Abolish the Technical Intern Training Program, Japanese government-led slavery immediately

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This petition is the English translation of the campaign 「外国人技能実習制度を今すぐに廃止してください」

We strongly request the Japanese government to do the following: 

  1. .Abolish the Technical Intern Training Program for foreign nationals immediately.
  2. As for the current accepted interns, provide as much proper treatment as possible based on individual requests, such as provision for a place to acquire skills and guarantee their employment.
  3. Investigation reports on the situation of human rights violation of foreign workers must be disclosed and fully suspend Diet deliberation on a bill to accept more foreign workers until the labor conditions are improved.

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Realities of Technical Internship Training System

Recently, there was an on-going discussion in the Japanese Diet on an amendment of the Immigration Control Act. The aim of assembly was to extend the foreign technical internship programs and accept large numbers of foreign workers. and the bill was approved.

However serious human rights violation of foreign workers have been reported. Harsh working conditions like getting paid below minimum wage, payment deduction in the name of “utility expenses”, and bullying and sexual harassment have become so normalized.

Unable to bear such a miserable working environment, the numbers of trainees who disappear are increasing year by year, reaching 4,279 foreign interns disappearing just in the first half of this year.

Unlawful acts were revealed when the opposition party has analyzed 455 cases of interviews conducted by the Immigration to foreign interns. It turned out that average hourly wage after deduction was 452 yen (4 US$) , and 80% or more was getting paid less than the minimum wage (6 to 8 US$).

In some cases, despite being forced to work 130 hours a week (19 hours a day with no days-off), some workers were getting paid only 90,000 yen (800 US$) in a month. That is equivalent to 193 yen per hour (1.7US$), an example of modern-day slavery.

Responsibility of the Japanese government

Though aware of these human rights violations, the Japanese government has not taken drastic actions against these malicious labor-starved companies.

On the contrary, in order to suppress the growth in social security costs, the government has actively encouraged to accept large numbers of interns in nursing care fields. Some reports for the Diet have been fabricated and falsified (e.g. “The intern has disappeared seeking for higher wage”) so that the government could hastily revise the Immigration Control Law.
Even in the 21st century, the Japanese government is officially trying to revive slavery.

The negative impacts of foreign technical internship programs on Japan.

The Foreign Skills Practice Training System also has a serious negative effect on the Japanese economy. The ones to suffer from the “dumping” of foreign technical interns include those Japanese companies that place importance on sound management as their corporate governance. There is also a deep concern that the wage level of ordinary workers will decline significantly if companies continue using foreign workers below the minimum wage. If the wage keeps going down, there will be a slump in personal consumption which can lead to Japan’s economic decline.

The problems of general workers in sweatshops and the problems of foreign technical intern training system are two sides of the same coin and affect ALL of us a Japanese citizen.

Moreover, international tensions are escalating through the foreign technical intern training system. This can lead to very serious international issues in the future and diplomatically isolate Japan from rest of the world.

From the humanitarian perspective, as well as aspects of international relations and economic issues, we shall not allow to continue the foreign technical internship program any further.

 A future of “No More Victims”

In order to stop violating human rights any further, we strongly request the Japanese government to do the following:

 

  1. Abolish the Technical Intern Training Program for foreign nationals immediately.
  2. As for the current accepted interns, provide as much proper treatment as possible based on individual requests, such as provision for place to acquire skills and guarantee their employment.
  3. Investigation reports on the situation of human rights violation of foreign workers must be disclosed and fully suspend Diet deliberation on a bill to accept more foreign workers until the labor conditions are improved.

 We are planning to submit this signature to the Minister of Justice in February 2019. Based on this signature rally, we will also request each political party to incorporate abolishment of the foreign technical internship program into the commitment for the 2019 national election (we will not submit a signature list to political parties).

If you would like to participate in the rally, please sign up now. Also, it will be highly appreciated if you can notify your friends and acquaintances about this movement through SNS. We would also be grateful if we could ask for your cooperation with advertisements on change.org

In addition, if you are a lawyer, politician, researcher, citizen group or political party and would like to join us or have your name listed under our organization, please contact us.

Thank you for your continued support.

 email:aequitaskyoto@gmail.com

Twitter:https://twitter.com/aequitas_kyoto

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/aequitaskyoto/



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