I touched on this story the other day. Tokyo General Union posts the same one.
Over six years after America began its totalization agreement with Japan, many Americans working in that country still do not have the proper pension and health care coverages.
You know the game. Japan has had very weak requirements for the mostly transient foreign community to sign up for its basic National Pension (kokumin nenkin). Once this little hatch door is pried loose, it then becomes a matter of the majority of foreigners trying to avoid paying into the pension—since now there is an arrearage! Businesses that employ foreigners are only glad to help.
Shady businesses selling gap health insurance fill the breach for those who want basic health coverage, without the costs of major medical. The gap insurance is really meant for tourists, but if the Japanese government can make the foreign community out for tourists, all the more easy to deprive them of labor and contract rights, too, eh? Thanks for giving up 400 hours of unpaid overtime this year, and hope you had a nice stay in Japan.
It’s disappointing that the foreigner community in Japan has to wait until the government decides it’s going to start poking at the bottom feeders in general Japanese society, before it takes its international agreements seriously. But any change on this front is heartening, maybe.