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Japan: Foreign labourer ‘interns’ testify to violations at gathering at parliament

Several migrant labourers in Japan under the Technical Internship Trainee Programme (TITP) gave testimony at a gathering at parliament on the human rights abuses they had faced. One Vietnamese ‘intern’ stated he had been promised he would be trained in advanced wielding techniques, but had been made to work in radiation decontamination in Fukushima instead. A Chinese ‘intern’ stated he lost a finger in a work related accident. His employer refused to pay for his treatment and tried to force him to return to China.  Another Chinese woman said she had been forced to work long hours at less than half the minimum wage. 

The government has announced plans for unskilled migrant labour to be allowed to work in Japan for a maximum of five years. Details remain scarce, any many critics have voiced concern that the new system will be based on the current TITP framework, with all its attendant violations. The government has already announced that unskilled laborers will not be allowed to have their family accompany them in Japan.