A 19-year-old Vietnamese technical trainee was arrested Thursday after the body of a baby boy was discovered in an empty lot in Higashihiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture, local police said.

The woman, who submitted to voluntary questioning, lived near where the body was found and is suspected of abandoning it between around December and earlier this week. According to an autopsy, the baby had been dead between one and four months.

She has admitted to abandoning the body.

According to investigative sources, the woman told police that she thought she would be sent back to her home country if it was known that she had been pregnant.

The 52-year-old president of the company where the woman works said, "I didn't notice any signs of pregnancy because she was in winter clothing or work attire."

The woman came to Japan in October and has been staying in the company's dormitory. Six other Vietnamese women work for the company.

A local resident called the police after discovering the body of the baby lying naked and face down at around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday. There were no external wounds on the body, according to the police.

The arrest comes after another Vietnamese trainee was acquitted by the Supreme Court last month over the abandonment of her stillborn twins.

Japan introduced the technical internship program in 1993, aiming to transfer knowledge and skills to developing countries. But the program has been criticized as providing cover for companies to import cheap labor from across Asia and has raised concerns over human rights abuses.

There have also been cases in which trainees have been forced to return to their home countries after giving birth, even though Japan prohibits the mistreatment of workers by law, including firing them on the grounds that they are pregnant or have delivered a child.