Shoichi Ibusuki, a lawyer versed in labor issues, said that instead of expanding the program, the government should scrap it and replace it with a system that recognizes the participants’ rights.
“The problem is that Japan currently has no system to accept unskilled labor from abroad, and so they are using the technical interns, foreign students and those who overstay their visas to fill the labor shortage. The situation has gotten out of control,” Ibusuki said.
He added that the trainees should not be blamed for escaping a system that forces them to work in inhumane conditions.
“Their working conditions are horrendous,” he said. “Many are not even paid minimum wage, are subjected to power harassment and sexual harassment, and are forced to work excessively long hours, without holidays and even on weekends.”