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Japan immigration

Low pay propels most foreign interns who flee Japanese jobs

Majority earned less than $890 per month

Japan's technical internship program is often criticized as serving to exploit cheap foreign labor in short-handed industries, like construction. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

TOKYO -- Low wages represent the principal reason that many foreign interns in Japan desert their jobs, a recent report by the Ministry of Justice found, highlighting that these workers often are regarded simply as a cheap way to plug Japan's ever-growing labor shortage.

A total of 7,089 foreign interns fled their jobs in 2017, while another 4,279 did so during the first six months of this year. The ministry surveyed interns who ran away before December 2017 and were caught violating the country's immigration control law.

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