Workers are said to be participating in the government’s Technical Intern Training Program.

Back in 1993, the Japanese government started up the Technical Intern Training Program, a work training program that aims to provide training and technical skills for workers from developing economies.

While the lofty goals of the program are admirable, in the real world the initiative has come under intense scrutiny following allegations of occupational health and safety issues and labour rights violations, with many seeing it as a cover for acquiring cheap foreign labor to cope with manpower shortages.

Lack of proper administration and support for the technical trainees and the people they work for is adding to the problems, as language barriers and cultural differences can cause tensions to fray in the workplace.

Some of the problems that can arise in this type of environment have now been revealed in a video that went viral online recently, which shows a boss berating one of his trainees, pointing out a mistake he made and accusing the man of telling lies. Within seconds, the argument escalates into a fist fight, with the interns punching the boss in retaliation.

Be warned that the video below shows the fighting that occurred, which some viewers may find distressing.

According to a since-deleted response to the tweet, the incident occurred in Ichinomiya City, Aichi Prefecture. In the clip, the boss can be seen scolding one of the interns for making a mistake, with the boss telling him he should understand and not lie about things, saying he’s not here to muck around.

The camera moves away from the boss at the same instant things begin to escalate, making it unclear as to whether what happens next is totally unprovoked or whether the boss made a move that provoked the workers. Either way, a trainee on the right-hand side of the screen suddenly grabs the boss and begins laying into him, landing several punches before the man who was scolded joins in, giving him an elbow to the back of the head.

The clip ends with the boss struggling against three men, and the uploader of the video, who says the clip was originally shared online by a Vietnamese trainee in Aichi, has no news on how the scuffle ended.

People who viewed the video online were appalled by everything they saw, with some people criticising the trainees, others criticising the boss, and others criticising the government for creating this type of boiling-pot environment.

“Scolding like this is normal in a lot of Japanese workplaces but people usually just take it.”
Trainees may improve the Japanese working environment. Japanese managers need to know it’s not right to get angry and hurt someone’s honour in front of a group of people.”
“If they have a program like this, they should teach trainees and bosses more about cultural differences.”
“Looks like the boss got mad at him for pretending to not understand Japanese the moment he got in trouble.”
“No matter what type of work you’re doing, assault is always a crime so I hope this was reported and properly investigated.”

“There’s so much I want to say but I won’t because I don’t know the full story.”

With little information available regarding the incident, it’s difficult to say whether police were called or if the boss and staff decided to put the fight behind them and continue to work together. One thing that is certain, though, is that violence is never the right answer to anything, even when power harassment by managers is a big issue in Japan.

Source: Hachima Kikou
Images: Twitter/@insiderJapan
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