The Cambodian embassy in Japan on Wednesday reported that the number of cases of Cambodian trainees switching jobs illegally in Japan has dropped after action by Japanese authorities.
An embassy statement said that the drop came after Japan enforced strict immigration regulations which restrict trainees from changing or fleeing their jobs.
“After the Japanese Ministry of Justice restricted the granting of work permits to all foreigners who fled the legal workplace and applied to be refugees, the number of trainees cheated by brokers and who flee the workplace has noticeably decreased,” the statement said.
The embassy also appealed to all Cambodians to be careful of being cheated by illegal brokers who lure them to take up jobs offering higher salaries.
The embassy in January issued a statement appealing to Cambodian trainees working in Japan not to change jobs illegally, or risk being arrested.
It said that some Cambodian trainees had fled from their workplaces to find other jobs illegally. It said most of them were lured by brokers or friends to work somewhere else paying higher wages.
Moeun Tola, executive director of labour rights group Central, said yesterday that he had no comment on the drop in irregularities committed by Cambodian trainees in Japan. However, he said that there should be some modifications to their status as trainees.
“The problem may be resolved if the Cambodian government modifies their status from trainees to full-time employees or full-time workers after a specific period of time, perhaps six months,” he said. “Traineeship should not last the whole three years of their stay in Japan.”
“Cambodia loses out to Japan when it comes to revenue from abroad because trainees are paid much less than those who work full time,” he added.
Mr Tola also warned Cambodians to beware of companies claiming that they are recruiting workers to Japan.
“According to the MoU between the Cambodian and Japanese governments, Japan only accepts trainees from Cambodia and not labourers,” he said. “So if any company says that it recruits labourers to Japan, it is lying.”
According to a Labour Ministry report, 6,177 Cambodian trainees worked in Japan, including 3,572 women, from 2007 to 2017, ranking Cambodia the sixth-largest contributor of labourers out of 15 countries that sent workers to Japan.