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Japan’s government OKs new foreign trainee program to attract more workers as its population shrinks

By MARI YAMAGUCHI
Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — The Japanese government has adopted plans to scrap its current foreign trainee program, which has been criticized as a cover for importing cheap labor, and replace it with a system it says will actually teach skills and safeguard trainees’ rights as Japan desperately seeks more foreign workers to supplement its aging and shrinking workforce. Its current Technical Intern Training Program was introduced in 1993. As of last June, nearly 360,000 trainees were participating in the program, with most from Vietnam. Japan’s population of 126 million is rapidly aging and shrinking, and many short-staffed industries rely heavily on foreign trainees and language students.

Article Topic Follows: AP National News

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