Launched in 1993, Japan's Technical Internship Training Program for foreign nationals hasn't had the best reputation. The program was created to help visitors from developing nations live and work in Japan for as long as three years under the protective umbrella of Japan's labor laws.

Two decades on, however, it's become something of a metaphor for the country's labor woes. Since 2015, there have been disturbing reports of abuse and scams aimed at foreign workers, triggering a move last month to modify the program and protect their rights.

In some instances, however, these modifications have actually made the lives of foreign employees worse, according to a recent report in the Asahi Shimbun. The companies hiring the workers failed to meet the new standards or even fill out the necessary paperwork, which led to foreign nationals being unable to renew their visas. Many have had no choice but to leave the country.