Japan vows to reduce fatalities

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 July, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 July, 2010, 12:00am

Japanese authorities have pledged to protect foreign workers better after 27 overseas trainees - 21 of them from the mainland - died from work-related incidents or diseases last year.

The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare promised on Monday to tackle the problem, Kyodo reported. The trainees, almost all in their 20s and 30s, were in Japan on a government-authorised training programme.

Nine died of brain or heart disease, four died while working, three committed suicide and three died in bicycle accidents, ministry officials said. The number of deaths was the second-highest in recent records, just behind the 35 recorded in 2008.

'We are taking the figure seriously. We will ... instruct [firms] not to let such incidents happen again,' a ministry official was quoted as saying.

Of the others who died, three were Vietnamese, two Filipinos and one Indonesian.