【News】 Japan to enhance supervision over foreign workers, extending maximum training period to five years this November (April 5, 2017)

The Government of Japan decided at an April 4 Cabinet meeting to enforce on November 1 the “Technical Intern Training Program Law” revised to enhance the supervision of companies, farmers and other organizations accepting foreign workers under the governmental technical intern trainee program.

The Law provides for penalties if the employer of foreign trainee workers abuses their human rights by forcing them with illegal long hour works and the like.

Under the revised Law, the maximum length for employment of foreign trainee workers will be extended from the existing three years to five years.

The current technical intern trainee system is consisted of “Technical Intern Training (i)” (one-year program) and “Technical Intern Training (ii)” (two to three year program).

In November 2017, “Technical Intern Training (iii)” (four to five year program) will be newly added to the trainee system.

This new “Technical Intern Training (iii)” will be applied only to supervising organizations and accepting organizations which have been abiding by regulations of the governmental foreign workers’ trainee program.

This trainee program was introduced in 1993 aiming at providing foreign workers with opportunities to learn technologies of agriculture and other industries in Japan.

Foreign trainees are now regarded as valuable work force particularly in agricultural areas facing a serious problem of labor shortage.

In past years, however, problems such as long work hours and nonpayment of wages came up at some areas in the country.

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