have begun in the House of Representatives on a bill to revise the Immigration Control
and Refugee Recognition Act so that foreign workers can enter the country to
work. The ruling coalition and the government are planned to approve the bill
before December 10 when the current Diet session comes to a close and to
introduce a new system in April next year. But concrete steps are not yet
defined, including those on industry fields and a scale of entries. Measures to
assure the rights of workers are halfway.
IS NECESSARY TO TRAINING PROGRAMS FOR FOREIGNERS
Japanese government has not accepted unskilled foreign workers. Lately,
however, it has entirely changed its policy: in order to cope with acute labor shortages
the government has designed a new visa status so that foreigners may come and
work in various industry sectors.
the initial stage the government presented a new visa status to cover five
sectors, namely, agriculture, elderly care, construction, hotel services and
shipbuilding. At this moment, however, the job fields count 14. Key items are
left unclear, and details may be dealt with by the executive orders.
rights abuse of foreign trainees
of foreign workers is rigidly restricted and controlled by the visa statuses.
As of the end of October 2017 the number of foreign workers in Japan counted
1,278,670, the highest in the history and an increase by 194,901 from the previous
figure of the same month. Let’s look at the situation from the point of visa
status: there were 459 thousand of foreigners with the Japanese-ancestry visa,
297 thousand who work on the part-time basis with the student visa, 258
thousand of on-the-job trainees, 238 thousand of professional engineers and 26
thousands engaged in the specific activities.
on-the-job training programs, in particular, have been criticized harshly as
forced labor, human-trafficking or slavery by other countries. In fact,
violations of the Labor Standard Law are found in 4,226 workplaces out of the
5,966 certified companies (70.8%), according to a 2017 survey conducted by the
Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. Foreign trainees disappear frequently;
the number counted 7,000 last year, compared with 4,000 this year.
on-the-job training programs for foreigners were intended to transfer
technologies to the developing nations, being a cooperation and contribution
scheme to the international community, in which foreign workers are trained so
that they may build their home economies. However, in fact, trainees are forced
to hand their passports over to their employers and are restricted to act freely.
Many reports say that the human rights are abused.
position of Japan
weeks ago the Japanese government severely criticized Republic of Korea (ROK)
in terms of the recent court ruling of the neighbor that the Japanese companies
should compensate for the former Korean forced-laborers.
look at ROK. It introduced a system to admit entries of unskilled foreign
workers in 2004. Before that year it had had the Industrial Training System, which
is similar to the on-the-job training programs of Japan. The ROK government decided
to permit entries after having seen so many cases of illegal stay and employers’
negligence of wage payments.
ROK foreign workers are registered to the job assistance center operated by the
government and are sent officially to business entities. Malicious companies
are excluded and heinous brokers who demand extraordinary commissions cannot maneuver.
The ROK government concludes agreements with 16 countries, including Vietnam and the Philippines.
an ROK official said: ‘even though international competitions become severe in
gaining human resources, foreigners come to ROK not to Japan’.
a country uses workers at their disposal as labor force, it is not respected and
fails to attract people. When a country uses and throws away foreign workers,
it does the same to its workers, too.
movements in Japan
are the key to cope with the current situation.