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Japanese gov't investigating mistreatment of pregnant foreign trainees

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Some trainees have incurred large debts in the process of entering Japan...

This is the scourge of Japan. Agencies taking sometimes upwards of 50% of people's salaries as commissions, foreign or domestic. There needs to be legislation to limit this pimping.

18 ( +25 / -7 )

According to data from the labor ministry, 637 trainees were forced to leave their jobs over pregnancy-related issues between November 2017 and December 2020.

Out of just how many female trainees were there in total, over this time period. I would hate to assume, but based upon experience, it seems to me that there are more male trainees than female, and with this many having pregnancy issues, I would bet there is more to this than meets the eye.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

These trainee schemes are viewed as nothing more than cheap foreign labour to be exploited. In many cases the 'Trainees" are just desperate to leave their home countries for economic reasons, than for trainining purposes.

If this was truely a training scheme. it would be tied to the aquisition of formal qualifications in the chosen field, rather than arbritraty work experience. I've never heard of this as being a requirement.

8 ( +18 / -10 )

The survey aims to obtain responses from around 490 people on the government-sponsored technical internship program, asking respondents if they know of cases where women have been sent to their home country after becoming pregnant or having a child.

An all to common trait of Japan Inc.: Lets ignore the complaints and pleas of these victims while they were being abused.

Later: Lets make a survey and ask around if you have ever heard of any such problem; second hand or third hand.

Some trainees have incurred large debts in the process of entering Japan, while others were required to work an illegal number of hours and some were not paid their owed wages.

At this stage it would be better to have a survey ask: Have you ever heard of a foreign trainee internship that was a fairly compensated , valuable experience with no abuses?

-8 ( +12 / -20 )

Here we go again!

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

the central government intends to improve its messaging on the issue.

And it will "urge" companies to follow the law.

-5 ( +13 / -18 )

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/05/22/national/crime-legal/chinese-trainee-japans-technical-intern-program-gets-suspended-prison-term-abandoning-baby/

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20201229/p2a/00m/0na/015000c

It already took place and government just handling survey this year

The government-run Organization for Technical Intern Training that oversees the program is thus handing out the survey to the trainees from August to October this year during regular inspections of their employers.

Trainees subject to the survey would be from seven countries -- Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

After that will show with number from that survey without any actual action will be done.

Japan's law on equal opportunity employment for men and women, which also applies to the trainees, prohibits disadvantageous treatment on the basis of an individual giving birth or becoming pregnant.

Many aspect in Japan law just not being enforced, so it's no use to show it to public that there's law for that.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

recently the prefectural government decided not to prosecute the dreadful treatment of the vietnamese man who was beaten by his Japanese coworkers, so don't expect much here. The federal gov will investigate and turn the cases over to the Prefectural governments in question and the PGov will do nothing.

Nothing will change

-10 ( +15 / -25 )

At first when i read the headline it sounded as if the Japanese government was going to hold companies accountable for what i consider to be human rights abuse crimes.

However after reading the full article it appears as if the government investigation is only selfishly aimed at protecting Japan's archaic human rights laws and discriminatory ethics.

How can Japan call itself a modern highly developed country ?

It's disappointing.

-6 ( +13 / -19 )

If they are pregnant they should go back to their country and have it with their family. All the Philippine people I know do this, then leave it with their grandparents and then come back to work again. The problem with interns is they tax money from Japan’s economy and send it back home. Illegal work is usually cash in hand.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

I just came from reading JT,s Top Story today, and now this… ; discouraging, to say the least. There’s two Japans, it seems; one with a (potential) bright future ahead, with the new generations leading the way, and the other one stuck in the stone age, ruled by old men… old men who don’t want real(!) progress and (they) hurt Japan’s place in the world.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

This modern days SALVERY must end. If japan need labor or a work force then I suggest that these factories be moved to the host nation like Vietnam, Indonesia, or where ever, and until the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare gets enough experience on how to run & manage these so called  ""technical trainees"" programs.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

I think there are a lot of female foreign trainees in Japan. They are totally exploited more so than the men because they are less likely to speak up. I dated a Filipino trainee for a while who did a night shift at a bento factory and lived in company housing. She had to sneak out of her house on her days off because the building had a 8pm curfew. And she worked ten straight days in a row and only 2 days off a month. Anytime I commented that that is illegal she would get pissed and tell me it’s still better than the Philippines.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

and of individuals abandoning newborn children for fear of dismissal and loss of working rights in Japan.

This isn't only due to job.

Yesterday on another article I pointed out problems with the Japanese family law one was paternity,

If the father isn't married to the mother or acknowledges the child is his BEFORE birth then the child remains fatherless unless adopted.

Now in the case of foreign women the child is not given Japanese citizenship unless the Japanese man admits to being the father prior to birth, Even with DNA the court will not recognize the child as his biological child and reject citizenship.

This forces the woman to return to a poor country with no support for the Japanese father.

Years ago I lived next to a small birthing hospital, every years they had abandoned babies, these babies remained "stateless" because the woman unknown to them would come in fully in labour give a false name have the child and sneak out as soon as they could, because it was clear the woman wasn't Japanese, the government will not recognize the child a Japanese despite being 99% sure the biological father was mostly Japanese.

So this issue is not new or exclusive to this program.

Japan needs to join the modern world and accept DNA as proof of being the biological parent and force the men to take responsibility.

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

For the Down voters who for some inexplicable reason don't like negative facts about Japan.

Number of kids under age 5 who are stateless in Japan up 3.5-fold

The increase in the number of stateless young children comes in the wake of a rapid rise in Japan's total number of foreign residents. For five years since 2015, the number of foreign residents has set a record every year.

> Technical intern trainees have increased significantly, hitting about 410,000 by the end of 2019, an approximately 2.5-fold rise from five years earlier. The number of foreign students was 340,000 or so in 2019, up about 1.6-fold.

According to organizations that provide support to such families, many children who do not have citizenship have been put in that situation because it is uncertain who their father is or because their Japanese father did not acknowledge paternity.

https://www.asahi.com/sp/ajw/articles/14325818

So 1+1=2

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

Rodney

Today 08:54 am JST

If they are pregnant they should go back to their country and have it with their family. All the Philippine people I know do this, then leave it with their grandparents and then come back to work again. The problem with interns is they tax money from Japan’s economy and send it back home. Illegal work is usually cash in hand.

I suspect you don't know any!

A Catholic country like the Philippines going back to have a child unmarried!

Yeah sure!

They work on the intern program they pay taxes in Japan, the fathers are 99% going to be Japanese men that shirk responsibility or in many cases abused the power over subordinate weaker females in the work place.

It takes 2 to get a woman pregnant, but you think it is only her responsibility.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Again, a survey that doesn't even include people affected by the issue and a promise of looking into it in the future.

Given how women are treated in Japanese society at large (leaving a job because of pregnancy is still not uncommon) and that non-Japanese are hardly ever protected by the authorities, it wouldn't be surprising to see that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Also, Japanese language media seem to be silent on the matter as reporting on such things would not be consistent with the view of Japan being uniquely peaceful and Japanese people being uniquely kind. It's exactly this type of ignorance and superiority complex that makes abuses of power towards non-Japanese possible and leaves them unchecked. What's more, if you complain, you'll be labelled a trouble-maker.

The whole trainee system is nothing but an extension of Japan's imperial thinking, i.e. that people from Asian nations are to be treated as cheap (or free) labour, don't have the same rights as citizens and need to be educated.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

After they finish that can they investigate regular foreign workplaces? I think you could find much much more!

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Another day in paradise. At least the namas are still cheap.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The Japanese government is conducting a survey to determine whether foreign technical trainees have been forced by employers or intermediary groups to leave the country because they fell pregnant or gave birth.

Let's rephrase this: "the Japanese government is happy to ignore all the evidence and complaints from people brave enough to come forward but to save face with their international peers, they'll conduct an arbitrary survey regarding the matter so it looks like they care."

There. Fixed it for ya.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Just have to disagree that Japan is hiring trainees to save on pay outs. The handlers of these trainees are basicallly receiving the full amount of salaries which might equal to J and residents parttimers. The trainees are at the receiving end after the salary cuts. And we who are their co workers and residents are at the losing end since light and OT jobs are being prioritized to them. There was a time when overstayers intentionally hook up with a Japanese even married ones just to get pregnant and make their residence legal. Flaunting that the bay is Japanese. And when they do, all the previous taxes they shld have been paying all along is scrapped to zero.such an unfair life though, pitying the trainees while us residents are being squeezed dry.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Antiquesaving

Does 1 and 1 need to be identical to equal 2 ?

Just asking not criticizing

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Here's what JGov will do in the end:

They will require the trainees to sign a pledge saying "to report any mistreatment" they will experience.

At the bottom it will say "if no report has been made, there is no mistreatment."

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Redstorm

Today 11:41 am JST

As of the end of 2020, there were 211 stateless children in the country under 5 years old — up from 54 in 2015. The total number of stateless people in Japan, including adults, hovered at around 500 to 600 between 2015 and 2020.

> Jul 20, 2021.

> There are an estimated six million stateless children around the world1 – children without a nationality who don't belong to any country

So what?

Most are refugees from troubled areas.

This is Japan a supposed developed civilised country.

A country that in 2022 still refuses to recognise DNA in paternity and custody cases as if it is voodoo science but recognised DNA as proof/factual evidence in criminal cases.

Let me ask this.

If tomorrow a report came out saying the drinking water in Tokyo was contaminated and could not be used, would your comment be "there are 1 billion people without clean water"?

I think not, you would say it was unacceptable because Tokyo and Japan are supposed to be developed countries.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Awa no Gaijin

Today 12:00 pm JST

Antiquesaving

> Does 1 and 1 need to be identical to equal 2 ?

> Just asking not criticizing

Well depends where you are, in most civilised country 1 plus 1 equals a whole single individual.

But in Japan 1 Japanese plus 1 Japanese equals one single individual.

But 1 Japanese plus 1 non Japanese equals half an individual.

And to all those about to comment the term "Hafu" isn't meant in a negative way I say you need to meet a few non white "Hafu" then try and make that claim.

My children were the only white/Japanese my friend's children now are the only White/ Japanese in their public elementary school and the rest are black/Japanese, Chinese/Japanese, Filipino/Japanese, etc...and when someone uses "Hafu" to describe the white mix and the non white mix the meaning and tone are nowhere near the same thing.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Redstorm

Today 12:55 pm JST

Again So What!

Does Japan recognize DNA in paternity? No.

Suggest and law are different things.

We know that by a recent article right here on JT,

Still to this day if a woman has a child from another man while married or within a certain number of days from the divorce, the child is still registered as the husband's/ex-husband's despite all 3 protesting and DNA results.

The court argued that accepting DNA would upset the Ballance of the Japanese family system.

Does Japan give Stateless children citizenship? No.

Is Japan a developed country? Not sure on that.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Japan is a leading innovator, proponent, and provider of DNA Testing services in the world, with hundreds of small and large companies offering the testing for as low as around 30,000 to as much as 100,000 yen, excluding tax.

Not even close!

23 and me is $99 Ancestry starts at $50 for a test kit.

Come on Japan is so behind using DNA it isn't even funny

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

If the father isn't married to the mother or acknowledges the child is his BEFORE birth then the child remains fatherless unless adopted.

Now in the case of foreign women the child is not given Japanese citizenship unless the Japanese man admits to being the father prior to birth, Even with DNA the court will not recognize the child as his biological child and reject citizenship.

In 2008 the Supreme Court held that this system violated article 14 of the Constitution, so children born out of wedlock to a foreign mother/Japanese father no longer need acknowledgment by the father to obtain Japanese citizenship.

https://www.courts.go.jp/app/hanrei_en/detail?id=955

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yup, they’re “Investigating” but aren’t really going to DO anything.

Just like the Vietnamese guy that was getting beat, recorded on video.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

trainee is equal of new slavery but more sofiscitated one.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

rainyday

Today 01:23 pm JST

The court may say one thing but it doesn't mean it applies to everyone of become defacto law.

This is not the USA.

In 1992 the supreme courts ruled that it was unconstitutional to force the custodial parent or a Japanese national to leave the country as it violates the child's rights.

It ordered that PR or long term visas be issued to the parent.

So the reaction by immigration was to quietly change the rules, and giving 90 days after a divorce obtained a new visa of be illegally in the country by passing the court ruling.

Also few of any PR were ever issued and 3 year Long term visas are the standard until the child is 20 years old then they try to deport the parent.

I actually have experience on this one and know at least 6 Filipino women that are in this situation.

So despite the court the cities registration, immigration and naturalization do as they please and that is why the constant revolving door of legal proceedings.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The government in Japan proves time and time again that it has no inclination to protect foreigners-it cannot even collate numbers on pregnancies amongst ‘trainees’!

Send them back after 5 years and be done with them.

The uncaring attitude is very apparent

There is very little oversight of abuses until they become serious.

Imagine the abuses that go unreported....

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

The court may say one thing but it doesn't mean it applies to everyone of become defacto law.

A Supreme Court decision in Japan does not automatically change the law (here the Nationality Act) but in some situations (including this one) if it states an interpretation of the law that it views as necessary to be consistent with the Constitution, then that does become de facto binding on administrative agencies tasked with its enforcement. Supreme Court decisions are binding on lower courts, so if any agency ignores the Supreme Court ruling then any decision it makes based on the “wrong” interpretation would be rejected if challenged in the Courts. Knowing this, they follow what the Court says.

This is not the USA.

No, it isn’t the USA, but that is irrelevant.

In 1992 the supreme courts ruled that it was unconstitutional to force the custodial parent or a Japanese national to leave the country as it violates the child's rights.

It ordered that PR or long term visas be issued to the parent.

So the reaction by immigration was to quietly change the rules, and giving 90 days after a divorce obtained a new visa of be illegally in the country by passing the court ruling.

Also few of any PR were ever issued and 3 year Long term visas are the standard until the child is 20 years old then they try to deport the parent.

I actually have experience on this one and know at least 6 Filipino women that are in this situation.

So despite the court the cities registration, immigration and naturalization do as they please and that is why the constant revolving door of legal proceedings.

Interesting, but that is a completely different case dealing with a completely different issue and is irrelevant in and of itself to what I was referring to.

To be honest, I’m having trouble finding the case you are referring to, but I’ll say that it would be extremely unusual for the Supreme Court to grant an order that an individual be given a specific type of visa as a remedy in a constitutional case. Otherwise without reading the decision you are referring to I can’t comment on it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

To be honest, I’m having trouble finding the case you are referring to, but I’ll say that it would be extremely unusual for the Supreme Court to grant an order that an individual be given a specific type of visa as a remedy in a constitutional case. Otherwise without reading the decision you are referring to I can’t comment on it.

Well you may not be able to find it but I am the one that lived it!

I know the law because we (my children and I) had to use the ruling after my divorce when fighting immigration!

So when I say "I know" I mean I know.

Immigration knows their rules are unconstitutional but count in intimidation and that people will not challenge or have the means to challenge.

I challenged because I knew the previous Supreme court ruling.

As soon as we got to court, immigration gave in giving a 3 year Long term residency Visa.

It took filing and getting a lawyer.

The lawyer I used does this same type of cases on a regular basis in Tokyo.

FYI 1992 was long before the present "everything is on the internet" world, the case was a Filipino woman in Osaka.

Not the sort of giant national or international news at the time even I didn't know about it untily lawyer pointed it out.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

They are brought to Japan to provide labor for jobs that Japanese don't want to do. They are not brought to Japan to get pregnant or become a burden on the health service. There are plenty of non pregnant "trainees" waiting to replace them.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Well you may not be able to find it but I am the one that lived it!

I know the law because we (my children and I) had to use the ruling after my divorce when fighting immigration!

So when I say "I know" I mean I know.

I’m Sorry to hear that. I believe you when you say you know, I was just trying to locate the decision because it piqued my interest, I work in the legal field and have access to judicial databases (though Supreme Court decisions even from back in 1992 are publicly available on the Court’s website).

Immigration knows their rules are unconstitutional but count in intimidation and that people will not challenge or have the means to challenge.

I challenged because I knew the previous Supreme court ruling.

As soon as we got to court, immigration gave in giving a 3 year Long term residency Visa.

It took filing and getting a lawyer.

The lawyer I used does this same type of cases on a regular basis in Tokyo.

Interesting and yeah, that does sound like something they would do. Sorry, it sounds like it was an awful experience.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Mr Kipling

Aug. 21 06:36 pm JST

They are brought to Japan to provide labor for jobs that Japanese don't want to do. They are not brought to Japan to get pregnant or become a burden on the health service. There are plenty of non pregnant "trainees" waiting to replace them.

Another informed rant.

Again anyone that knows anything about Japan know being pregnant and giving birth cost, it is not covered by the kokumin or shakai hoken. And as we keep hearing Japan is complaining of low birth rates. And again anyone that lives heard also knows the vast majority of births are at maternity hospitals and then have to little work.

So paying customers and new Japanese citizen if the more likely than not Japanese father admits to the fact.

Ah but yes blame only the woman as we all know men are not responsible these must all be inaccurate conceptions if we are to believe certain people here.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Japan introduced the program in 1993, with trainees allowed to work for up to five years at companies with the view of using skills learned in Japan to contribute to their home countries' economies. 

Learn skills and then return and contribute to their home countries' economies.

No where does it say to get pregnant.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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