The stepped up scrutiny comes as Japan gets ready to welcome blue-collar overseas workers under new visas starting in April. Japanese placement agencies that work with brokers overseas will face stricter standards.
Foreign workers who have come to Japan via a government-backed technical internship program often end up owing brokers a lot of money for their services. The new standards mean Japanese placement agencies may see their permits revoked if they partner with brokers who are found to treat these workers unfairly.
The new visas for blue collar workers is a major shift from the old practice of granting working visas only to professionals, such as doctors, lawyers and teachers. Japan is facing a major labor shortage, particularly in the construction, farming and nursing care industries, as the native elderly population grows and fewer babies are born.
Foreign workers in the country have grown three-fold in the last 10 years, reaching 1.46 million as of October.Last modified on Friday, 08 March 2019