The Technical Intern Traning Program (外国人研修制度, Gaikokujin Kenshyu Seido) is a work training program providing employment opportunities for foreign nationals in Japan. Administered by administered by the Japan International Training Cooperation Organization (JITCO) its stated purpose is to provide training, technical skills and technology experience for workers from developing economies. The government-run internship program was first established in 1993.
Technical Intern Training Program Wikipedia
According to Ministry of Justice data, there were 192,655 technical interns in Japan under the terms of the program as of the end of 2015, an increase of about 15% from the previous year. China was the largest source of interns, at 46.2% of the total, followed by Vietnam at 29.9% and the Philippines at 9.2%.
According to Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, approximately 35,000 workplaces hosted interns as of the end of 2015. Small businesses in rural locations in Japan employee many of the trainees, who are often hosted by local commerce and industry groups and small-business associations.
While many interns have benefitted from the opportunities provided, the program has come under increasing scrutiny for alleged labour rights violations, occupational health and safety issues and lax administrative oversight.
In 2016, the U.S. State Department's Trafficking in Persons Report pointed out that the program "originally designed to foster basic technical skills among foreign workers has effectively become a guest worker program." The report says many interns are "placed in jobs that do not teach or develop technical skills."