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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 February 13 - 19  > Hitachi unfairly dismisses foreign trainees
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2019 February 13 - 19 [LABOR]

Hitachi unfairly dismisses foreign trainees

February 16, 2019
Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Fujino Yasuhumi on February 15 at a House Budget Committee meeting brought up the issue of the illegal use and dismissal of foreign trainees by Japan’s electronics giant Hitachi.

According to Fujino, Hitachi accepted foreign trainees under an electronics assembly training program at its Kasato factory in Yamaguchi Prefecture. However, the company assigned foreign trainees to jobs unrelated to the training program, such as installing window frames on train cars. In autumn 2018, Hitachi dismissed 99 foreign trainees after being disaccredited for abuses associated with the technical intern training program.

Fujino pointed out that the law on the use of foreign trainees obliges recipient companies to support foreign trainees to find other places to receive training if these companies become unable to provide the promised training for unspecified reasons. He said, “Hitachi neglected its obligation and kicked foreign trainees out on the street. The government should instruct the company to comply with labor regulations.” In response, Justice Minister Yamashita Takashi only said, “I’d like to refrain from making a comment on individual cases.”

The JCP lawmaker pointed to a contract which one of the 99 foreign trainees signed in his/her home country with a sending organization. The contract contained unjust clauses such as a clause preventing the trainee from making complaints about wages and allowances provided by the receiving company and a clause urging the trainee to pay compensation for any breach of the contract.

Fujino referred to the fact that an address provided by the sending organization in question as its contact address in Japan was the same address as Japan’s leading licensed supervising organization, Friend Nippon, which dispatched many foreign trainees to Hitachi. A supervising organization license is granted by the Justice Ministry to non-profit organizations. Their tasks include giving supervision and instructions to corporations hiring foreign trainees.

Fujino said, “One of Japan’s top corporations and the supervising organization collaborated in using foreign trainees as cheap, disposable labor. It is unacceptable for the government to ignore this issue and implement a new system expanding the use of foreign workers because the new system was created based on the controversial foreign trainee system.”

Past related articles:
> Mitsubishi Motors and Panasonic punished for violating law on use of foreign trainees [January 26, 2019]
> Gov’t proposal for legal changes will expose foreign workers to human rights violations: JCP Fujino [November 14, 2018]
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