Reflecting the prolonged economic slump, a record number of foreign workers and their Japanese employers consulted the Tokyo Labor Bureau in 2000 for advice on labor-related disputes, bureau officials announced Thursday.

The bureau said it processed 1,297 cases of consultation from 296 foreign workers and 106 Japanese employees regarding labor issues involving foreigners.

That’s an increase of 4.9 percent from the previous year and the highest since the bureau set up an advisory section dedicated to foreign laborers in December 1989.

About 25 percent of the consultations were on unpaid wages, followed by those on dismissal.

People seeking advice included a foreigner asking if he was entitled to medical treatment for injuries suffered on his way to work even after he quit his job, as well as a native English teacher who had been trying to contact his former employer over unpaid wages after the office shut down.

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