSv/h.

There is loads of this decontamination stuff everywhere in rotting plastic bags.

Another alarmist statement. There are more than one million one cubic meter plastic bags and the eventual number will probably be about ten million. They are made of thick heavy duty plastic and have been transported to special storage collection locations which were prepared for the storage. All the sites are inside the current exclusion zones. The ground was prepared first including laying thick plastic on the ground. The bags are then stacked in layers. They will also be covered by structures.

The bags are not rotting and not everywhere. The central government said all of the bags which only contain low level waste will be removed in 30 years but I will not still be here to see that. I do have some concerns that all of those storage sites are in the areas struck by the tsunami.

It is 7x more than the the rest of japan and 2.5 times more than Tokyo.

The general background radiation level of most of the Fukushima prefecture is within the legal limits set. The levels of radiation in Tokyo are actually lower than both New York and London, for instance. The legal limit for radiation in Japan is 1 millisievert per year accept for Fukushima which is 20 millisieverts per year.

These slave workers , like the Osaka day workers will breath radiation, drink radiation and eat radiation. In Kobe you are fine, but these desperate people will wake up in 10 years time with cancer.

Sorry to say but just another of your very alarmist statements. Actually the radiation levels in the Kobe Rokko mountains exceeds most of the Fukushima prefecture because of the type of rock there. There is a radioactive spring and onsen which people use all year round. People wash and bath in the radon waters.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

So are there no Japanese working in the decontamination areas? If there are then how is a Japanese employee cleaning up radioactive matter any different from a Vietnamese worker? I'm assuming that the Vietnamese workers will be wearing the same anti-radiation gear as the Japanese?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Thunderbird2

99.99% of the workers doing the decontamination work are Japanese. There's little need for the heavy suits and protection worn before because of the drop in radiation levels.

https://gdb.voanews.com/F6E4B939-EEAB-45C1-A9BF-391F6049D06F_cx0_cy10_cw0_w1023_r1_s.jpg

At the actual NPP there are 4,000 to 6,000 Japanese workers. This will give you all the info

http://www.mhlw.go.jp/english/topics/2011eq/workers/tepco/index.html#sre

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

As usual, the Japanese are trying to have their cake and eat it - they can't function without foreign labor anymore, but they won't let said foreign laborers settle here as full citizens.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"The Justice Ministry's Immigration Bureau is conducting a probe, believing more foreigners may have been made to engage in inappropriate work under the Technical Intern Training Program."

Oh, that gives me the greatest confidence!

Nothing will be done, as usual. This program of human trafficking and forced labor is too valuable to the nation to stop. They never learned their lesson before, they won't now. And yet Japanese get defensive when you point out the rampant human rights violations by this country. I'd like to see one example where the companies who do this are jailed. You won't, because the biggest company doing it is the J-government.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

No one is saying all worksites throughout the world are always safe. But the Japanese “intern” system is a long-time a systemic abuser exploited by habitual liars and cheats, and it’s frustrating when the public is not allowed to learn who is even responsible or how the abusers can continue to get away with their sleazy behavior.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The Vietnamese don't need tp lear about nuclear decontamination, they have no nuclear energy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is horrible. What is the Justice Ministry and Ministry of H,L and W doing about this instead of just talking about it? Hope these labors are paid well. They'll need it to pay for their future medical bills.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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