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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 September 30 - October 6  > Record high of 4K foreign nationals working in Japan die from occupational accidents
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2020 September 30 - October 6 [LABOR]

Record high of 4K foreign nationals working in Japan die from occupational accidents

October 1, 2020
Labor Ministry data shows that in 2019, the number of foreign workers who died from work-related causes reached a record high of 3,928, up more than 1,000 from a year earlier.

In the data, Vietnam saw the highest number of deaths (925) followed by China (683), Brazil (599), and the Philippines (579). The sum of the death of workers from these four countries accounted for 70% of the total. By industry, the manufacturing sector recorded the most deaths with 2,183 fatalities, making up 55% of the total.

Of the 3,928 deceased foreign workers, 1,393 (35%) were those who came to Japan under the foreign trainee program. The number increased by 70% from 784 in 2018, the largest growth since the Labor Ministry began collecting statistics regarding occupational accidents involving foreign trainees in 2015.

The use of foreign workers under sweatshop-like working conditions, working at below the minimum wage rate, has become a social issue and been considered as a major factor for the increase in the number of occupational fatalities. It is necessary to protect foreign workers from exploitative working conditions which fail to respect their labor rights guaranteed under the Constitution and labor laws.

Past related articles:
> Increasing number of foreign trainees used in violation of labor laws [March 15, 2019]
> Thousands of foreign trainees run away from exploitative working conditions [November 8, 2018]
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