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Organization faulted over missing foreign interns

The Board of Audit of Japan says a government-approved organization has failed to sufficiently examine the circumstances behind the continuing disappearances of foreign technical interns.


The Board of Audit investigated 3,639 cases in which foreign interns went missing in the 6-month period through September 2019.


The Organization for Technical Intern Training, or OTIT, is supposed to conduct on-site inspections when foreign trainees go missing. But the Board of Audit says it failed to do this in 755 cases, or 20 percent of the total, within 6 months of an intern’s disappearance. In 557 cases, the organization had not even obtained payroll or other information from the intern’s workplace.

It’s believed that disputes about wages and working hours are behind some of the disappearances.


The Board of Audit’s inquiry has revealed that OTIT failed to sufficiently assess working and living conditions and other circumstances leading to the disappearances.


The board has urged the organization to quickly obtain payroll records and other documents when an intern goes missing.


OTIT says lack of manpower has prevented it from properly dealing with some cases. The organization says it will take the auditors’ findings to heart and strive to conduct appropriate inspections.

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