The government said Friday it will launch a full-scale review of the country's foreign technical intern program to address issues of human rights violations and inadequate support for trainees.

An increasing number of cases of harassment and abuse of foreign trainees has resulted in mounting criticism at home and abroad, including claims that it is a cover for companies to import cheap labor rather than a program to transfer skills to developing countries.

Justice Minister Yoshihisa Furukawa expressed the need to "make consistent the purpose of the system and the actual operation of the system," after he held study sessions from February this year to hear the views from experts and support groups for foreign nationals.