The Worst Internship Ever: Japan’s Labor Pains from VICE News

In desperate need of unskilled labor, some firms in Japan are abusing its “guest worker” program by subjecting laborers to poor living conditions and pay

One United Nations report called some of the conditions that migrant workers face in Japan akin to “slavery.” Low-pay, low-skill labor is in high demand in Japan as the birth rate declines and the population ages. Still a heavily industrial country, Japan has started to import labor into the country but has not applied the same rights, or given the same pay, to its foreign migrant workers as it does Japanese domestic labor. Activists in Japan are currently fighting for a reform of the law and, given Japan’s increasing desperation for labor, there is some hope of meaningful reform in the long term.


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