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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 July 29 - August 4  > With help from JCP, 24 Chinese trainees stuck in Japan due to pandemic win compensation for income loss
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2020 July 29 - August 4 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

With help from JCP, 24 Chinese trainees stuck in Japan due to pandemic win compensation for income loss

August 4, 2020
With help from the Japanese Communist Party in Aichi’s Okazaki City, 24 foreign trainees from China who were unable to fly back home after finishing their training due to the coronavirus have recently made an agreement with a Japanese supervising organization and a recipient company regarding compensation for loss of income caused by the corona crisis.

The 24 Chinese in May 2017 arrived in Japan to receive technical intern training at a Toyota Motor subsidiary in Okazaki City. In April of this year, they could have returned to China soon after their three-year training period ended, if the coronavirus outbreak had not occurred. Since then, they received no support from the supervising organization or the recipient company.

The government-set ordinance for enforcement of the law on the technical intern training program obliges either Japanese supervising organizations or companies accepting foreign trainees to pay the cost of return flights in order to enable them to go back their home countries without delay. The ordinance, however, has no provision regarding financial support for trainees during their stay between the end of their training and their departure from Japan.

As the 24 trainees remitted all the money in their bank accounts to their families in China, they fell short of available cash. They asked the supervising organization and their employer to take relief measures, but their request was rejected. At a loss, in June, they contacted the JCP city assemblypersons’ group for help.

In response to the Chinese trainees’ call for help, the JCP assemblypersons’ group soon began making efforts to ease their hardships, including collecting donations from JCP members and local residents. In collaboration with JCP Lower House member Motomura Nobuko, the assemblypersons’ group obtained provision of unemployment benefits for the 24 trainees. In addition, the JCP group urged the local body of the Organization for Technical Intern Training which is authorized by the state to operate the foreign trainee program to instruct the relevant organization and firm to fulfill their responsibility to the Chinese trainees.

In July, JCP member of the House of Councilors Tamura Tomoko in the Diet brought up this issue. In response to a question made by Tamura, a Justice Ministry official said that supervising organizations and recipient companies should provide financial help and other necessary assistance to foreign trainees who have been stuck in Japan due to the pandemic after finishing their training.

Based on these JCP efforts, the 24 trainees together with the JCP assembly members’ group negotiated with the supervising organization and the Toyota subsidiary their claim for payment to cover three months’ worth of living expenses and damages. They recently reached an agreement and will return to China by August 9.

JCP Motomura said, “It is significant that the message, ‘The JCP is a rainy-day friend’, has spread among foreign trainees. I’ll work even harder to establish a rule prohibiting the disposable use of foreign trainees by Japanese companies and supervising organizations.”

Past related article:
> JCP Tamura urges gov’t to provide support for foreign trainees facing pandemic-caused hardships [July 11, 2020]
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