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16 Jan 2018

Japan: Foreign 'trainees' die in work related accidents at more than twice the rate of Japanese, gov't data shows

Data published for the first time by the Japanese Ministry for Health, Labour and Welfare shows that 22 foreign 'trainees' working in Japan as part of the Technical Internship Trainee Programme (TITP) died in work related accidents from 2014 to 2016. One of those deaths is from 'karoshi', or death from overwork. This amounted to a rate of 3.7 deaths per 100,000 workers - over twice the rate for Japanese workers. The TITP has been subjected to longstanding criticism from domestic and international human rights NGOs, UN human rights bodies, and the US State Department for its lack of adequate safeguards for the rights of ‘trainees’. New legislation adopted in late 2016 created a new body to strengthen oversight, though that body has only recently commenced operations.