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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 July 5 - 11  > JCP and migrant workers’ union agree to work together to improve controversial foreign trainee program
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2023 July 5 - 11 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP and migrant workers’ union agree to work together to improve controversial foreign trainee program

July 6, 2023
A group of Japanese Communist Party Dietmembers on June 5 held talks with the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) and the Labor Union of Migrant Workers (LUM) in the Diet building, and agreed to work together to improve the problematic Industrial Trainee and Technical Internship program (the foreign trainee program).

They also agreed to cooperate in efforts to block the implementation of the revised Immigration Control Act which disregards refugees’ human rights, and establish a democratically-controlled immigration control system.

JCP Dietmembers who participated in the talks included JCP members of the House of Representatives Motomura Nobuko, Shiokawa Tetsuya, and Miyamoto Toru and JCP members of the House of Councilors Nihi Sohei and Yamazoe Taku.

Nihi pointed out that the current program is often criticized for its human rights abuses against foreign trainees. The lawyer-turned JCP Dietmember said that the government is planning to revise the program, but it is doubtful that the planned revision will work to protect foreign trainees’ human rights.

Motomoura referred to a move to press the government to maintain the current restriction on foreign trainees’ freedom to change jobs, and pointed out that this move supposedly aims to continue using foreign workers as cheap labor even after the revision. She expressed her determination to work hard to oppose this move.

JCP lawmaker Miyamoto Toru touched on the issue in which foreign trainees had to borrow a lot of money to come to Japan. He said that in revising the program, it is necessary to fix this systemic flaw.

LUM Secretary General Honda Miyoko said, “Currently, foreign trainees are not allowed to switch jobs freely. They are treated like slaves. The Japanese government should improve the existing foreign trainee system while learning from other countries’ systems concerning migrant workers.”

Zenroren Vice President Akiyama Masaomi stressed the need to introduce new rules guaranteeing foreign trainees’ right to switch jobs and banning the participation of brokers in the program.

Past related article:
> Gov't bill ignoring asylum seekers' human rights enacted [June 10, 2023]
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