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Japan immigration

Japan construction industry watchdog to keep foreign workers safe

Government wants to ensure the country remains a sought-after destination

Foreign construction workers in Japan are expected to be the beneficiaries of a government watchdog that will keep an eye on how companies treat their employees hired from abroad.

TOKYO -- Japan's government is setting up a supervisory body to keep the country's construction industry from underpaying or otherwise mistreating foreign workers.

A law takes affect on Monday that will ease the hiring of workers from abroad, and the government wants to ensure Japanese employers do not earn a reputation which might convince workers from taking opportunities in the country down the road.

Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism will set up the commission the same day.

The Japan Federation of Construction Contractors and National General Contractors Association of Japan will also have representation in the organization, and companies hoping to hire foreign workers must cooperate with it, either directly or through industry associations.

The body will also cooperate with foreign educational institutions to train workers and conduct exams regarding technical terms and Japanese culture.

Foreign workers taking part in the program will receive IC cards that will help to manage data about their careers, experience and construction-machinery certifications. This data will be important because workers with more experience and certifications will qualify for higher-paying jobs.

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