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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 December 11 - 17  > Vietnamese students in Japan file damage suit against employment service provider’s fraudulent practices
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2019 December 11 - 17 [LABOR]

Vietnamese students in Japan file damage suit against employment service provider’s fraudulent practices

December 17, 2019

Seven students from Vietnam on December 16 filed with the Tokyo District Court a lawsuit against a Japanese private employment service agency, demanding compensation for damages caused by the agency’s fraudulent practices.

The agency in question is a Tokyo-based company, IIPSJ, which is licensed by the Labor Ministry to carry out a for-profit employment placement business.

One of the seven plaintiffs, 33-year-old Nguyen Thi Thanh, told Akahata about her experience.

In January of this year, two months before graduating from a vocational school in Tokyo, she saw an IIPSJ ad on Facebook in which the paying job placement agency publicized its program offering foreign students a guaranteed way to find a working visa sponsor. She paid 100,000 yen to the agency as a fee to join the program and was referred to three potential employers. After having a job interview with one of the three companies, she was notified by IIPSJ that she succeeded in obtaining a job offer. She paid 108,000 yen to IIPSJ as a fee to prepare documents needed to apply for a working visa. However, her application was rejected by the immigration authorities due to a mismatch between the job she found and skills she acquired in the school. Since then, she has heard nothing from the agency.

Six other plaintiffs also paid to IIPSJ 110,000-210,000 yen in the form of fees, such as a fee to register for a training course which was trumpeted as being effective to get a working visa. They, however, received no training and failed to obtain a working visa.

The plaintiffs claimed that the IISPJ’s act constitutes a violation of the Employment Security Act prohibiting employment placement service providers from collecting fees in any form from job seekers. They requested the court to order the employment service agency to compensate them for damages and refund their money.

After the filing, the Vietnamese students and their lawyers together with the Labor Union of Migrant Workers which is affiliated with the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) held a press conference.

At the press conference, the plaintiffs’ counsel said, “For foreign students wishing to work in Japan after graduation, whether or not they will be able to obtain a working visa is of critical importance. IIPSJ intended to cash in on Vietnamese students’ anxiety about their future.”

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