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Abuses rampant in foreign trainee program, Japan labor ministry finds

Japan's labor ministry has uncovered numerous violations of the government's technical trainee program for foreign workers.

TOKYO -- Japan may be running short of workers, creating demand for help from abroad, but nearly 3,700 Japanese workplaces that took "technical intern trainees" from overseas in 2015 were in violation of the country's labor standards, an inspection by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare revealed this week.

Most interns come from Asian countries such as China and Vietnam. They typically work in places that have trouble filling open positions, such as small factories or farms. According to the ministry, approximately 35,000 workplaces hosted interns as of the end of 2015.

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