A total of 21 technical intern trainees from Vietnam are currently facing dismissal by companies in Japan, with the end of their period of employment set for the end of the month.

A produce wholesale distributor and an agricultural company in Aichi Prefecture are set to fire 21 interns in the middle of their employment contracts, The Mainichi reported. The dismissal, some say, could be illegal.

Initially, the two companies signed agreements with farmers in Hokkaido for them to employ interns. However, without any warning, the interns were given verbal notices about their dismissal in December.

On January 8, the interns met with a local group that was involved with their recruitment. The interns were told that the number of interns being hired is going down due to the deteriorating relationship between the employing companies and the farmers.

Furthermore, the employers have failed to provide suitable compensation packages for the interns.

Shoichi Ibusuki, a lawyer representing the interns, said that dismissal is only permissible if there are unavoidable conditions such as bankruptcy or natural disasters.