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  • Kyodo: 34 NJ “Trainees” died FY 2008, 16 from suspected overwork, up from 13 FY 2007

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on June 23rd, 2009

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    Hi Blog. Here’s a sad statistic that should be roundly reported. NJ “Trainees” possibly dying from hundreds of hours of underpaid overwork. Different from J “karoushi” in that “Trainees” can’t switch jobs without losing their visas and being booted out of Japan.

    Apparently this is a record number. Why didn’t we hear about this earlier, like, last year, when the same thing was happening? Has to be a matter of degree before it makes news? Courtesy of AW. Arudou Debito in Sapporo

    ————————————-
    34 foreign trainees in Japan died in FY 2008 of suspected overwork
    Japan Today.com/Kyodo News
    Tuesday 23rd June, 05:23 AM JST

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/34-foreign-trainees-in-japan-died-in-fy-2008-of-suspected-overwork
    TOKYO —

    Thirty-four foreign trainees died in Japan in fiscal 2008 through March this year, up 13 from the previous year to hit a record high, a survey by a government-linked body promoting a training program showed Monday.

    The leading causes of their deaths were brain and heart diseases, which claimed the lives of 16, while five were killed in accidents at work and four in traffic accidents. Supporters of foreign trainees said they suspect those who died from brain and heart disorders actually died from overwork. As of late 2007, about 177,000 foreigners have been staying in Japan under the government’s industrial training and technical internship program.

    Shoichi Ibusuki, a lawyer supporting foreign trainees and interns, pointed out that many trainees have been forced to work long hours for lower wages and said he suspects they had died from overwork.

    Ibusuki and other supporters submitted a written inquiry to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry on Monday, asking it to investigate the causes of the trainees’ deaths and to state how the ministry will deal with the issue.

    A labor ministry official said it is not clear why those trainees had developed brain and heart diseases, but expressed willingness to examine their working hours and living conditions.

    Following the submission of the inquiry, three Chinese trainees complained about their working conditions at a press conference held in Tokyo.

    Ding Jianhui, 35, who came to Japan in September 2006 on the training program, said he had to work overtime for 100 to 130 hours a month at his job selling scrap metal and only received 110,000 yen per month after tax.

    ‘‘I lived in a container that was not equipped with a bathroom and was treated as cheap labor. My back is still numb,’’ said Ding, who claims he was suddenly dismissed from work late last year.

    Jiang Xiangyi, 34, said although he had been told he would be engaging in a carpentry job before he came to Japan, his actual work was dismantling and removing asbestos, which can cause lung cancer.

    Jiang said he sometimes worked 26 days a month but was only paid 60,000 yen after tax. ‘‘The type of work was different from what I heard and I didn’t know about the danger of asbestos. I was cheated,’’ he said.
    ENDS

    One Response to “Kyodo: 34 NJ “Trainees” died FY 2008, 16 from suspected overwork, up from 13 FY 2007”

    1. debito Says:

      http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20090623-00000027-mai-soci

      外国人研修生>死亡例急増 過労死の可能性で調査要求
      6月23日10時32分配信 毎日新聞

      外国人研修生・実習生死亡者数の推移(JITCO調べ)
      外国人研修制度で働いている研修生や実習生が死亡するケー
      スが急増し、08年度は過去最高の34人(07年度比13人
      増)に上ったことが、財団法人・国際研修協力機構(JITC
      O)の調査で分かった。特に長時間労働が原因とされる脳・心
      疾患は16人で07年度の6人と比べ2.5倍以上になった。
      外国人研修生問題弁護士連絡会は22日、「過労死の疑いもあ
      る」として厚生労働省に長時間労働の実態や労災の受給状況な
      どの調査を求めた。

      外国人研修制度を推進するJITCOが受け入れ企業からの
      報告をまとめた。死亡者数は04年度に初めて20人を超えて
      いた。08年度の死亡者34人のうち、急性心筋梗塞(こうそ
      く)やくも膜下出血など脳・心疾患が16人を占めた。作業中
      の労災が5人、自殺が1人。92年からの調査で死者は総計2
      13人、このうち脳・心疾患は67人に上る。

      外国人研修生問題弁護士連絡会に寄せられる相談では、月1
      00~200時間の残業をしているケースが多いという。月1
      00時間の残業は、過労死の危険性が指摘されるラインで、指
      宿昭一弁護士は「経済の悪化を背景に研修・実習生に過重労働
      のしわ寄せがきている。脳・心疾患の多くが、過労死の疑いが
      あるのに労災申請もできずにいるケースではないか」と分析す
      る。

      弁護士らと厚労省を訪れた中国の実習生、丁建輝さん(35
      )は溶接の研修で訪日したが、都内のスクラップ工場で働き、
      月に100時間以上の残業をしている。丁さんは「背中や心臓
      に痛みを感じ命の危機を感じる時もある」と話した。厚労省は
      連絡会に「パンフレットなどで労災防止キャンぺーンをしてい
      る」と答えるにとどまったという。

      JITCOは「死亡者急増は極めて残念な事態で、結果を踏
      まえセミナーなど労災防止対策を強化したい」と話している。
      【東海林智】

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