Illegal practices were uncovered at 7,247 workplaces in Japan that employed foreign trainees last year, the government said recently, apparently substantiating criticism of companies participating in the controversial, decades-old program over alleged human rights infringements.

The most common violations involved breaches of safety rules, with the second most common being unpaid wages, according to data based on the labor ministry's on-site inspections at 9,829 companies alleged to have engaged in misconduct.

The data came as the government considers overhauling its Technical Intern Training Program, which was established in 1993. The system was introduced primarily for the agricultural and manufacturing sectors but has been under increased scrutiny following multiple allegations of trainee harassment and abuse.