Countries have somewhat different ways of dealing with the same type of problem. Take the U.S. for example. Can foreign nationals who are expectant mothers expect to be waved through at points of entry?
This question was posed online to the web site operated by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which replied, "When determining if you will be allowed to enter the U.S., CBP Officers take into consideration the date your child is due for delivery and the length of time you intend to stay in the U.S. In addition, they want evidence that you have sufficient medical insurance to cover any medical necessities while you are in the U.S. and that you intend to return home." (Ref: https://www.cbp.gov )
Okay, now how about Japan? First of all, readers should understand that unlike the U.S., the concept of jus soli does not apply, i.e., a child of non-Japanese parentage born in Japan does not automatically obtain Japanese citizenship.
That, however, does not rule out other problems.
Journalist Kaori Arimoto was moved to take up this topic in Yukan Fuji (March 29) after reading a government announcement two days prior that approximately 20% of the foreign visitors hospitalized during their stays in Japan failed to settle their hospital bills. And that the outstanding debt, according to the government's survey, was about 93 million yen.
One Diet member supposedly remarked off the cuff that "A figure of less than 100 million is not so serious," but Arimoto points out that in the came of one particular hospital, the unpaid amount was approximately 14.22 million yen, no small amount.
The survey, moreover, only received responses from about half the hospitals questioned, and it's very possible that some of the others were also mired in patient debts.
Getting down to the specifics of the reasons for hospitalization, roughly half the respondents replied childbirth. A total of 10 centers specializing in advanced maternity care noted that the number of foreign tourists treated had numbered between one and three, with the average unpaid bill amounting to some 1.3 million yen.
Arimoto concedes that while it's true a small number of Japanese females may have also given birth outside the country, in most cases they are in a position to cover such costs. Sometimes their motive was to acquire dual nationality for the child, such as made possible by countries like the United States.
In recent years, however, America's jus soli policy has come under criticism, and none other than President Donald Trump has gone on record as calling for its abolition.
At the very least, in recent years expectant mothers arriving at U.S. points of entry are requested to provide evidence -- such as in the form of bank savings -- to demonstrate they will not become a burden on society.
The aforementioned U.S. government website states, "Although there are no specific regulations prohibiting pregnant foreign nationals from entering the U.S., entry is allowed or denied at the discretion of the admitting U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer. If the CBP Officer determines that you are likely to become a ward of the government....you can be denied entry."
Japan, unfortunately, has yet to adopt restrictive measures to deal with this issue.
From April, moreover, revised immigration laws will open Japan's gates to foreign entrants coming for the purpose of work. In addition to plugging any gaps in the national health insurance scheme, Arimoto urges that measures be promptly adopted to ascertain that women who enter the country in a pregnant condition do not add to the healthcare system's burdens.© Japan Today