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Tougher penalties introduced for employers over foreign intern disappearances

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The government unveiled Tuesday tougher penalties on employers and supervisory bodies for the disappearances of foreign technical interns,

Hmmm "supervisor bodies?" So is one government agency going to be overlooking another government agency here?

Isn't that like the "blind leading the blind?"

2 ( +5 / -3 )

hmm: "The technical internship program has been criticized over the number of trainees who flee their workplaces, with many citing harsh working conditions and bad treatment. Such trainees are basically not allowed to change jobs and are believed to become undocumented workers after quitting the program."

Well from the above citation one of the key problems is clearly identified not attributed to any company but the agency in charge of the program. IT is good that finally some sort of penalties will be handed down for 'unfair and harsh" working conditions, but surely if a worker is allowed to change jobs it might help the problem and deal with the labor shortage. It also allows price competition regarding fair compensation wages.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

783 young foreigners flee from abuse in Japanese companies.

That headline should be the one at the top of the page!

Many companies here just want “trainees” to do the arduous tasks such as shucking oysters all day-no training involved.

Well, guess what?

The more recent attempts to attract unskilled labor, have been a failure, attracting only hundreds of people not the thousands needed by Japanese companies.

Social media allows news to travel and bad news travels extremely quickly these days.

Abused foreigners will tell their tales!

The Japanese government is attempting to allay the damage by putting rules in place that should have been passed in the Diet a long time ago.

It is too late...

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Since disappeared trainees can’t swim back to the countries of their origin, most of them will stay on as illegal immigrants and engage in criminal activities. The technical internship is nothing but a modern-day slavery and it should end immediately.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

As usual no common sense at all. Literally all they have to do is allow them to change jobs. That's it.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

In March, the Justice Ministry said around 15 percent of 5,218 foreign trainees who went missing from work had been unjustly treated by employers, including non-payment and overtime work.

So 15% split because of the bad treatment. What about the other 85%?

The vast majority of the foreigner interns who are breaking their contracts have no legitimate reasons to break their contracts. In other words, they are criminals and should be treated as such.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

How about penalties for companies that abuse their foreign interns?

14 ( +14 / -0 )

"The Immigration Services Agency said even if only a few interns go missing, employers who are found to have engaged in illegal activities such as non-payment of wages will be banned from accepting new interns."

Ok, but what about the countries that send illegal aliens? Should not people from Vietnam and China etc be banned from entering Japan because they commit crimes and they overstay their visas?

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

"How about penalties for companies that abuse their foreign interns?"

From the article:

"The Immigration Services Agency said even if only a few interns go missing, employers who are found to have engaged in illegal activities such as non-payment of wages will be banned from accepting new interns."

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

the Justice Ministry said around 15 percent of 5,218 foreign trainees who went missing from work had been unjustly treated by employers, including non-payment and overtime work. So 15% split because of the bad treatment. What about the other 85%?

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2019/02/03/editorials/labor-ministrys-flawed-probe-data-scandal/

Japanese Govt survey sometimes just not that accurate so don't rely too much on 15%-85%. Just focus on fact of non-payment and overtime work, they should mention another things no-holiday, not during weekend not during national holidays.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Since disappeared trainees can’t swim back to the countries of their origin, most of them will stay on as illegal immigrants and engage in criminal activities. 

No they are not interested in illegal activities, they just interested in making a living. If you follow news about this, those people will try to find place that have better working condition.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

those with records of many missing trainees to be banned from accepting new interns.

What if they started to accept illegal ones? Those business need to run with sufficient manpower. They'll get it no matter how. How about hiring local people, no they just can't afford that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Immigration and the police have been turning a blind eye to people working under the radar for more than 50 years, illegals, students, trainees, interns, etc... They know that many of the small and 3k businesses require cheap young staff. Problem is employer abuse, need for medical care, housing, and other services; as well as excessive payments for meals, housing, tickets, etc., leaving the intern/ employee with next to nothing.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I've met some of these interns before and some major Japanese companies are the culprits. I don't know if this strategy is the idea of these companies to save labor costs or it's the fault of manpower agencies who recruited these people. These manpower companies do the recruiting on behalf of their big J-company clients and these people that they recruit are from the very remote places of third world countries and they offer them this opportunity and make it sound like it is a normal job, of course people from these areas are living in poverty and illiterate and due to their desperation they sign up without hesitation or understanding the deal clearly. They will receive around 60,000 - 70,000 JPY monthly and If you are from barrios this amount is big and tempting but when they move to Japan they realize that these payment are just allowance and not actual salaries and these definitely not enough to sustain a normal living in Japan. These result to poor living conditions, anxiety and depression. These people work as full time workers but obviously were paid very little and they are also introduced to Japanese working style where sempais bully their kouhais, Japanese people can accept and understand this but not these underpaid foreign workers who are already thinking that they were tricked. These trigger them to ran away and become illegal immigrants. I think if these companies intention is to train interns, they should recruit students directly from universities or vocational schools and not the people who are seeking jobs.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

They will receive around 60,000 - 70,000 JPY monthly

In other news outlet especially international one they said this trainee is another term for cheap labor. If it's truly trainee then why those trainee work in some industries that doesn't exist at all in their home country. Their specific skill will be completely meaningless when they go back to their home country.

I think if these companies intention is to train interns, they should recruit students directly from universities or vocational schools and not the people who are seeking jobs.

These students know the rate for their position and know how to change jobs, those company that employed trainee just couldn't afford to hold and pay them.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

sakurasuki

In other news outlet especially international one they said this trainee is another term for cheap labor. If it's truly trainee then why those trainee work in some industries that doesn't exist at all in their home country. Their specific skill will be completely meaningless when they go back to their home country.

Very true, this is rampant in country sides as the factories of these big companies are located in these areas. I used to live at Shizuoka and I remember meeting these people. They once asked for my help because they want to protest but they clearly signed contracts as "TRAINEE" the document / contracts are in english and japanese but these people also cannot speak english very well and due to desperation they just signed it without even challenging the agency who recruited them. I mainly blame these agencies for preying on these poor people. After they realized that they they cannot bring these companies down and they will not win that's when they ran away. Majority of illegal immigrants I know were used to be "Interns" and "Trainees" I don't agree with their decisions but I also cannot blame them and new laws like this will surely resolve this problem but I truly hope that this will be implemented not just to small and mediocre companies, but also to those who are big players as they are actually the ones who do these kinds of unjust practices.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So, this legislation only addresses ‘if’ they flee. They are doing nothing about ‘why’ they flee. How typical!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

haha, all a black company needs to do is change name... the answer is to bar all foreign trainees and force companies pay living wages to locals.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The government unveiled Tuesday tougher penalties on employers and supervisory bodies for the disappearances of foreign technical interns, with those with records of many missing trainees to be banned from accepting new interns.

This sounds like more employers will use this as an excuse to confiscate other peoples' passport thus holding them captive/prisoner for fear of them running away! Japan creates laws that always creates new problems.

Do the hustle

I agree! I was going to say "Why not tackle the core problem as to why they run away from these companies?"

3 ( +3 / -0 )

From what I have observed in the past, at the way some of Japans immigration officers treat other Asians, it is no surprise to me that some of these technical intern's stop playing by the rules.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If the government really want to stop the problem, enforce a minimum wage for them, or require the companies to provide free decent accommodation and food. And inspect it with heavy fines for failure. Also require all contracts to be in their native language and the recruiters to provide evidence of explaining what is required and the cost of living in Japan. But of course they won’t as in reality they want the cheap labour and only want to appear to be doing something so as to deflect the international criticism.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

iT IS ABT TIME, not only missing but ijime and silent mind and feelings harrasment too, laws needed.

i want to help.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@yubaru

Hmmm "supervisor bodies?" So is one government agency going to be overlooking another government agency here? Isn't that like the "blind leading the blind?"

Yes, but that's the way things are generally done in the US and the UK, probably other countries as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Employees should be able to complain to the government about the non-payment of wages, and they should be able to get redress.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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