Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Pay, hours prompt Japan exit

Pay, hours prompt Japan exit

Pay, hours prompt Japan exit

120625_04a

Cambodian migrants who were forced to work at a factory in Japan for a fraction of the pay they were promised speak to Cambodian embassy staff at their residence in Ibaraki prefecture. Photograph: supplied

Eight Cambodians recruited for agricultural work in Japan have been repatriated after they were forced to work at a food factory for a fraction of the pay they were promised, the returnees said yesterday.

Five men and three women from Kandal and Pursat provinces returned home on Friday night with assistance from the Cambodian embassy in Japan.

They allege they signed up for agricultural work through the Cambodian branch of Japanese organisation Inaho Kyodoh Kumiai, but were made to work at Family Foods, in Ibaraki prefecture, when they arrived.

A thumbprinted statement by the workers obtained by the Post said the factory had forced them to work more than 13 hours a day at half the salary they had been promised, some for more than a year.

“We did not have any freedom to relax. If they found us talking to Japanese or entering into a relationship with them, they would cut our salary,” the document states.

Noun Rany, 24, from Kandal, said the embassy had come to their aid after Japanese authorities discovered their paperwork permitted them to work only in agriculture.

“Because I was working in the wrong place, the company then threatened to send me back without compensation. I called the embassy for help,” he said.

Sin Sovanna, 33, from Pursat, said she had worked in Japan for 10 months and was relieved to be home.

“I enlisted with the company because I had heard from a friend and neighbour that they were getting a high salary. But my salary was cut while I worked there, so I’m so happy to come back,” she said.

Ten Borany, deputy director of the Ministry of Interior’s Anti-Human Trafficking department, said it was further investigating Family Foods and Inaho Kyodoh Kumiai, which along with the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, could not be reached yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sen David at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Kem Sokha’s daughters slam ‘liar’ Sam Rainsy over ‘smears’

    The daughters of former opposition leader Kem Sokha hit out at Sam Rainsy on Tuesday, accusing the newly nominated “acting president” of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) of leading a “smear campaign” against their father and “repeatedly lying to the public”. The Supreme Court-dissolved

  • US Embassy urges reconciliation

    The US has urged Cambodia to restore the independence of the media, drop charges against Kem Sokha and other political prisoners, and end the prohibition of political activity by opposition parties. However, senior government officials see the request, issued by US embassy spokesman Arend C

  • Phnom Penh authorities ban march for Human Rights Day

    Phnom Penh authorities have banned a planned march as local NGOs and workers’ unions gear up to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Monday, with a youth group leader saying they would march nonetheless. The UN

  • Government deports 235 Chinese scammers

    THE Immigration Department of the Ministry of Interior on Thursday deported 235 Chinese nationals, 35 of whom were female, via the Phnom Penh International Airport for their part in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) online money extortion scam. The deportees were arrested on November 26 over the