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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 March 26 - April 1  > JCP exposes Japanese firms for illegally using Vietnamese trainees
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2008 March 26 - April 1 [LABOR]

JCP exposes Japanese firms for illegally using Vietnamese trainees

March 26, 2008
Japanese Communist Party representative Nihi Sohei used his questioning time at a House of Councilors Judicial Affairs Committee meeting on March 25 to expose the abuse by Japanese companies of the Industrial Training Programs for Foreign Trainees to force Vietnamese trainees to work under harsh working conditions.

The stated aim of the Industrial Training Programs is to help foreign trainees acquire skills. But in 1990, the Immigration Control Law was amended to create a visa category specifically to allow foreign trainees to work under the name of “on the job training” after one year of training sessions.

Nihi pointed out that a manual compiled by the organization that accepts foreign trainees states that trainees will learn excellent Japanese industrial skills while working.

It states that foreign trainees must keep silent about working overtime or on holidays, which they are prohibited from doing legally, otherwise the immigration authorities will send them back to their countries. He said that those Vietnamese trainees are paid no more than 300 yen, or about three dollars, an hour for their forced overtime or holiday work.

The manual also advises companies to retain the trainees’ passports and force them to save 30,000 yen a month.

Director-General of the Immigration Bureau Inami Toshio promised to investigate whether these allegations are true or not.

The Justice Minister Hatoyama Kunio said, “This is absolutely unacceptable. It is necessary correct the thinking that the Industrial Training Programs for Foreign Trainees is an easy way to use cheap foreign labor.”
- Akahata, March 26, 2008
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