Hi Blog. Here come the stats. The “Trainees” (mostly Chinese working non-laborers in Japanese farms and factories), which I discussed in part in my most recent Japan Times article, are being sent home in large numbers, to face debts. Oh well, so what, as I’ve said — they’re not Nikkei. They don’t get any assistance. Just the promise of a “review”of the “trainee visa system” by May 2009, something people have been clamoring for since at least November 2006! Yet it only took a month or so for the GOJ to come up with and inaugurate something to help the Nikkei, after all (see above JT article). But again, too bad: wrong blood.
I think we’ll see a drop in the number of registered NJ for the first time in more than four decades this year. Maybe that’ll be See I Told You So #3. I hope I’m wrong this time, however. Arudou Debito in Sapporo
PS: Love how the Mainichi classifies this as “National News” in English, but “Overseas News” (kaigai) in Japanese. I guess the hundreds of thousands of “Trainees” saving our industries are not a domestic problem for Japanese readers.
1,000 foreign trainees forced to return home as firms feel pinch
(Mainichi Japan) April 7, 2009, Courtesy Matt D and Jeff K
More than 1,000 foreign trainees involved in government programs were forced to return home as sponsor companies have been suffering from the deteriorating economy, a government survey has revealed.
According to the survey held by the Justice Ministry’s Immigration Bureau, a total of 1,007 foreign trainees left Japan between October last year and January before their contract period ended. Of that figure, 921 people were laid off due to their employers’ deteriorating business conditions, and 86 were dismissed after their host companies went bankrupt.
The figures have increased every month, quadrupling to 489 in January from 114 in October last year.
The trainees’ three-year contracts can be terminated if both parties agree, however, most of foreigners were forced to leave, according to the survey.
“Most of the trainees took out a loan of about 700,000 yen to 1 million yen to come to Japan,” said a representative of Advocacy Network for Foreign Trainees in Tokyo’s Taito Ward. “If they return home before their contract period ends, they will be left in debt. The government should take some countermeasures.”
The central government is now reviewing the trainee program, including the guarantee of the trainees’ status, which is not covered by the current Labor Standards Law. A revision is expected to be made in May.
Japan received a total of 102,018 foreign trainees in 2007, according to the Immigration Bureau.
毎日新聞 2009年4月7日 2時30分