This Week in Japan
Sunday, August 11, 2019
Top news stories in Japan for the week of August 5, 2019
News stories for the week of August 5, 2019
- Japanese companies scramble to catch up with AI technology
- University students in Japan take stand against sexual harassment
- 5,160 companies with foreign trainee programs violated labor laws
- Japan Post caps amount on international money transfers
Japanese companies scramble to catch up with AI technology
Japan Inc. is scrambling to catch up with the rest of the world in the field of AI technology. Last month, Softbank's founder Masayoshi Son expressed discontent with the state of AI technology in Japan, calling it an underdeveloped of developing country. Japan has fallen behind other Asian nations in its AI abilities and now is scrambling to do something about it. Shinzo Abe pledged to train 250,000 people by 2025, and technological giants like Sony are raising salaries for anyone with the right skillset. Daikin Industries also plans to train 1000 employees by 2022.
University students in Japan take stand against sexual harassment
With a rising number of sexual assault cases on university campuses in Japan, students have begun rallying within universities demanding safer learning conditions. Students have began petitions to submit to their Universities demanding action against sexual harassment and assault for job seekers or at club events and parties. The petitioners want the Universities to educated the student body on the subject of consent so that such incidents can be reduced. The Universities have failed to respond to the students actions and requests and have failed to hold a strong position on the matter.
To understand how sexual assault is handled in Japan Izanau did a two part series on sexual crimes against foreigners in Japan. It contains a useful guide about what to do if you or someone you know has experienced a sexual crime and how to seek help in such situations. Here are the links: Sexual Crimes Against Foreigners in Japan Part 1 & Part 2
5,160 companies with foreign trainee programs violated labor laws
The number of foreign trainees in Japan increased in 2018 and with this increase came an infringement on labor laws. 23.3 % of companies warned about illegal overtime, 22.8 % had trainees working in conditions that violated labor safety standards, and 14.8 % did not pay overtime wages to their trainees. By industry, business in the machinery and metal industry had the largest number of violations and were instructed to correct their practices.
Japan Post caps amount on international money transfers
In order to tackle the problem of money laundering, Japan Post Bank will limit amounts for international transfer to 5 million yen per day. In addition, other international transfer services will also be suspended or reduced. For example, the nuber of branches that offer international transfer services will reduced by almost one-third. Postal money orders will still only be available for the United States but the amount of a single money order will be reduced from 7000 USD to 2800 USD. In additional the bank will be ending is foreign currency home delivery service at the end of September, and will cap the amount of foreign currency that can be bought or sold at 100,00 yen per transaction.