Tokyo: Twenty-seven foreign nationals who
came to Japan for employment under a government-authorised
training program died in fiscal 2009, the second worst
figure on record, government officials have said.
Most of the workers who died in the year that ended in
March were in their 20s to 30s, officials of the Health, Labor
and Welfare Ministry said yesterday.
Of the 27, nine died of brain or heart diseases, four
died while working, three died by suicide, three died in
bicycle accidents and the remainder died from unknown causes,
the officials said.
21 came from China, three from Vietnam, two from the
Philippines and one from Indonesia, they said.
The number was the second largest, following the 35
foreign nationals who died in fiscal 2008. This could trigger
moves toward revising the government program, first launched
in 1993, as a number of irregular practices have recently been
observed, such as having foreign trainees work for long hours
with below-minimum wages.
"We are taking the figure seriously. We will thoroughly
implement conventional measures and instruct (firms) not to
let such incidents happen again," a ministry official said.