Home ニュース 【New!】アメリカ国務省人身売買報告書発表



JAPAN (Tier 2)
Japan is a destination, and to a much lesser extent, source and
transit country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking
in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution. Male
and female migrant workers from China, Indonesia, the Philippines,
Vietnam, and other Asian countries are sometimes subject to conditions
of forced labor. Some women and children from East Asia, Southeast
Asia, Eastern Europe, Russia, South America, and Latin America who
travel to Japan for employment or fraudulent marriage are forced into
prostitution. Japanese organized crime syndicates (the Yakuza) are
believed to play a significant role in trafficking in Japan, both
directly and indirectly. Traffickers strictly control the movements of
victims, using debt bondage, threats of violence, and other coercive
psychological methods to control victims. The media and NGOs continue
to report abuses of the Industrial Trainee and Technical Internship
Program (the “foreign trainee program”), including debt bondage,
restrictions on movement, unpaid overtime, and fraud - elements which
contribute to situations of trafficking. Women typically faced debt
upwards of $49,000 upon commencement of their contracts, and had to
pay employers additional fees for living expenses, medical care, and
other necessities, leaving them predisposed to debt bondage. “Fines”
for misbehavior added to their original debt, and the process that
employers used to calculate these debts was not transparent. A growing
and significant number of Japanese women and girls are victims of sex
trafficking in the country, a highly lucrative industry for criminal
networks and other operators in Japan. In the case of domestic
victims, the threat of blackmail, credit card debts, and other debts
from loan sharks are often used as coercive mechanisms in trafficking.
Japan is a transit country for persons trafficked from East Asia to
North America. Japanese men continue to be a significant source of
demand for child sex tourism in Southeast Asia.

The Government of Japan does not fully comply with the minimum
standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making
significant efforts to do so. During the year, the government reported
a record low number of trafficking victims identified and trafficking
offenders prosecuted and convicted, while there was no empirical
evidence of a decline in Japan’s trafficking problem. In December
2009, the government issued an Action Plan to combat trafficking.
Nevertheless, the government’s efforts to investigate and prosecute
trafficking cases, and identify and protect victims of trafficking
remained inadequate. The government has never prosecuted a case of
labor trafficking in the foreign trainee program. For the fourth
consecutive year, the number of trafficking victims identified and
assisted in Japan decreased significantly with no credible signs of a
concurrent decline in Japan’s trafficking problem.

Recommendations for Japan: Establish and implement formal victim
identification procedures and train personnel who have contact with
individuals arrested for prostitution, foreign trainees, or other
migrants on the use of these procedures to identify a greater number
of trafficking victims; expand proactive law enforcement efforts to
investigate trafficking in businesses employing foreign workers and in
commercial sex businesses; ensure that victims are not punished for
unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked;
increase prosecutions and convictions of labor trafficking offenders;
encourage the National Police Agency and to Japanese Embassies and
Consulates instructing officials to cooperate to the extent possible
with foreign authorities in investigating Japanese nationals involved
in possible child sexual exploitation; continue to increase the
availability and use of translation services and psychological
counselors with native language ability at shelters for victims; and
inform all identified victims of the availability of free legal
assistance and options for immigration relief.

The Japanese government demonstrated diminished anti-trafficking law
enforcement efforts during the reporting period. The government
reported prosecuting and convicting five individuals in 2009 under
Penal Code Article 226-2, Crimes of Buying or Selling of Human Beings.
The government did not report sentencing data for the offenders.
Historically, most convicted offenders receive suspended sentences.
Japan does not have a comprehensive anti-trafficking laws, and does
not keep statistics on the number of trafficking cases it investigates
and prosecutes. Cooperation between the different bureaucracies that
handle trafficking cases is not always conducive to establishing a
clear statistical record that includes prosecutions, convictions and
sentencing. The government did not adequately pursue investigations,
prosecutions, and convictions of organized crime groups engaged in
trafficking. Japan’s 2005 amendment to its criminal code, which
prohibits the buying and selling of persons, and a variety of other
criminal code articles and laws, including the Labor Standards Law,
and the Law for Punishing Acts Related to Child Prostitution and Child
Pornography criminalizes trafficking and a wide range of related
activities. However, it is unclear if the existing legal framework is
sufficiently comprehensive to criminalize all severe forms of
trafficking in persons. The 2005 Criminal Code amendment, prohibiting
the buying and selling of persons, prescribes penalties of up to seven
years’ imprisonment, which is sufficiently stringent. The Immigration
Bureau and Labor Standard Inspection Bodies continued to report
hundreds of abuses by companies involved in the foreign trainee
program. While many of these abuses were not trafficking-related, some
serious abuses were reported including fraudulent terms of employment,
restrictions on movement, withholding of salary payments, and debt
bondage. Trainees sometimes had their travel documents taken from them
and their movement controlled to prevent escape. However, the
government did not exhibit efforts to adequately monitor and regulate
its foreign trainee program, and has never criminally investigated,
prosecuted, or convicted offenders of labor trafficking in the
program. In December 2009, a senior immigration official was convicted
and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment with labor on charges of
accepting bribes in exchange for favorable reviews of residence
permits for female bar workers. Corruption remains a serious concern
in the large and socially accepted entertainment industry in Japan,
but government efforts against such corruption have been inadequate.
The government sustained modest partnerships with NGOs and
international organizations to train law enforcement officials on the
recognition, investigation, and prosecution of trafficking crimes.

The government demonstrated diminished effort to identify and protect
victims of trafficking during the reporting period. The number of
trafficking victims identified overall by the Japanese government
declined for the fourth consecutive year. Police authorities
identified only 17 victims in 2009, down from 36 victims in 2008, 43
in 2007, 58 in 2006, and 116 in 2005. The government did not identify
any male victims of trafficking, nor did it have any shelters
available to male victims. Government efforts to protect Japanese
child sex trafficking victims reportedly improved, but the government
did not report the number of such victims identified. Informed
observers continue to report that the government is not proactive in
searching for victims among vulnerable populations. Although some
Japanese authorities use an IOM-issued handbook on victim
identification, authorities did not report having formal victim
identification procedures. Moreover, although personnel in the various
Japanese bureaucracies do have portfolios that include trafficking,
the government does not appear to have any law enforcement or social
services personnel dedicated solely to the human trafficking issue.
All of the 17 identified victims were detained in government shelters
for domestic violence victims - Women’s Consulting Centers (WCCs) -
that denied victims freedom of movement. The victims had access to
medical care and received psychological care from an international
organization. All of these victims were identified in vice
establishments. Authorities have never identified a trafficking victim
in the large population of foreign laborers in Japan, including in the
“foreign trainee program.” The government, in partnership with NGOs,
reported improving access to native language interpreters. The
government appears to do a poor job of informing trafficking victims
that legal redress or compensation through a criminal or civil suit is
possible under Japanese law. While authorities reported encouraging
victims’ participation in the investigation and prosecution of their
traffickers, victims were not provided with any incentives for
participation, such as the ability to work or generate income.
Although the government claims the availability of a long-term
residency visa for trafficking victims, no foreign victims have ever
been granted such a visa. In 2009, Japan decreased its funding to the
International Organization for Migration (IOM) from $300,000 to less
than $190,000 for repatriation and reintegration assistance, which has
had a detrimental effect on victim assistance efforts in the country,
resulting in foreign victims unable to return home and victims unable
to obtain reintegration assistance.

The Japanese government made limited efforts to prevent trafficking in
persons with assistance from international organizations and NGOs. The
government continued distribution of posters and handouts to raise
awareness about trafficking. Authorities also continued law
enforcement training at the National Police University and with IOM
assistance. In July 2009, the government established a temporary
working group, which included NGOs, to develop a new National Action
Plan to combat trafficking, which was released in December 2009,
though the new action plan does not include NGO partnerships. The
government continued to fund a number of anti-trafficking projects
around the world. For years, a significant number of Japanese men have
traveled to other Asian countries, particularly the Philippines,
Cambodia, and Thailand, to engage in sex with children. Authorities
have not prosecuted a Japanese national for child sex tourism since
2005, and did not report investigating any such cases during the
reporting period. Despite the country’s thriving commercial sex
industry, the government did not make any efforts to reduce the demand
for commercial sex acts or the demand for child sex tourism. Japan is
not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

For a World Without Slavery