News On Japan

Japan's Diet Approves Legislation to Overhaul Foreign Trainee Scheme

Jun 14 (NHK) - Japan's Diet has passed a bill aimed at replacing the technical intern system for foreign nationals with a new training program.

The bill to revise the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act and relevant legislation was approved at the Upper House plenary session on Friday, with a majority in favor. The main ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner Komeito, as well as the Japan Innovation Party and others, supported the bill. The Constitutional Democratic Party, the Japanese Communist Party and others voted against it.

The new program aims to train foreign interns to reach the level of "specified skilled worker" in three years, in principle.

Foreign trainees will be accepted in fields that are experiencing labor shortages such as nursing care, construction and agriculture.

Interns will be allowed to switch employers in the same sector under certain conditions. Currently, they are not allowed to change their employers, in principle.

The bill would enable the government to revoke permanent resident status in cases of intentional failure to pay taxes and other public dues. A related provision states that living conditions will be taken into consideration in cases that involve the revoking of the status.

In a debate before the vote, Constitutional Democratic Party lawmaker Makiyama Hiroe argued that the bill is a man-made disaster, as it contains a provision on the possible revocation of permanent residency.

She said the bill symbolizes the stance of Prime Minister Kishida Fumio's Cabinet of resisting attempts to achieve a more inclusive society.

Shimizu Takayuki, a lawmaker of the Japan Innovation Party, said the current technical intern program urgently needs to be improved, as human rights issues and some other problems have been pointed out. He said he does not believe the bill can solve all the problems with the system, but he thinks it will be a step forward.

The revised legislation will take effect by 2027.

News On Japan

The Cape Soya Lighthouse, standing tall on a hill in Wakkanai City, Hokkaido, is Japan's northernmost lighthouse, established 139 years ago.

Kanagawa Prefecture unveiled its new logo, 'Kanagawa-Ken,' last Friday, only to find itself facing allegations that the design closely resembles Chiba Prefecture's mascot, 'Chiba-kun.'

Osaka Prefectural Police have issued a new directive urging all officers to wear sunglasses to protect themselves from the heat and sunlight.

Enoshima Bridge in Kanagawa Prefecture, which connects to the island of Enoshima, is now subject to nighttime traffic restrictions due to complaints about noise from modified vehicles.

Three people who went missing after a landslide in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, have been confirmed dead. The north slope of Matsuyama Castle collapsed early Friday morning, engulfing nearby houses.



In Tendo City, Yamagata Prefecture, a gas cylinder from a kitchen car operating outside a soccer stadium exploded, injuring two people.

Three people who went missing after a landslide in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, have been confirmed dead. The north slope of Matsuyama Castle collapsed early Friday morning, engulfing nearby houses.

A 23-year-old female police officer who had suffered severe head injuries during judo training at the Kyoto Prefectural Police Academy passed away on July 13th at the hospital where she was being treated, the police announced.

A 26-year-old policeman in Osaka has been arrested and indicted for sexually assaulting a girl in his car, knowing that she was under 16 years old.

A kebab shop in Shibuya's Center-gai has fallen victim to theft, with the arrested of five individuals, including a former employee.

A 37-year-old man arrested for entering a women's bath in Nagoya, has denied his intention was to see naked women.

A survey on pet names has revealed that 'Mugi' is the most popular name for both dogs and cats. According to the 2023 Pet Name Ranking conducted by pet insurance company Aipet Insurance, the top names for male and female dogs have been 'Leo' and 'Coco' respectively for nine consecutive years.

A theft group has been arrested for stealing sports cars and luxury vehicles in the Kanto region. The losses amount to over 300 cars, valued at approximately 780 million yen.