TEPCO to employ foreign workers at Fukushima plant under new visa system


The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.


©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

Contaminate the foreigners?

21 ( +26 / -5 )

Contaminate the foreigners?

Yes, That has always been the plan. What Japanese would want to work around the worlds most prolific nuclear disaster in the history of the world.

19 ( +27 / -8 )

Yeah, didn't see THIS coming at all.

21 ( +25 / -4 )

This is Japan's problem. Zero foreign workers should be involved, they'll obviously just be exploited

20 ( +25 / -5 )

Exploited? No! /s

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Employed or enslaved. You can bet these foreign trainees will be holding the dirty end of the stick. Let’s hope they are paid the full entitlements for danger money and living allowances and the money is not pocketed by the scalping employment agency.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

Without doubt non-Japanese already work for this appalling company, doing some real dangerous labor. Their rights and conditions will be worse than those Japanese pulled from the streets of Kamagasaki.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

That is just plain wrong. It's already very wrong that Japanese workers are employed vis a chain of several contractors and sub contractors, with each taking a cut of the money cake. There should be just one main contractors and all workers are employed with them.

They should be entitled to full benefits such as healthcare and health checks. Vacations and paid days off for National Holidays. Pensions.

To prevent unsafe levels of radiation exposure, TEPCO said foreign workers must have Japanese language abilities that allow them to accurately understand the risks and to follow procedures and orders communicated to them in Japanese.

That will be ignored. Once a worker is exposed to more than 50 millisievert per year or a total of 100 millisievert over 5 years, they must stop working at the site.

At the peak of the work there were more than 8,000 workers on site every day but most of the cleaning up and removing of debris is finished. The level has dropped to about 4,000 workers.

Many of the former nuclear gypsies work on the site.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

How desperate would people have to be to volunteer to work at Fukushima? But there are those who put the needs of their families ahead of their own safety

17 ( +18 / -1 )

@Zich, “contractors”, you’re being too kind with your descriptions, spell it out: organised crime, the Yakuza. That’s who “owns” these people and their salary.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

It's not like anyone caught is going to go to jail or anything. Hence the layers of contractors. Business as usual

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Really? Get someone else to clean up your own mess? I guess it is much easier to kick the lawsuits etc to the curb when they aren't protected by Japanese law and the victims 1) can't afford good representation, and 2) won't be able to emotionally appeal to the courts because they are "different".

13 ( +15 / -2 )

ah that was the whole plot... well played.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

I'm sure there will be "glowing" reports of their work, yet no reports of their painful prolonged death in their home countries ..whooo go Japan nothing beats slave labour.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Absolutely shameful. And, oh yes, unsurprising. This should be the headline for the entire program. Importing subhuman resources to clean up our messes.

Any country allowing their citizens to sign up for such nonsense is also culpable IMO.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

To address exploitation fears under the new visa system, the Justice Ministry issued an ordinance requiring employers to pay wages equivalent to or higher than those of Japanese nationals.

This is easily gotten around,and I can see the companies paying the foreign workers a starting pay that a "new" full time, early 20's fresh out of university, employee would get!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

To address exploitation fears under the new visa system, the Justice Ministry issued an ordinance requiring employers to pay wages equivalent to or higher than those of Japanese nationals.

This exploitation has already been exposed with Japanese workers. They pay them a high wage, but take out exuberant amounts for billeting and dorm stay, they take a percentage for 'transaction fees' whatever that is and then, the J-Gov makes them pay the pension and city taxes.

'All' foreign workers on short-term visas should be exempt from paying the pension and city taxes.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

I'm the execs at TEPCO had no problem making this decision.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

the visas are over a year long, I do think pension should be excluded or confirmed returned if person leave japan but municipal and health taxes should be collected 100%

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Yeah good luck with that

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The operator of the disaster-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant plans to allow foreigners to work at the complex

TEPCO) has told dozens of its subcontractors that foreigners coming to Japan under the recently adopted scheme may engage in the work of decommissioning the plant.

Gotta love the wording of it all....Tepco will " allow " foreigners to work at Daiichi and they " may " engage in the work ....making it sound as if the benevolent TEPCO is kindly allowing all those foreigners desperate to work in that adioactive hellhole to come on board. F €$£&ng TEPCO crooks.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Whats with all the negativity. I'm sure the risk are clearly explained to them before hand and safety measures are taken to prevent radiation exposure....

-13 ( +3 / -16 )


10 ( +10 / -0 )

The Guardian reported last week on a Greenpeace's survey of the area: "As Japan marked the eighth anniversary of the disaster last month, a Greenpeace investigation revealed high levels of radiation in areas that have been declared safe, and accused the government of misleading the international community about the risks faced by returning evacuees and decontamination workers". You can download the survey via the paper:

14 ( +15 / -1 )


@Zich, “contractors”, you’re being too kind with your descriptions, spell it out: organised crime, the Yakuza. That’s who “owns” these people and their salary.

That's not actual the case of every main contractor and their chain of sub-contractors. Trying to paint an accurate picture serves the better longer cause. In the early day, the Yakuza companies were providing machinery for the decontaminations works. They were also supplying workers to sub-contractors. There is still some involvement from them.

The government need to ensure no Yakuza are involved at any point of the chains.

My point has always been, there should only be a single contractor and a single layer of sub-contractors. These should be under strict government control and inspection. All the worker should be full time legal workers with all the benefits of being one, and no day labourers allowed.

There are huge sums involved with the nuclear disaster currently about ¥20 trillion and eventually ¥80 trillion of mostly public money.

Any sub-contractor violating the rights of the workers should be out and gone.

There should be a government office in Fukushima City where every single worker at the plant is required to register in return for their ID. The ID must be replaced every month. A record needs to be kept of their radiation exposures.

Finger prints are needed because when some nuclear gypsies use up their radiation exposure, just use another name.

The Nuclear Village was only able to survive with the huge profits it made by using about 80,000 nuclear gypsies or day workers. These workers saved the power companies small fortunes.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

absolutely disgraceful and to be expected from a disgusting company like TEPCO. This also plays into 'the gaijin are expendable, Japanese shouldn't dirty their hands with this' type mentality.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I’d love to see how the job ad is phrased for this one.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Good idea! Use foreigners. They're expendable! (sarcasm)

10 ( +10 / -0 )

@San Miguel - The Guardian reported last week on a Greenpeace's survey of the area: "As Japan marked the eighth anniversary of the disaster last month, a Greenpeace investigation revealed high levels of radiation in areas that have been declared safe, and accused the government of misleading the international community about the risks faced by returning evacuees and decontamination workers". 

The cover up and downplaying the severity of the fallout has been going on since day one. Let's not forget, the US recommended a 40k evacuation zone and the French recommended a 60k evacuation zone. It was only the Japanese government that decided on 20k. Let's also not forget it took the TEPCO executives nearly three weeks to admit there was actually a meltdown, despite the the live video showing the containment housing being blown out of the top of the tower in a hydrogen explosion caused by super heating the water in the cooling tanks after a the back up generators failed due to being swamped by the tsunami. A scenario that was predicted and TEPCO was warned to rectify before it became a reality, which they chose to ignore. Now, they intend to send young and naive third-world workers in to clean up their man-made disaster. Shame on Japan! Yeah, Japan is promoted as a happy and culturally significant country. It's just a shame that, under the brochures covered in sushi and cherry blossoms there is a very unscrupulous Japan made up of lies and corruption.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

I’d love to see how the job ad is phrased for this one.

@Jimizo - "Love Japan to DEATH? Well here's your chance!"

10 ( +10 / -0 )

In our first lesson, we will learn, “Go into that room. Turn the manual shut-off.”

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Those who are interested should read the Greenpeace Report Mar 2019 as mentioned by San Miguel.

those links don't seem to work anymore. Right click and open.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Not surprised one bit. Talk of self centerness, remember some years back when Japan announced that it would be exporting elderly people to some asian countries and the plan had to be aborted after heavy criticism from abroad.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Do the foreigners know this and are being paid the FULL amount from the government (including Hazzard pay) rather than the 7 layered system that takes all but 1000yen?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

The going rate for the day workers is ¥7,000 per day, plus danger money at ¥10,000 per day. The main complaints are non payment of the danger money. There are also complaints about lack of working safety clothing and get a pair of cloves and a paper face mask. There is also lack of proper training required by law.

Deductions for rent, food, transport.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

It's not the first time to use foreigners. When they were changing a shroud in 1997 and ran into trouble, they used US and SE Asian welders from Arabian oil plants and with experience of building oil tankers, as they were allowed to recieve higher doses of radiation than the locals.

Documented here by Reuters:

"At Fukushima in 1997, Japanese safety rules were applied in a way that set very low radiation exposure limits on a daily basis, Fujii said. That was a prudent step, safety experts say, but it severely limited what Japanese workers could do on a single shift and increased costs. 

The workaround was to bring in foreign workers who would absorb a full-year’s allowable dose of radiation of between 20 millisieverts and 25 millisieverts in just a few days."

And in typical fashion:

"Tokyo Electric would admit five years later it had hid evidence of the extent of the defect in the shroud from regulators. That may have added to the pressure to finish the job quickly. When new cracks were found, they were fixed without a report to regulators, according to disclosures made in 2002 

It is not clear if the radiation doses for the foreign workers were recorded on an individual basis or if they have faced any heath problems. Tepco said it had no access to the worker records kept by its subcontractors. IHI said it had no record of the hiring of the foreign workers. Toshiba, another major contractor, also said it could not confirm that foreign workers were hired."

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Send international warning to NOT work for TEPCO under any circumstances?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

This is despicable! Shame on Japan to doing this!!

Another aspect of this is rather SCARY, as clearly there are labour problems...… that means the SAME at other nuclear plants...…..SO if Japan cant even staff plants with workers it clearly must start shutting down & de-commissioning ALL nuke plants as labour issues will only worsen over time like in the rest of the economy.....

This is getting fricken INSANE!!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Well, Western Countries used to do something similar to this decades ago, but Human Rights groups intervened and that practice was curtailed. Japan is clearly decades behind the rest of the World - I wonder if they have any Home based Human rights groups looking inward ... or even under the new security Laws whether such groups are allowed ?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Y'all boys pretty well said it. Wow. Sick. Disgusting. All I can do is agree with about 99% of you's guys (bit of native Brooklyn speak there).

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Absolutely stupid. These are professional jobs, must be trained extensively and can communicate fluently anytime, any situations.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Once the workers realise that the work is being done by only foreigners wearing facemasks with no Japanese staff, there will be huge numbers dropping out and going awol.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Zich, it’s the case for many. “Workers” gang pressed into doing the dangerous jobs at the Clean Up Site. Plus, they are not “gypsies”, day works, the employed, the homeless, people.

Just Google something along the lines of: yakuza taking Fukushima workers' money

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If you read Japanese, read Suzuki Tomohiko's: 福島第一潜入記ヤクザと原発, there’s no doubting how deeply crime syndicates are involved in the Fukushima clean up. Any foreign workers are really not going to have a good time if they take up a position anywhere near that appalling company that doesn’t give a hoot about anything but shareholders.

4 ( +4 / -0 )


1 ( +1 / -0 )

Last year,Already Japan has been criticized from UN experts about exploitation and human rights violations at decontamination of Fukushima.

but, Japanese Abe government ignore it, and rather expanded it.

Fukushima nuclear incident was man-made disaster that Japan's arrogance and negligence and irresponsibility and "nuclear-taboo" caused.

but,Japan chosen to endanger foreigners.

"Cheap and disposable short-term foreign laborers" are very "convenient" for Japanese authorities and nuclear industries.

They have expected to can reduce compensation to radiation disease because foreign labors leave Japan after several years.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think all Tepco executives should move back there set a up a new head office.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The Yakuza were supplying day workers to the Nuclear Village as part of the 80,000 nuclear gypsies to carry out unskilled work at the nuclear plants around the country. That was for decades prior to the nuclear disaster. They have been involved with supplying workers, and in some cases, homeless people to work in Fukushima. One Yakuza leader was arrested and prosecuted.

But not all the contractors/sub-contractors are using Yakuza labor, according to the president of the sub-contractors union. Still, that does not guarantee their treatment of their workers is really any better.

The central government has a duty to sort out the mess and illegal activities to ensure proper trainings procedures and treatment of the workers.

These are workers used for no skill or little skill jobs around the site. The work requiring high levels of skills, like removing the spent fuel from No3 cooling pool is done by TEPCO skilled workers or other companies like Toshiba.

It's not likely, if a foreigner is able to speak good level Japanese would work there, when they could get a better job else where.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well, it certainly puts a spin on those old kkk jobs ... kitsui, kitenai, kikken.

Now it is 4K jobs for us foreigners 'cause they added a 4th 'k' ... 'kontaminated'.

Yeah, the old boy's club outsourced the English spelling too.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Next,... the SDF is hiring.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I’m an Occupational Health Nurse. TEPCO wants foreign workers for Fukushima Daiichi because there is no official oversight record keeping of occupational illnesses in foreign workers. Is someone expecting accidents to occur in Fukushima Daiichi?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The reason for Abe's endorsement of granting unskilled NJ workers visas has just become much clearer. I guess any future case for reparations will go like it did for the women of Korea - "they volunteered, and they knew what they were signing up for..."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So many positive or negative comments?

If given two choices, Foreigners prefer to choose work on hazardous sites in countries like Japan, US than be humiliated in MiddleEast countries.

So, Most Foreigners have two choices.

To work on dangerous areas? Or

To work on common areas but humiliated?

1st one applies or implies on underground, ocean, tunnels, nuclear sites in many developed countries.

2nd applies in all countries but esp. MiddleEast.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites