Program offers advice and legal help for navigating Japanese workplaces

Toyota and partners launch hotline to protect foreign workers

Nikkei -- May 24
An agency designed to address workplace grievances and provide general assistance for foreign workers began operating Monday under a joint initiative by eight Japanese companies including Toyota Motor and Seven & i Holdings.

Employees of participating companies and their business partners can now seek assistance on work, personal and health-related issues through instant messages or over the phone in nine languages, including Mandarin, Vietnamese and Tagalog. The agency will also work with the Tokyo Bar Association to resolve serious grievances against employers through alternative dispute resolution.

The agency will be managed by the Japan Platform for Migrant Workers towards Responsible and Inclusive Society, or JP-Mirai, a framework advocating for foreign workers' rights under the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Funding will be provided by the eight companies, which also include food maker Ajinomoto, property developer Mitsui Fudosan and Muji operator Ryohin Keikaku. The other three companies involved have not been made public.

Up to 20,000 workers will have access to the agency's services in 2022, with the goal of expanding to 200,000 in 2023 and 1 million in 2024. It is expected to field around 2,000 cases in its first year.

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