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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 November 16 - 22  > Bill to expand use of controversial foreign trainee program enacted
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2016 November 16 - 22 [LABOR]

Bill to expand use of controversial foreign trainee program enacted

November 19, 2016
A bill to expand the use of foreign trainees was passed through the Diet and enacted on November 18. The Japanese Communist Party opposed the bill on the grounds that it will worsen the current situation which exploits trainees as cheap labor.

At a House of Councilors Judicial Affairs Committee meeting on the previous day, JCP lawmaker Nihi Sohei cited various problems in connection with the Industrial Trainee and Technical Internship program. In particular, he noted that many host companies abuse this program just to make up for their labor shortages. He cited a case in which trainees are forced to work under harsh working conditions in a clothing factory in Gifu Prefecture. Nihi stressed that it is unacceptable for the government to widen the use of the technical internship program without addressing such a problem.

In response, an Economy Ministry official said that the ministry will inspect host companies to see if there is any problematic use of foreign trainees.

The Industrial Trainees and Technical Internships program is designed to help developing countries by providing a transfer of Japan’s advanced technologies and skills. Under the program, host companies in Japan are expected to give on-the-job training to foreign trainees during the internship period of up to three years. The enacted bill will add the nursing-care industry to the program.

Past related articles:
> It’s too early to accept foreign trainees in nursing-care industry: JCP Kurabayashi [November 11, 2016]
> Zenroren calls for government measures to eliminate human rights abuses against foreign trainees [July 29, 2016]
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