Vietnamese trainee in Japan accuses colleagues of violent abuse

By Minh Minh   January 17, 2022 | 11:17 pm PT
Vietnamese trainee in Japan accuses colleagues of violent abuse
This supplied screenshot of video footage shows a Vietnamese trainee (R) being hit with a broom-like object by a Japanese colleague in September 2020. Photo courtesy of Fukuyama Union Tanpopo
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," Kyodo News reported.

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.

In June last year, he reached out to the local industrial technique cooperative association, which arranged him the job in the first place, for help, The Asahi Shimbun reported, citing the Fukuyama Union Tanpopo.

Under the association's impact, the assaults stopped for a while, but they flared a short time later, it said.

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

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