Chinese, Asian interns major victims of Japan's slave-like working conditions

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Melbourne, Aug.2 (ANI): Chinese and Asian interns are reportedly the major victims of Japan punishing working conditions, reports The Australian.

Japan accepts 180,000 low-wage temporary interns a year under a scheme that lets it address labour shortages by confronting the politically difficult question of increasing immigration from developing countries.

The interns, and their homelands, are supposed to benefit from learning advanced techniques in Japanese industry, but a disturbingly high proportion of them aren't making it home.

The unlucky ones end up in small, poorly regulated companies where they are worked like slaves for dismal wages.

Last year, 27 foreign interns died in Japan, while 34 died in 2008.

This death by overwork is referred to in Japan as "Karoushi"

Of the 27 deaths last financial year, nine died of brain or heart diseases, four died while working, three died by suicide, three died in bicycle accidents and the remainder died from unknown causes, according to the Japan International Training Co-operation Organisation, which oversees the internships.

Lawyer Lila Abiko, the secretary of the Lawyers Network for Foreign Trainees, said most of the dead were younger than 40 and so their deaths could be attributed in some cases to overwork. (ANI)

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