Vietnamese detainee killed himself in immigration center, community leader says

By Minami Funakoshi

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Reuters was not able to independently verify the death or the identity of the deceased.

But 6 different people told them it happened, and I believe them, but wonder why the facility would not verify that one of their detainees had died.

I hope an autopsy is performed and the results published. Japan and Viet Nam have been working to build better relations between the countries and incidents like these can seriously hurt that improving relationship.

The Vietnamese Govt should be pressing for a full and open investigation into this unfortunate death!

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Not again?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I've been working with the Immi for many years and there are countless cases swift deportation is even better than holding the individual for several months with no clue when he will get a visa or deportation order. I tell you, everything is pretty much ambiguous when we deal with the Immigration. People with an year ban having a hard time coming back, while people with 5 years ban (forcely deported) getting back in less than 1year and half. The ONLY TRUE is the Japanese system would only allow in somebody to LIVE for a long period or indefinitely if he has a relative with japanese blood. That's it folks. They only think about the japanese counterpart, giving you a permit serves solely to appease the japanese national, they DON'T want you here. Have been in this for 10 years, just can't deny the facts.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Poor fellow, what a sad way to end. Why do they have to hold onto detainees at "detention centers" for so long? The conditions and people who run them must be quite harsh. If the detention center has any responsibility in his death, then they should be held responsible. Does he even have the right to an autopsy here?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Cause of death?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Autopsy is not a right, but article clearly states that one will be performed. What Level I am not sure.

Either way RIP.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Some detainees are held for months and even years with no clear knowledge of when they will be let out. Many develop depression and insomnia..."

Sounds like living hell.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Some detainees are held for months and even years with no clear knowledge of when they will be let out.

Sounds like arbitrary detention, why can someone be held without knowing the reason and for how long ?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

1-2 deaths a year is not as bad as the hundreds dying in other countries detention/refugee centers. Don't start with "How bad" Japan is. This is not heaven, we are mere mortals. Death happens. No one is beating them to death, they are given all basic necessities, some times more than what a poor Japanese family gets.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

No one is detained for doing nothing,everyone there because he violated the law.I was in Shinigawa detention center,all detainees there were detained because of over stayed,drugs,stealing,working illegally,etc.i don't know about this Vietnamese man,I can't tell,but I can ensure honestly and from my own experience,no one there just for fun or an innocent,no way.Further more,all detention centers are visited by NGO's very often,lawyers also go there to meet their clients in daily terms.Japanese detention centers are not Guantanamo,no way,don't believe media exaggerations sometimes.Am not trying to be nice to Japanses authorities,am just telling truth as I witnessed myself.Why we haven't heard such complaints against detention centers from NGO's which are always there meeting detainees of all nationalities anytime they wish freely! About medical care,I swear whenever I needed to go to hospital,they never refused or delayed,not only that,but they were checking strictly wether I took my medicine punctually on time or not and insisted on watching me when I took it .This my testimony honestly and frankly and clearly.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

Is it just me, or do other readers interpret this article as a load of circular sentences with very few actual facts? It seems to me like there is another immigration coverup in the making.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Sounds like arbitrary detention, why can someone be held without knowing the reason and for how long ?

All of these people know why they are being held, it is because they are in the country illegally, there is no mystery about it at all. These people are held for so long because they refuse to be deported, and file numerous applications for stays, asylum, supervised release, etc. They would be deported instantly if that was their wish.

Once these applications get into the Japanese bureaucracy, they are shuffled around endlessly, because no one wants to take the personal responsibility for making a simple yes or no decision. Eventually, when the detainees can no longer be overlooked or ignored, they are usually deported.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

We have a similar problem here in Australia, would-be immigrants trying to come in without valid documentation held in detention centres, some offshore, for months or years, leading to crimes (rape of others there etc.), despair, suicides, and other psychiatric issues. Thunderbird is right, a swift decision and either acceptance or deportation. The problem of legal challenges could be contained by restricting the level of judiciary who hear the cases and making the decision at that level final.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Yup, another one.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

They don't listen to the inmates, they think they are all lying and never give them medical treatment

1 ( +3 / -2 )

When I was living in Hokkaido, I was asked to interpret for an Israeli who was in detention in Naebo. The police had raided the apartment where he was staying and found marihuana. It wasn't his apartment and he said he knew nothing about it. He had been kept in solitary confinement for nearly two years. He was in a room, with no windows, no one to talk to, no TV, radio, reading material or anything to do and no word on how long he was to stay there. He was given accompanied exercise daily, but not allowed to talk with other prisoners while doing so. The poor guy was shell shocked. Any sudden noise or movement and he looked as if a bomb had gone off.

I wonder if the Vietnamese gentleman had the same treatment?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

remember a few years back a western journalist wrote about being detained at Narita. It caused quite a stir as he reported a lot of bad things happened to him, not sure how much was true but it left me not wanting to get into any trouble here. have all your papers up to date when you arrive here, passports, visas all need to be current. this aint Kansas, Toto.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Many detainees are held for months and even years without knowledge of when they will be released, and many develop depression, anxiety and insomnia.

The ones i heard about, the ones who managed to get a job (illegally) worked for about 10.000-20.000yen a month plus some food and a room.

I don't want to be the hater, but, gosh, is life there so miserable that is worth doing these kind of things?

Or perhaps they've been tricked, the same trick some people do in Brazil, they tell you that you'll have a job and earn "X" a month. That you'll be able to live a nice and comfortable life and send some spare cash back to your family-- in your country.

But when that person arrives in Japan, they have no money to go back, know nothing about the local language, plus a giant debt with the agency (who paid your flight ticket).

And there you go. You have to work basically for free, for some months or years. And when your debt is paid, they fire you, and they go back to Brazil to get another one.

Gotta love third-party agencies. They usually do this with hundreds of people at the same time. Everyday. Yet, totally legal. I guess there aren't that many vietnamese hakengaisha (派遣会社) around.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

“The fact that someone died in a detention center should be taken seriously,” Kiyoshi Yasutomi

But it won't be, nor has it ever been. This is one of the areas where Japan is no better than a third world country or dictatorship keeping political prisoners or something. They turn a blind eye and don't care, then say "wasn't me" when the person dies, and then again while the world waits for an answer. This just happened last year, and has happened at the SAME PLACE. So, what's changed besides the nationality of the dead man?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

He might have been there for a good reason.... but the article tells us nothing about how long he was there? Time is the thing that will kill you, especially in solitary confinement.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My buddy here in Japan walked home from a festival drunk, very drunk! He made it home and was sleeping in his front yard. He has some bad words with his wife who is Japanese. She called the cops on him as he was very drunk but when they came he was sleeping. The woke him up and tried to take him away. In his disarray or drunken state he fought back saying I did nothing! Finally, 6 police took him down, beating him up! I got a call to pick him up from the police station. When he walked out his face was beat read swollen with black eyes and bloody lips, his arms were also very swollen and he was limping. He said they hog tied him naked in the cell all night. He couldn't get up to pee, he kept calling for water as he was very thirsty, they gave him nothing! No food no water and tied up in a cell naked all night long. To me this is very very very wrong!!!!! How and why could that be justified? Yes, he was drunk and yes he was fighting back because he did nothing wrong other than to fight the police to get off his property. So, reading the comments here and this very vague story I can see how the system here in Japan is full of lies and coverups! Im still very sad from this, they way he was treated and can't imagine what it must be like for these people. I feel sorry for this man who died while being detained. This article doesn't give him the respect he deserves and doesn't actually tell us if he did anything wrong!!! Sad Japan!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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