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Japan immigration

Japan enacts wage protections ahead of foreign worker influx

Direct deposit and detailed records aimed at curbing exploitation

Workers in Japan's current foreign internship program have fled their posts by the thousands, most citing low pay. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

TOKYO -- Japan will tighten oversight of pay for foreign employees through ordinances issued Friday, aiming to address major concerns over working conditions as the country prepares to accept more labor from abroad starting next month.

Individuals working in Japan through two new visa categories for those possessing "specified skills" and some Japanese-language knowledge will typically be paid by direct deposit, a move designed to prevent wages from being withheld. Employers will report the number of foreign laborers and how those workers are paid to the authorities every quarter, as well as their estimated and actual payouts.

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