National

Chinese trainee arrested over abandoning baby tells police she feared deportation from Japan

Kyodo

A 22-year-old Chinese citizen in Japan under the government-sponsored technical training program was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of abandoning her newborn son at a residential compound near Tokyo last month for fear of being sent back home.

The baby was not in a life-threatening condition and has since been taken to a home for infants. His mother, Zhan Meijuan, allegedly left the infant wrapped in a blanket at a compound in her neighborhood at around 2:50 p.m. on Dec. 19 after giving birth at her home in the city of Kawasaki, according to police.

Zhan came to Japan last August and worked at a food processing plant in Kanagawa Prefecture.

“I won’t be able to stay in Japan if the company finds out (about the baby). I thought a Japanese family would raise him if I left him at their home,” she was quoted by the police as saying.

Investigators gathered clues about the suspect based on security camera footage, the police said.

As of late October, more than 300,000 foreign nationals were engaged in unskilled labor in Japan as interns under the program, which is intended to transfer skills to developing countries. But the system has been criticized as being a cover for companies to import cheap labor.