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31 Mär 2022

Kyodo News

Japan: Sri Lankan technical trainee takes rare maternity leave & gives birth in Japan; however child may face difficulty staying

"Sri Lanka trainee takes maternity leave, gives birth in Japan" 31 March 2022

A Sri Lankan technical trainee working in Japan obtained maternity leave and gave birth to a child in the country in March, her labour union said Thursday.

Foreign trainees who work under the government-sponsored technical internship program are entitled to take maternity and child care leaves just like Japanese workers, but according to the General Support Union to which the 29-year-old trainee belongs, it is rare for foreign trainees to actually take the leave.

The woman, who works for the Tokyo-based Negishi Food Service, the operator of a restaurant chain, wishes to return to work and take child care leave.

The company plans to grant the woman's request, but since foreign trainees are usually not allowed to bring their families to Japan, her child could be sent home soon.

The labour union pointed out that it is difficult for foreign trainees to live with their children while working in Japan under the current internship program, even if they can take child care leave.


According to the Immigration Services Agency of Japan, in principle, children of foreign trainees are allowed to stay in Japan for only six months. However, the woman will ask the agency to grant an extended stay for her child.

Between November 2017 and December 2020, a total of 637 foreign trainees suspended their internship program due to pregnancy and childbirth, while only 11 of them were able to resume the internship, according to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.