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Gov't to ban use of foreign trainees for radioactive decontamination work

The government adopted a written statement banning the use of foreign technical trainees in radioactive decontamination work at a Cabinet meeting on March 16.

The move follows the discovery that a male Vietnamese trainee was assigned radioactive cleanup work relating to the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant disaster, without a sufficient explanation beforehand of the type of work involved.

A Vietnamese technical trainee tells of his experience working on decontamination projects in Fukushima Prefecture, in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward, on March 14, 2018. (Mainichi)

At a news conference after the Cabinet meeting, Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa said an investigation would be carried out to check if there have been any other similar cases.

The Justice Ministry and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare point out that trainees are not normally employed in decontamination projects overseas. They add that measures to limit radiation exposure are necessary, and that such work environments are not conducive to acquiring new skills.

The government plans to require companies that take on trainees in the future to submit pledges stating that they will not make trainees perform decontamination work.

The statement on the ban was adopted in response to a question from Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker Seiji Osaka.

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