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No. of foreign trainees in Japan falls for 1st time amid pandemic

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for the first time, but not for the last time, I guess.....

1 ( +9 / -8 )

The whole scheme is modern day slavery.

18 ( +31 / -13 )

I can't believe this article because no one can get into the country

1 ( +9 / -8 )

which has been criticized as being a cover for companies to import cheap labor from other Asian nations

Those pesky criticisms that succinctly describe the situation. See this phrasing often in Kyodo articles about this and wartime abuses too: Some people "criticize,characterize, portray" this as slave labor. It is a tactic to marginalize such opinions that are widely accepted historical facts.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Not surprised. Obviously because of the restrictions. But it may be blessing in disguise for those coming from "developing countries" like SE Asia.

I saw an article on Asahi Shimbun about a Vietnamese trainee, a week or so ago, basically getting his ass kicked (physically hit and abused, broken ribs etc) for 2 years straight by his Japanese co-workers while working for a construction company. There's even video of it happening.

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14524587

Had that happened in the USA, those people would have been shot. Hopefully the Vietnamese guy sues successfully in Japan, gets compensated a large chunk of cash and a new job.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

The "foreign trainee" program is part of Japan's backdoor, on the quiet, immigration policy. There are benefits to having a pool of young and cheap workers but there are disadvantages too. Especially where the majority native population doesn't really want or welcome the newcomers. Take a look at Europe.

3 ( +13 / -10 )

Japan is doing a great job of protecting Japanese citizens from the Omicron virus by keeping borders closed. If tourists, other foreigners would have allowed into the country, the Omicron would spread easily and quicker in the country. The medical system will be overwhelmed with patients in the hospitals taking caring of citizens, foreigners and not enough beds. I also want this coronavirus to be over, if people would listen get vaccinated, wear mask and follow rules, it could have been over long time. Japanese citizens first outsiders secondary.

-27 ( +8 / -35 )

Since 2016, prior pandemic there is significant increase number of trainee in Japan, around 19% or more every year. At least that shows demand in Japan for this worker, never declining.

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13982238

The number of foreign technical trainees working in Japan declined for the first time in October last year, down 12.6 percent year-on-year

The current number during pandemic is down not because demand of this worker is declined but because they can not enter Japan.

Japan created a new visa system in April 2019 to bring in more blue-collar workers from overseas to address its acute labor shortage, marking a major policy shift from its traditionally strict immigration rules.

This new special blue collar visa, only granted to less than 1000 thousands people while their target is to get 345,150 by 2024

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/11/13/national/895-blue-collar-visas-says-immigration-agency/

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Does “foreign trainees” translate to Nepal, India etc students or worker that maybe earn ¥300 a day at home? It is humanity to give them a chance to work here and support whole villages.

on the other hand, Japan is inhabited by a massive number of vulnerable old and sick people with limited medical resources.

maybe best to keep the viruses out for now.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

"Japanese citizens first outsiders secondary." - can someone explain why it's always a non-Japanese Westerner making these kinds of statements?

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Whoda thunk, right?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This new special blue collar visa, only granted to less than 1000 thousands people while their target is to get 345,150 by 2024

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/11/13/national/895-blue-collar-visas-says-immigration-agency/

In fairness, that story is a bit out of date, in its second year [2020] they issued more than 15000 visas under that new category, so they were getting it closer to its target.

I think most of the people getting those visas are people already in the technical trainee program though.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How much are these army of trainees paid to guide, process, test, feed returnees from landing until sent off on buses to quarantine hotels, at Haneda and Narita airports? How much to deliver and collect meals, drinks, towels, pcr tests, and then clean the returnee quarantine and covid patient hotel rooms?

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Japan is doing a great job of protecting Japanese citizens from the Omicron virus by keeping borders closed.

Love your satire, lol...read the news over the last month?

If tourists, other foreigners would have allowed into the country, the Omicron would spread easily and quicker in the country.

As a reminder Omicron has made it's way to Japan via returning J-nationals first, ( ie the J-girl who broke quarantine by frolicking with her boyfriend & passed the virus onto him, Romeo then promptly went to a packed game at Kashima soccer stadium spreading it)

7 ( +17 / -10 )

@rainyday

In fairness, that story is a bit out of date, in its second year [2020] they issued more than 15000 visas under that new category, so they were getting it closer to its target.

15,000 target is 345,150 by 2024, so it's still not reached even 10% in 2022. Not sure they will reached their target by 2024.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

if people would listen get vaccinated, wear mask and follow rules, it could have been over long time.

Sadly, that is not true. People in Japan ARE already vaccinated. South Korea has 85% of the population vaccinated and that didn't stop the virus there.

People in this country do wear a mask and that didn't stop this wave either. And the rules, while people could do better at social distancing, stopping close contacts and interactions with others is straight impossible.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Japanese citizens first outsiders secondary

No. How about people first? People that have followed all protocols.

This isn't the 19th century

1 ( +11 / -10 )

Hundreds of thousands waiting to get in. Literally barbarians at the border.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

15,000 target is 345,150 by 2024, so it's still not reached even 10% in 2022. Not sure they will reached their target by 2024.

Oh yes, especially now they have basically zero chance of making the target.

My point was just that the program wasn’t as abysmal a failure as the first year’s data indicated it might be. Its possible that the new visa categories, once the current Covid restrictions are lifted, might become a viable way for blue collar workers to enter Japan.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@robert

Thanks for sharing. It is important people understand what is meant by “technical trainees” and “internships”. It is a misnomer.

In the context of border closures, these persons are often grouped with Students. This leads people to think of young professionals who are loosing their chance at Japanese corporations and the lack of diversity these companies will face in the future. This is not usually the case - it is more like companies, big and small, are losing their source of fresh cheap labor.

Obviously a lot of these “internships” have bern extended to cover the gaps in fresh recruits.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Japan's demand for foreign workers has been growing due to a labor shortage caused by the nation's rapidly aging population.

“Trainee” is a euphemism for cheap labor. Especially Japans service and construction industry is suffering, because wages are low and both psychologically and physically exhausting. That is why they import uneducated workers from Asian countries, as they are considered obedient and willing to work for cheap wages. It is them who have to deal with unstable work visas, being dependent on their employers and are the first to be discriminated against their race, as Japanese have always looked down on their Asian neighbors.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

which has been criticized as being a cover for companies to import cheap labor from other Asian nations

What is wrong with importing cheap labor? It’s beneficial for everybody.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Its possible that the new visa categories, once the current Covid restrictions are lifted, might become a viable way for blue collar workers to enter Japan.

Why would a laborer choose Japan over other places? Language is difficult, culturally closed, looked down up more than anywhere else, wages are no better, etc. My guess is that people who do come are tricked somehow.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

We have had quite a bit enough of this virus, thank you very much.

Pay up on another stimulus or open it up and let the work commence!

Only about 450 plus farms here in Saga that can bring in laborer's to milk the cows, grow veggies. and tons of other things I have seen with own eyes. From Tofu to Tatami mat makings and happenings.

What does this mean to you the reader?

Another year of this virus nonsense and.

Higher prices.

Once upon a time a year ago at Cosmos. 1 carton of Meji milk was 1.29 Yen

Its now 2.29 Yen.

Not like the pay structure in Japan is award winning like the Swiss.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

"" foreign technical trainees ""

Let's stop calling them trainees and call like it is, " Slavery "

Low wages, long working hours, movement restrictions, hard living conditions in small apartments, NO cell phones, NO automobiles, No access to health care, No contact with the ordinary Japanese, and more. if this is NOT slavery then please tell me what it is!!!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

That's good news, I hope this will force greedy companies to start hiring locals and offering them a nice salary.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Stop calling them trainees.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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