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Vietnamese trainees sue Fukushima firm over decontamination work via Japan Today


According to Zentouitsu Workers Union, a Tokyo-based labor union that supports foreign trainees, Hiwada made the plaintiffs conduct decontamination work in the cities of Koriyma and Motomiya in Fukushima Prefecture between 2016 and 2018.

The Vietnamese, who arrived in Japan in July 2015, also did pipe work in the town of Namie while evacuation orders were still in place.

The plaintiffs’ contracts only said they would be engaging in reinforcing steel placement and formwork installation.

Hiwada did not provide them with detailed explanation on decontamination work beforehand, and it did not offer sufficient training either.

“We were not told that it was dangerous work. I am very worried about my future health,” said one of the plaintiffs, a 36-year-old, in a written statement.

In separate instances, foreign trainees have said they were inappropriately involved in decontamination work in Fukushima, including a Vietnamese man who said in March last year that he was hired by a construction firm in Morioka, Iwate Prefecture.

The Justice Ministry and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare have said decontamination work does not fit the purpose of the trainee program.

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