Friday , June 21 2024

Vietnamese trainee in Japan accuses colleagues of violent abuse

A Vietnamese technical trainee working at a construction firm in Japan has demanded an apology and compensation, saying his colleagues had routinely abused him physically for two years.

Speaking at a press conference in Okayama Prefecture together with a representative of the Fukuyama Union Tampopo, a labor union, the 41-year-old said he had arrived in Japan through a government-to-government program, Kyodo News reported Monday.

He worked as a trainee at a construction firm in western Japan.

Around a month after he started, his Japanese colleagues began to beat him up, causing severe injuries, even broken bones.

A video clip screened at the press conference shows a colleague used a broomstick to hit him in the head as he was working in September 2020.

He was also hit for not being able to “respond well in Japanese.”

He said he broke ribs after being kicked by a colleague wearing safety boots, and lost a tooth and required stitches on his lips after a scaffolding part was thrown at him and hit him in the face.

After he reported the entire story to the labor union last October, he was taken into “protective custody,” heard the press conference.

He has yet to report to the police.

Speaking through an interpreter, he said he had kept silent because he “did not want to cause trouble for his family or other technical trainees.”

For now he wants to be transferred to another company to continue working as a technical trainee and an apology and compensation from the current company and supervising organization that arranged his placement.

A lawyer representing the construction company declined to comment, saying it is in the process of negotiating a settlement, while an official of the supervising organization also refrained from commenting.

Japan instituted the technical intern training program in 1993 to help transfer skills, technologies and knowledge to developing regions.

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