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Japan: ‘technical trainees’, a euphemism for exploited foreign manpower
Planet Labor, 10 January 2020, n°11580 - www.planetlabor.com

In a country that has lost 11% of its active population in the space of 20 years, Japan remains reticent over the idea of opening its borders to long-term immigrant workers. Companies in need of manpower instead turn to ‘technical trainees’ to fill the gaps. ‘Technical trainees’ is a term for young Asian unskilled workers. Increasingly prevalent (367,000 in June 2019) and rising at an annual 25%, ‘technical trainees’ tend to come from Vietnam and China. They are employed in small factories and farming units, and their poor working conditions have sparked controversy across the nation.

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