TOKYO, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- The Japanese government on Tuesday rolled out tougher penalties to be imposed on employers or entities at which foreign interns disappear from, with those who have a track record of such disappearances being prohibited from the internship program.
Many interns in Japan have fled such programs owing to their employers or supervisors treating them badly, making them work in severe environments, confiscating their passports and not paying them proper wages in a timely manner.
The Immigration Services Agency here believes that in such circumstances, the trainees essentially flee the program to escape the hardships, with many staying on in Japan and becoming undocumented workers, as the program doesn't allow trainees to change jobs.
The agency said that even in the event that only a limited number of interns go missing, their employers will be banned from accepting new interns if they're found to have abused the system by treating the interns unfairly, such as withholding pay, or forcing them to work in harsh conditions.
"We'll steadily enforce the measures to decrease the number of those who go missing at any cost," Justice Minister Masako Mori told a press briefing on the matter.