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What is the Technical Intern Training Program?

The Act on Proper Technical Intern Training and Protection of Technical Intern Trainees (“Technical Intern Training Act”) was promulgated on November 28, 2016 and came into effect on November 1, 2017.

The Technical Intern Training Program was implemented with the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act (Act No. 319 of 1951; the “Immigration Control Act”) and related ordinances as its legal basis, but in conjunction with a recent review of the Technical Intern Training Program, the Technical Intern Training Act and related ordinances were enacted, and a significant portion of the provisions under the Immigration Control Act became provisions under the Technical Intern Training Act.

From the standpoint of appropriate implementation of technical intern training and protection of technical intern trainees, the Technical Intern Training Program under the Technical Intern Training Act introduced a new system for licensing supervising organizations, a system of accreditation for technical intern training plans, and expanded the program for excellent supervising organizations and implementing organizations by increasing training periods and quotas for technical intern trainees.

■ Overview of the new Program under the Technical Intern Training Act

Appropriate implementation of technical training ① Establishment of basic principles for technical intern training and responsibilities of and basic policies for involved persons
② System of accreditation for technical intern training plans
③ Notification system for implementing organizations
④ Licensing system for supervising organizations
⑤ Establishment of Organization for Technical Intern Training as an approval organization (Website of the Organization for Technical Intern Training) (in Japanese only)
⑥ Establishment of rules on requests for cooperation and so on to ministers with authority over businesses, and creation of regional councils by relevant administrative agencies and other bodies
Protection of technical interns ① Creation of penalties for violations of human rights and so on
② Creation of new system for technical intern trainees to submit notices to the competent ministers
③ Creation of consultation and reporting services for technical intern trainees
④ Enhanced support for changing training sites
Expansion of program ① Extension of training period for excellent supervising organizations and implementing organizations (from three years to five years)
② Increased technical intern trainee quotas for excellent supervising organizations and implementing organizations
③ Expansion of approved occupations (regionally limited occupations, occupations unique to companies, and simultaneous training in multiple occupations)

1Overview of the Technical Intern Training Program

The Technical Intern Training Program was established as a formal program in 1993 based on the high evaluations of training programs conducted by overseas local companies and others in the form of employee education starting in the late 1960s.

The objectives and purpose of the Technical Intern Training Program are to transfer skills, technologies, or knowledge (“Skills etc.”) accumulated in Japan to developing and other regions and to promote international cooperation by contributing to the development of human resources who can play roles in the economic development of those developing regions.
The objectives and purpose have remained constant since the establishment of the Technical Intern Training Program in 1993, and the Technical Intern Training Act provides that a fundamental principle of the program is that “technical training shall not be conducted as a means of adjusting labor supply and demand” (Article 3, Paragraph 2 of the Act).

The particulars of the Technical Intern Training Program are intended to form employment relationships between corporations, sole proprietors, and other businesses in Japan with technical intern trainees so that the trainees can acquire, master, or enhance Skills etc. that would be difficult to acquire in their home countries. The training period is a maximum of five years, and acquisition of Skills etc. is conducted pursuant to technical intern training plans.

2Procedure for Accepting Technical Intern Trainees

There are two types of procedures for accepting technical intern trainees: individual enterprise type and supervising organization type.

As of the end of 2016, 3.6% of acceptances were individual enterprise type and 96.4% were supervising organization type (based on the number of technical intern trainees present in Japan).

  • ❶ Individual enterprise type:
    A format whereby enterprises and other businesses in Japan (implementing organizations) accept employees of overseas local subsidiaries, joint venture companies, or trading partners for technical intern training
  • ❷ Supervising organization type:
    A format whereby non-profit organizations such as business cooperatives and societies of commerce and industry (supervising organizations) accept technical intern trainees for technical intern training at affiliated enterprises (implementing organizations)

After technical intern trainees enter Japan, they undergo Japanese language lectures and other lectures to acquire knowledge and information necessary for their legal protection and then acquire practical Skills etc. under an employment relationship with a Japanese enterprise or other business (implementing organization) (in the case of the individual enterprise type training, the lecture implementation period need not begin immediately after entering the country).

Individual Enterprise Type
A format whereby enterprises and other businesses in Japan (implementing organizations) accept employees of overseas local subsidiaries, joint venture companies, or trading partners and conduct technical intern training.
Supervising Organization Type Training
A format whereby non-profit organizations such as business cooperatives and societies of commerce and industry (supervising organizations) accept technical intern trainees for technical intern training at affiliated enterprises (implementing organizations)

3Technical Intern Training Categories and Status of Residence

There are three technical intern training categories for both the individual enterprise type and supervising organization type trainee acceptance formats: activities for Skill etc. acquisition in the first year after entering Japan (Technical Intern Training (i)), activities to enhance Skills etc. in the second and third years after entering Japan (Technical Intern Training (ii)), and activities to master Skills etc. in the fourth and fifth years after entering Japan (Technical Intern Training (iii)).

Statuses of residence corresponding to the technical intern training categories are indicated in the following table.

  Individual Enterprise Type Supervising Organization Type
First year after entry
(Acquisition of Skills, etc.)
Individual Enterprise Type Technical Intern Training (i)
(Status of residence: Technical Intern Training (i)(a))
Supervising Organization Type Technical Intern Training (i)
(Status of residence: Technical Intern Training (i)(b))
Second and third years after entry
(Enhancement of Skills etc.)
Individual Enterprise Type Technical Intern Training (ii)
(Status of residence: Technical Intern Training (ii)(a))
Supervising Organization Type Technical Intern Training (ii)
(Status of residence: Technical Intern Training (ii)(b))
Fourth and fifth years after entry
(Mastery of Skills etc.)
Individual Enterprise Type Technical Intern Training (iii)
(Status of residence: Technical Intern Training (iii)(a))
Supervising Organization Type Technical Intern Training (iii)
(Status of residence: Technical Intern Training (iii)(b))

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In order to make the shift from Technical Intern Training (i) to Technical Intern Training (ii), or from Technical Intern Training (ii) to Technical Intern Training (iii), the technical intern trainee must pass the specified Technical Intern Training Evaluation Examination (in the case of shift to Technical Intern Training (ii), a written test and practical test, and in the case of shift to Technical Intern Training (iii), a practical test).

The occupations and work eligible for transition to Technical Intern Training (ii) or Technical Intern Training (iii) (occupations and work subject to transfer) are specified by ordinances of the competent ministries.

List of Occupations and Work Subject to Transfer (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare website) (In Japanese only)

Organizations that can conduct Technical Intern Training (iii) are limited to excellent supervising organization and implementing organizations that are deemed to satisfy the standards specified by the competent ministries. Refer to pages 12 to 14 below for specifics of the standards.

New Technical Intern Training Program (Information Materials on the Technical Intern Training Act Revised October 18, 2018 and Ordinances of the Competent Ministries (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare website) (In Japanese only)

4Process from Technical Intern Trainee Entry into JAPAN until Return to Home Country

The main details of the process from technical intern trainee entry into Japan until return to the trainee’s home country under the new Technical Intern Training Act is shown in the figure below.

Process from Technical Intern Trainee Entry into Japan until Return to Home Country

For technical intern trainees to be accepted under the supervising organization type program, the supervising organization must submit: an application for license of the supervising organization (the first time trainees are accepted), an application for accreditation of the technical intern training plan to the Organization for Technical Intern Training, and an application for a Certificate of Eligibility for the Status of Residence to the Immigration Bureau, in that order.

5Accreditation of Technical Intern Training Plan

A person that seeks to conduct technical intern training (an implementing organization) must prepare a technical intern training plan and receive accreditation of the suitability of the plan. Accreditation of technical intern training plan is performed by the Organization for Technical Intern Training.
Information that must be included in the technical intern training plan and documents that must be attached when submitting an application are specified in the Technical Intern Training Act and related laws.
The technical intern training plan must be accredited for grades 1, 2, and 3 for each technical training intern. Technical intern training plans for grade 3 in particular require that the implementing organization must “conform to the criteria provided for by an ordinance of the competent ministries as an entity with a high standard of capabilities to ensure the acquisition, etc. of the Skills etc.”

In the case of supervising organization type training, the implementing organization prepares a technical intern training plan and must receive guidance from the supervising organization that supervises the training.
The implementing organization must conduct the technical intern training in accordance with the accredited technical intern training plan. If a violation occurs, the organization will be subject to an order for improvement or cancellation of accreditation.
JITCO provides support services to implementing and supervising organizations with regard to the procedures for applying for accreditation of technical intern training plans and subsequent necessary entry and residence applications.

Information about Application for Accreditation of Technical Internal Training Plans (Organization for Technical Intern Training website: To implementing organizations) (in Japanese only)

JITCO Application Support Services (in Japanese only)

6Notification by Implementing Organizations

When commencing technical intern training, implementing organizations must without delay provide notice of the commencement date and other information specified in ordinances of the competent ministries. The notice is filed with the Organization for Technical Intern Training.

7Licensing of Supervising Organizations

Organizations that seek to engage in supervision business must submit an application for licensing as a supervising organization to the Organization for Technical Intern Training and obtain approval from the competent ministers. The requirements that must be satisfied as a supervising organization are specified in the Technical Intern Training Act.

There are two categories of supervising organization license: specified supervision business and general supervision business. If a license as a specified supervision business is obtained, the supervising organization may supervise technical intern training (i) and technical intern training (ii), and if a license as a general supervision is obtained, the supervising organization may supervise technical intern training (i) to technical intern training (iii).

Category Technical Intern Training that may be Supervised
Valid Period of Licens
Specified supervision business Technical intern training (i) and technical intern training (ii) 3 years or 5 years*
General supervision business Technical intern training (i), technical intern training (ii), and technical intern training (iii) 5 years or 7 years*

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  • *In cases where no order for improvement or cancellation of approval is received during the previous license period.

The main licensing criteria for supervising organizations are as set forth below. (Licensing criteria may be added or modified upon the provision of notice by the Minister with jurisdiction over the business according to the occupation.)

  • The supervising organization may not be a for-profit organization
    A Chamber/Society of commerce and industry, small business association, vocational training corporation, agricultural cooperative, fisheries cooperative, public interest incorporated association, public interest incorporated foundation, and so on
  • The supervising organization must have sufficient capacity to appropriately carry out operations in accordance with the criteria regarding the implementation of business by the supervising organization (the matters set forth in I to IV below are representative examples)
    • Ⅰ.Periodic audits of implementing organizations (at least once every three months; audits must be performed in accordance with the following methods)
      • a. On-site confirmation of the implementation status of technical intern training
      • b. Receipt of reports from persons responsible for technical intern training and technical intern training coordinators
      • c. Conduct interviews with at least one-quarter of registered technical intern trainees
      • d. Confirmation of facilities at the implementing organization’s business sites and examination of books and documents
      • e. Confirmation of the living environments of technical intern trainees, including lodging facilities
    • Ⅱ.Implementation of post-entry lectures for technical intern trainees (i)
    • Ⅲ.Provision of guidance on preparation of technical intern training plans
      • When providing guidance, confirmation of the sites where technical intern training is conducted and the lodging facilities for technical intern trainees
      • Persons with a certain level of spirit and sense on regarding Skills etc. are responsible for providing experience, from the perspective of technical intern trainees, appropriately and effectively for the acquiring of Skills etc.
    • Ⅳ.Respond to inquiries and consultations from technical intern trainees (provide advice and guidance and take other necessary measures as appropriate, according to the consultations by technical intern trainees)
  • The supervising organization must have sufficient financial foundations to soundly carry out the supervision business.
  • The supervising organization must take measures necessary to appropriately manage personal information.
  • The supervising organization appoints external directors or external auditors.
  • The supervising organization has executed agreements regarding mediation for technical intern trainees with sending organizations in foreign countries that satisfy the criteria.
  • In addition to the criteria set forth in ① to ⑥, the supervising organization has the ability to properly carry out the supervision business.
  • In cases where a supervising organization does not satisfy the following, a determination shall be made that the supervising organization does not has the ability to properly carry out the supervision business.
    • Supervision fees are collected after clearly indicating the uses and amounts of supervision fees of appropriate types and amounts (Technical Intern Training Act Article 28).
    • The supervising organization may not have any other person conduct the supervision business using the organization’s name (Technical Intern Training Act Article 38).
    • The supervising organization appoints an appropriate supervision manager for each place of business (Technical Intern Training Act Article 40).
    • *Supervision managers must be assigned to the place of business and must be full-time employees with the ability to properly carry out the business of the supervising organization. In addition, supervising managers must have completed a training course for supervision managers within the past three years (provisional measure effective until the end of March 2020).
  • The supervising organization must satisfy the excellence conditions set forth in “Applying for License as a General Supervising Organization.”

Information about Application for License of Supervising Organizations (Organization for Technical Intern Training website: To supervising organizations) (in Japanese only)

A list of licensed supervising organization can be found here (Organization for Technical Intern Training website: Supervising Organization Search) (in Japanese only)

8Excellent Implementing Organizations and Supervising Organizations

When an implementing organization conducts technical intern training (iii), it is necessary to submit an Notice of Compliance with Excellence Conditions by Implementing Organizations when submitting the application for accreditation of a technical intern training plan to the Organization for Technical Intern Training, and to obtain excellence certification by the Organization for Technical Intern Training as an implementing organization that complies with the standards established by ordinances of the competent ministries regarding organizations with high levels of capabilities to ensure the acquisition of Skills etc.

Also, when a supervising organization supervises technical intern training (iii), it is necessary to submit a Notice of Compliance with Excellence Conditions (Supervising Organization) when submitting the application for license of the supervising organization to the Organization for Technical Intern Training and to obtain a license for the category of “general supervision business” as a supervising organization that complies with the standards established by ordinances of the competent minister regarding high levels of capabilities to conduct audits of the status of implementation of technical intern training and to perform other work.

  • *If the total score on the Notice of Compliance with Excellence Conditions is 60% of a full score or higher, an organization is considered to satisfy the standards as an excellent implementing organization or supervising organization.
  • *In the case where supervising organization type technical intern training (iii) is conducted, it is necessary that both the supervising organization and the implementing organization satisfy the excellence conditions indicated above.

Declaration of Compliance with Excellent Requirements (Implementing Organization: Reference Form 1-24 (in Japanese only)

Declaration of Compliance with Excellent Requirements (Supervising Organization: Reference Form 2-14 (in Japanese only)

9Technical Intern Trainee Quotas

There are upper limits on the number of technical intern trainees that in implementing organization can accept. The quotas for individual enterprise type training and supervising organization type training are indicated in the tables below.

■ [1] Supervising Organization Type Training Quotas

Technical Intern
Training (i)(1 year)
Technical Intern
Training (ii)
(2 years)
Organizations Compliant
with the Excellence Standards
Technical Intern
Training (i)
(1 year)
Technical Intern
Training (ii)
(2 years)
Technical Intern
Training (iii)
(2 years)
Base Quota Two times the
base quota
Two times the
base quota
Four times the
base quota
Six times the
base quota
Total number of implementing organization
fulltime Employees
Number of Technical intern trainees
301 or more One-twentieth the number of
fulltime employees
201 – 300 15
101 – 200 10
51 – 100 6
41 – 50 5
31 – 40 4
30 or fewer 3

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■ [2] Individual Enterprise Type Training Quotas

Technical Intern Training (i)(1 year) Technical Intern Training (ii)(2 years)
Organizations Compliant with the Excellence Standards
Technical Intern
Training (i)
(1 year)
Technical Intern
Training (ii)
(2 years)
Technical Intern
Training (iii)
(2 years)
One-twentieth the number of fulltime employees One-tenth the number of fulltime employees One-tenth the number of fulltime employees One-fifth the number of fulltime employees Three-tenths the number of fulltime employees

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  • Note: In the case of an enterprise recognized by the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare as having systems for the continuous and stable implementation of training, Table 1 applies and the quotas are the same as for supervising organization type training.
  • The number of fulltime employees does not include technical intern trainees (technical intern training (i), (ii), or (iii)).
  • The following quotas may not be exceeded in the case of individual enterprise type training and supervising organization type training.

    • Technical Intern Training (i) trainees: Total number of fulltime employees
    • Technical Intern Training (ii) trainees: Two times the total number of fulltime employees
    • Technical Intern Training (iii) trainees: Three times the total number of fulltime employees
  • In the case of occupations with special circumstances (nursing care occupations, etc.), quotas shall be the numbers specified in public notices specified by the minister with jurisdiction over the business.

10Training Courses

Under the Technical Intern Training Act (enacted November 1, 2017), (i) supervision managers appointed to each business site that performs supervising business by the supervising organization, (ii) specified external directors or external auditors appointed by supervising organization to properly conduct supervising business, and (iii) technical intern training managers appointed by implementing organizations to each business site to perform technical training must, every three years, take lectures (“Training Courses”) conducted by a training organization (“Training Organization”) determined to be appropriate and announced by the competent ministers.
Also, employees responsible for audits other than supervision managers, as well as technical intern training coordinators and living guidance instructors of implementing organizations, are not required to attend Training Lectures, but to have these persons attend Training Courses once every three years is a condition for determining that an organization is an excellent supervising organization or implementing organizations, and having these persons attend Training Courses is recommended.

About Technical Intern Training Program Training Courses (in Japanese only)

11Accreditation of Sending Organizations by Sending Countries

Selection of technical intern trainees is an important role performed by a sending organization that is familiar with local conditions. Under the new program, it is necessary for the foreign sending organizations to comply with the requirements set forth in relevant laws and regulations when the supervising organization obtains a license to ensure appropriate operation of the Technical Intern Training Program.
The new program also provides that Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) will be created in stages between the Japanese government and the governments of sending countries whereby the governments of sending countries create mechanisms to individually investigate the suitability of sending organizations in their own countries and accredit only appropriate sending organizations.
The memoranda are to be established in stages, but until such memoranda are created with sending countries and the transition is made to systems under those memoranda, recommendations of the sending organizations from public agencies of the respective governments will be required.
After the transition is made to the systems established in accordance with those memoranda, sending technical intern trainees from sending countries will be approved only for sending organizations accredited by the respective national governments.

What are Sending Countries and Sending Organizations

Status of Memoranda of Cooperation (MOC)

12Approved Occupations for Transfer to Technical Intern Training (ii) and (iii)

The occupations and work regarding which transition to technical internal training (ii) and technical intern training (iii) can be made (occupations and work subject to transfer) are specified in ordinances of the competent ministries.

List of Occupations and Work Eligible for Transfer (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare website) (In Japanese only)

Technical Intern Training Plan Evaluation Examination Standards and Example Model Technical Intern Training Plans (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare website) (In Japanese only)

With regard to nursing care occupations, automobile maintenance occupations, fishing boat and fishery occupations, and other occupations, requirements regarding specific occupations and work are specified separately.

Technical Intern Training Program Operational Requirements Relating to Specified Occupations and Work (Organization for Technical Intern Training website (in Japanese only))

As a comprehensive support organization for the Technical Intern Training Program, JITCO provides consultations regarding the program to various parties including supervising organizations and implementing organizations.

JITCO Support Services under the New Technical Intern Training Program

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