Statement on approval of Immigration Control and Refugees Act amendment
18 December 2018
Japanese Trade Union Confederation (RENGO)
Yasunobu AIHARA, General Secretary
- Debate in the diet was inadequate
In 8th December, the hour before dawn, a bill for amending Immigration Control and Refugees Act was approved in the plenary session of the House of Councilors. The main content of the act is creating new visa status “Designated Skill” to accept “foreign human resources have certain skills and can be immediately effective” in short-handed sectors. I truly regret that government adhered enforcing in April 2019 and the bill was approved without enough debates despite this is conversion of policy will strongly affect what society of Japan should be and working conditions.
- Fears of poor working environment have not been wiped out
Through the debate in the diet, part of realities was revealed that technical interns were working under poor condition such as lower salary than minimum wage, longer working time than overwork death line and situation of many disappearance cases. “Designated skill” resembles technical intern system. Even though changing job is permitted, transition to the other job is difficult because of difficulties of when they find new job and house so it is feared that foreign workers will be detained under poor condition. Additionally, it’s greatly doubtful that Immigration and resident control office which will be newly founded can really advise on violation of labor related law properly, coordinate various opinions and values and realize co-living society.
- System ensure effectiveness of worker protection should be created
Details of standards for judging of short-handedness, sectors accept foreign human resources, skill level and others will be decided on “basic policy”, “operating policy” and ministerial ordinance. At the time of system examination, we should examine whether the accepting is after sufficient efforts to collect human resources in Japan in open places while gaining nation’s understanding. In addition to that, the examination should be based on things expressed in supplementary resolution in Committee of Judicial Affairs of the House of Councilors, system creation ensure effectiveness such as guaranteeing equal payment with Japanese workers, excluding dishonest brokers, strict punishment for organizations accepting foreign workers are not compliant with labor related laws and strengthening cooperation with related organization like Prefectural labor bureau.
- Undertaking to protect right of all of workers in Japan
The JTUC-RENGO has had kinds of actions like request to the government, having symposium, distributing questionnaire and so on to awaken public opinion. All of workers’ right work in Japan should be protected no matter where they are from. Foreign workers are ordinary citizens who live in regional society at the same time. Government should secure efficient budget and take responsibility to adopt co-living policies like Japanese-language education, public service and multi-culture understanding. JTUC-RENGO will undertake not only supporting foreign workers through consultation and organization but realization of environment which all of workers in Japan can work and live with security together with affiliates and locals.