Japan creates consultation app for foreign interns

Japan’s Ministry of Labor and other entities have jointly developed a smartphone app that allows overseas technical trainees to seek advice about their working environment.

Japan has a system designed to enable interns from developing countries to acquire skills, technology and expertise while working in the country. At the end of last year, Japan had more than 370,000 such trainees.

The Organization for the Training of Technical Trainees, or OTIT, offers advice to trainees in their native language on topics such as violence or excessively long working hours. He advised in approximately 7,400 cases during the fiscal year to March 2020.

But groups supporting the trainees say many of them have not sought advice from the ITTO because they are unaware of the counseling service’s existence.

The application co-created by several entities, including the Ministry of Labor and the ITTO, allows trainees to easily connect to the consultation service.

The app is available in 10 languages, including Vietnamese and Chinese. It displays the telephone number of the consultation service, allowing users to call it with a single click.

The app also provides users with information in their native language on issues such as the coronavirus pandemic and natural disasters.

The Ministry of Labor and others plan to promote the app on their websites and social media, and will encourage interns to download it when they enter Japan.

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