Record 4,004 firms with trainees from abroad found to have violated labor laws in 2016

A record number of employers accepting trainees from abroad under Japan’s Technical Intern Training Program violated labor laws in 2016, the labor ministry said Wednesday.

The number of factories, offices and other business bases where such law violations were found came to 4,004 across the country, the highest level since 2003, the earliest year for the existing data, the ministry said.

The number rose by 309 from the previous year, reflecting an increase in the number of trainees.

Law violations related to illegal overtime accounted for 24 percent of the total. Failures to take necessary safety measures came next with a share of 19 percent, followed by cases of unpaid extra pay with a 14 percent share.

One employer was found to have failed to pay a total of ¥24 million to 17 trainees.

A total of 23 business bases were investigated in joint probes by labor bureaus of the ministry and regional immigration bureaus of the Justice Ministry on suspicion of human rights abuses through such practices as forced labor, violence and confinement.

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