Miyazaki Japanese language school suspected of forcing Indonesian students to work in care facilities

Labor authorities referred the operator of a Japanese-language school in Miyazaki Prefecture to prosecutors on suspicion of forcing Indonesian students to work in care facilities owned by the same company.

Additionally, documents related to Yutaka Shimizu, 70, the leader of the group that runs the Houei International Japanese Language Academy, and four others were also sent to prosecutors on Thursday for their role in forcing six Indonesians effectively unpaid work between December 2015 and last June. .

Students were reportedly forced to use their wages to cover tuition fees, a local labor standards inspection office said.

Authorities believed that the educational program and labor requirements of the school in Miyakonojo, Miyazaki Prefecture, were closely linked.

The school teaches Japanese to students from all over Asia who are interested in the fields of medicine and social work.

A lawyer representing the school operator released a statement saying the company was not engaged in any illegal activity.

The company provides “work opportunities for students who want to work,” she said, noting that work experience gained in social institutions is crucial for students’ studies.

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