Here
and
Now

opinions

How the media failed Japan’s most vulnerable immigrants

69 Comments
By Dreux Richard
Photos from the life of Gerald "Sunny" Okafor.
Photos from the life of Gerald "Sunny" Okafor. Photo: Courtesy family of Gerald Okafor. Graphic: Kohji Shiiki

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a strange institution. It’s responsible for the way Japan is perceived abroad, and it decides who receives the opportunity to immigrate. But its jurisdiction over the lives of immigrants largely vanishes when they reach Japan. It’s also the most influential agency that does not play a meaningful role in developing the government’s legislative agenda. Senior MoFA officials can only watch in dismay as less prestigious agencies, including some of Japan’s most corrupt, devise legislation that erodes the rights of immigrants and damages Japan’s international reputation.

A proposed overhaul of Japan’s detention system, scuttled in 2021 after the death of detainee Wishma Rathnayake and a resulting wave of protests, was especially unpopular with Japanese diplomats. The Kishida administration has revived it anyway, with parliamentary debate anticipated this summer. Until recently, MoFA relied on the press to guard against legislative aggression toward immigrants, quietly passing sensitive information to reporters who covered the Ministry of Justice, which enforces immigration law.

S_3277313_edit.jpg
Gerald "Sunny" Okafor with family members and loved ones in Nigeria. Photo: Courtesy family of Gerald Okafor

According to MoFA officials who acted as my sources during the 10 years I covered immigration, their current reluctance to cooperate with journalists is related to the sense, among the agency’s staff, that the media has become “much louder, but much less effective” on issues of immigration.

The officials I spoke with traced this problem to 2019, when a detainee starved to death at a detention center in Nagasaki, following a four-week hunger strike.

The Ministry of Justice cleared the detention center of wrongdoing, issuing a report that contained several defamatory statements about the detainee. He was not, as the ministry’s findings suggested, a hardened criminal or a deadbeat father—not according to court records, not according to his family.

S_3277304_edit.jpg
Gerald Okafor worked in several factories after arriving in Japan. Photo: Courtesy family of Gerald Okafor

The report went on to claim that it wasn’t possible to return the detainee to Nigeria because he refused to cooperate with the deportation process in January 2019. But the report also documented a meeting in May of 2019 where the detainee begged to be deported. As one MoFA official dryly observed, “May comes after January.”

The death was covered in Japan’s major newspapers, as well as a variety of global outlets. All of them printed the government’s claims without attempting to verify them. Not a single reporter succeeded in confirming the identity of the detainee, a native of southeastern Nigeria who came to Japan 19 years earlier to look for work in the leather tanneries of Hyogo Prefecture. His name was Gerald “Sunny” Okafor.

“...the media has become ‘much louder, but much less effective’ on issues of immigration.” —Ministry of Foreign Affairs official

An important story about the destruction of a family was overlooked. Okafor’s widow, who is deaf, struggled to raise her daughter alone after her husband was detained, pushing her to the brink of psychological collapse. Immigration officials took advantage of her vulnerability, pressuring her to file for divorce and promising—disingenuously—that it would expedite Okafor’s release.

dreux-richard-sunny-fixed-S__3277300.jpg
Images of Gerald "Sunny" Okafor with his wife and daughter. Photo: Courtesy family of Gerald Okafor

The media also failed to uncover administrative malpractice at the detention center, which led Mr. Okafor to believe that steps were being taken to expedite his return to Nigeria. After learning this wasn’t true, he refused to receive intravenous fluids, precipitating his death. The Nigerian embassy helped the Ministry of Justice cover up these mistakes, leaving a paper trail in Okafor’s immigration file.

The success of this cover-up has undermined the best opportunity to sink the proposed immigration reforms, which were developed in response to Okafor’s death. The reforms are based on the insulting notion that the detention center could have saved Okafor if it had possessed greater powers of coercion—the power to sanction his attorneys, for instance, if they pushed too aggressively for their client’s release.

“They got the answers they needed, and in such a convenient way: from no one, from nowhere.” —Sunny Okafor’s widow

But the press has helped to turn Okafor’s death into a non-story, by disseminating state propaganda that diminishes the death’s significance, then responding to that propaganda with opinion essays instead of investigations.

“The media approaches the immigration debate as an ideological matter, rather than a test of the integrity of Japan’s institutions,” observed one MoFA official who monitored Mr. Okafor’s case. “That’s not helpful to people in government who are trying to fix the system, because it doesn’t change anybody’s mind. It only inflames existing disagreements.”

If disobeying the instructions of immigration officials becomes a criminal offense, as the government has now proposed, it will be made possible by the collapse of non-partisan relationships between trustworthy elements of Japan’s government and their counterparts in the press.

dreux-richard-sunny-casket-horizontal.jpg
Mr. Okafor's body shortly after his death. "Japan never saw what starvation did to that man. It should haunt them," said Stanley Egbogota, chairman of an Igbo civic association that raised money for Mr. Okafor's family. Photo: With permission from the family of Gerald Okafor

In an era of journalism where editorial decisions are shaped by web traffic and algorithms, the loss of knowledgeable sources may not strike every media professional as a matter of concern. Reporters didn’t need to speak with anyone who knew Mr. Okafor in order to write about him, or to decide that it was no longer necessary to write about him — even as parliament debated legislation that resulted from his death.

“They got the answers they needed,” Okafor’s widow observed in our most recent correspondence. “And in such a convenient way: from no one, from nowhere.”

For six years, Dreux Richard covered Japan’s Nigerian community for a daily newspaper in Tokyo. His first book, Every Human Intention: Japan in the New Century, was published by Pantheon in 2021.

© Japan Today

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

69 Comments
Login to comment

Ever been to the immigration office?

They need to find more qualified and helpful workers. Most of them are downright rude and for no reason.

Japan is a lovely place for the most part. But the city hall workers and Govt. officials seem to be from a different planet.

8 ( +21 / -13 )

Foreigners that have a bad experience in Japan, do not hesitate to trash Japan

-3 ( +22 / -25 )

But the press has helped to turn Okafor’s death into a non-story, by disseminating state propaganda that diminishes the death’s significance, then responding to that propaganda with opinion essays instead of investigations.

Thank you Mr. Richard for hard-hitting real reporting. The Press club mouthpieces for the government need to be drowned out by the voices of people like in this article.

25 ( +32 / -7 )

Japan is digging it’s own reputation into the ground.

The world is not blind and for sure the country is declining in both aspects,ethically and economically.

In the end it’s a great shame and Japan deserves to be punished by the international community for such blatant racism and nepotism.

10 ( +24 / -14 )

“The media approaches the immigration debate as an ideological matter, rather than a test of the integrity of Japan’s institutions,” 

Not just the media. Virtually the entire government, except for a few rational-minded individuals.

To this day, Wishma Rathnayake is still referred to as someone who broke the law and was therefore punished. And this is the consensus. Few are even bothering to point out that she may have broken the law, but she was no murderer, thief, etc. She merely stayed longer, without a visa. Which I don't dispute. However, what followed was completely out of line, misguided. Instead of, for example, immediate deportation, she was held for an absurdly long time before she died. So taxpayer money was wasted in addition, instead of our government simply getting rid of the "criminal" by deporting him.

The media here rarely reports on these cases openly, usually it is only according to one narrative - foreigner-broken the law-BROKE THE LAW!!!-Yakuza also breaks the law-for example drugs and murder are breaking the law.... and the conversation turns to a completely different plane, from the original topic.

Practically, there is an equivalence in the media between someone who, for example, overstays a visa and someone who murders someone. Because the result is the same - breaking the law.

It gets mentioned a few times on TV and then the interest wanes.

The public in those "few months" has forgotten what happened in the Wishma Rathnayake case. They forget that someone who was guilty of overstaying his visa died due to negligence.

Our government then issues some statement, or accuses some low-ranking official, issues some directive, floods the public with paperwork, and that's it.

 “That’s not helpful to people in government who are trying to fix the system, because it doesn’t change anybody’s mind. It only inflames existing disagreements.”

I've learned over the decades here that a statement like that just means "it is uncomfortable, don't talk about it. If you talk about it, it's your fault if people start arguing. You want people to argue?".

6 ( +16 / -10 )

All of this could have been avoided if they just obeyed the law and followed the rules.

Important parts missing from this article (deliberately?)

Why was he in detention?

Why did he refuse deportation?

Why did he choose suicide?

-16 ( +10 / -26 )

A totally failed country when it comes to treatment and human rights for immigrants.

Really sad!

RIP Mr. Okafor!

8 ( +21 / -13 )

KiplingToday  08:40 am JST

All of this could have been avoided if they just obeyed the law and followed the rules.

Your comment is pretty cruel and dry.

Immigrants even if they break the rules should be treated with fairness and respect.

They are humans you know?

Your comment is rubbish.

13 ( +25 / -12 )

Criminals should be treated with fairness and respect.

-5 ( +11 / -16 )

a native of southeastern Nigeria who came to Japan 19 years earlier to look for work in the leather tanneries of Hyogo Prefecture. His name was Gerald “Sunny” Okafor.

That person was not just interested in tanning leather.

男性は薬物事件で執行猶予付き懲役刑の判決を受けた後、窃盗などで実刑となり、仮釈放後、大阪入国管理局(当時)に収容、後にセンターに移送された。報告書は、起こした事件が悪質で常習性があり、仮放免は許可できなかったとした。

So please stop trying to turn criminals into victims.

-17 ( +8 / -25 )

I realize Mr. Kipling's comment probably isn't meant in good faith, but the questions are fine ones, and why not use the comments section to answer them?

Why was he in detention?

He lacked a valid visa to continue residing in Japan.

Why did he refuse deportation?

Ultimately he didn't. He asked to be deported. The Ministry of Justice failed to act on this request.

Why did he choose suicide?

Dying during the course of a hunger strike isn't the same as suicide. He chose to embark on a hunger strike because he hoped it would lead to his prompt deportation or release.

18 ( +25 / -7 )

Tom SanToday  09:14 am JST

Criminals should be treated with fairness and respect.

Overstaying with a Visa or killing another person are different things.

And yes,a civilized society who values human rights should treat with fairness and respect even criminals and still giving them the right punishment.

Countries like Germany,Holland,Denmark and Sweden act with such principles.

5 ( +16 / -11 )

@Kurotokage

That person was not just interested in tanning leather. So please stop trying to turn criminals into victims.

I've read the court documents from the cases in question. The description of his crimes you posted--which is in fact government propaganda--is highly misleading.

13 ( +19 / -6 )

Overstaying with a Visa or killing another person are different things.

男性は薬物事件で執行猶予付き懲役刑の判決を受けた後、窃盗などで実刑となり、仮釈放後、大阪入国管理局(当時)に収容、後にセンターに移送された。報告書は、起こした事件が悪質で常習性があり、仮放免は許可できなかったとした。

Courtesy of KuroTokage.

Have a nice day.

-16 ( +2 / -18 )

@Tom San - Courtesy of KuroTokage.

In the case of that particular information, I wouldn't believe everything you read. It's not accurate, and it was released/disseminated specifically in the course of an attempt to protect the government from legal liability in relation to Mr. Okafor's death.

If the media had looked into this further, the information you're quoting would have been revealed as misleading and defamatory.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

In the case of that particular information, I wouldn't believe everything you read. It's not accurate, and it was released/disseminated specifically in the course of an attempt to protect the government from legal liability in relation to Mr. Okafor's death.

Not accurate? How is that so?

It was released and disseminated specifically? You got any proof?

So, the government is lying, right? Prove it.

All you have to offer is mere "speculation", IMO.

I'll take the 36 pages of the MOJ report over your word any day of the week.

-14 ( +6 / -20 )

If the media had looked into this further, the information you're quoting would have been revealed as misleading and defamatory.

Yeah, when pigs fly.

-16 ( +4 / -20 )

Is anyone surprised? There's a reason why Japan ranks so poorly in human rights. It's the same government that has banned foreigners from entering due to Corona, but allowed their own nationals in no problem at all.

4 ( +15 / -11 )

Thank you so much for this article, wow.

Rest In Peace :-(

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Of course it's an unfortunate event, but it could have been avoided if things are done well..

Japan is a country of laws, Japan is not for everyone, if you come to Japan come completely LEGAL, with everything in order and obeying the laws of Japan, otherwise you are going to have a very bad time..

Japan is not for liars, opportunistic or cheating immigrants, if you want to cheat go to Europe or USA over there you can do it..

Their Country..

Their Customes..

Their Laws..

Get used to it..

Go Japan !!..

All of this could have been avoided if they just obeyed the law and followed the rules.

Important parts missing from this article (deliberately?)

Well said !!.. AMEN !!!..

-17 ( +6 / -23 )

 It's the same government that has banned foreigners from entering due to Corona, but allowed their own nationals in no problem at all.

And foreigners who had residency visas as well.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

YubaruToday  10:15 am JST

 It's the same government that has banned foreigners from entering due to Corona, but allowed their own nationals in no problem at all.

And foreigners who had residency visas as well.

Correct, those foreigners were allowed to enter the country as well. And as a national I expect my government allow me back in at any time regardless the circumstances. And even this seems to be quite obvious, I have heard that there is a "democratic" country in the southern hemisphere that refused their citizens to enter it.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

Empathy is overrated and triggered soles. Yes is a very bad situations these immigrants/ refugees are in. I am not going to excuse Japan either way. If they get to stay Japanese Government won’t make is easy. If they do better then those still effected by 2011 tsunami the Government will come under fire from the opposition.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

There are areas in Sweden, Germany, France, etc where the crime rate is skyrocketing - and guess what: It's not the native population of those countries...

Because the population thanks to new immigrants is younger and help these countries to keep the nativity high.

It is obvious that a nation with a younger population will have more crimes than an aging one.

Furthermore you portray things like these countries are in a warzone which is not true.

Japan is safe but not the safest country in the world.

Besides I lived in Germany and Sweden and for many reasons I felt safer there than here.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

Back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Foreigners that have a bad experience in Japan, do not hesitate to trash Japan

That would depend on the experience. For example, the Chinese farm workers whose passports were illegally confiscated by their Japanese employer. Foreigners who are imprisoned far longer than Japanese people for the same offence. Why would you not 'bash' the country that allows such unfair or illegal behaviour?

12 ( +16 / -4 )

The photo of the deceased mr Okafor is both disturbing ,offensive and innapropriate

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

Another tragic, preventable event in Japan.

Absolutely refreshing to see you again *@DreauxRichard, ***amongst the threads here again after such a long absence. Few authors here would take the time, consideration & responsibility to actively engage the readers and dismantle those that try to conflate and deflect from Japan’s domestic issues**.

@DreuxRichard 9:31am: … “In the case of that particular information, I wouldn't believe everything you read. It's not accurate, and it was released/disseminated specifically in the course of an attempt to protect the government from legal liability.” -

0 ( +3 / -3 )

That would depend on the experience. For example, the Chinese farm workers whose passports were illegally confiscated by their Japanese employer. Foreigners who are imprisoned far longer than Japanese people for the same offence. Why would you not 'bash' the country that allows such unfair or illegal behaviour?

A passport is the property of the issuing nation and as such it can not be confiscated, neither by individuals nor by authorities. So if the Chinese farm workers have surrendered their passports involuntarily, that would constitute the crime of coercion (刑法223条 - 強要罪) and they would have had the chance to report this to either the police or the public prosecutor's office. Maybe a link to that story (preferably the Japanese original)?

In which case is a foreigner imprisoned longer than a Japanese for the same crime? Please provide evidence.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

William 77

Your comment is pretty cruel and dry.

Yes, it is, but true.

Immigrants even if they break the rules should be treated with fairness and respect.

They are... If they follow the immigration rules.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

An author and user here as well, just as some other expats here are also artists, engineers & musicians. Yet, Dreaux demonstrates the respectable ability to confine opinions to relevant ideas & related experiences concerning each specific topics at hand. Again, truly respectable when one can confine commentary to relevant points.

Well done, Dreaux. Fine work bringing necessary attention where it’s desperately needed. - Bon chance, mon ami.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

@Dreux Richard

> Why did he refuse deportation?

Ultimately he didn't. He asked to be deported. The Ministry of Justice failed to act on this request.

Not quite correct.

The report went on to claim that it wasn’t possible to return the detainee to Nigeria because he refused to cooperate with the deportation process in January 2019. But the report also documented a meeting in May of 2019 where the detainee begged to be deported. 

According to the report, on May 2019 meeting, he said " I have had no freedom for 10 years ( half of which, he was in real prison), Get me out of here, provisional release or deportation whichever". He did not ask for being deported. Besides, you forgot to refer to the fact Japan was ( still is?) in the process of uncompleted negotiation with Nigeria for the deportation arrangement at that time. You cannot just dump a detainee at their air port.

>

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

The media did not fail these immigrants the Ministry of Justice did!

The Ministry of Justice cleared the detention center of wrongdoing, issuing a report that contained several defamatory statements about the detainee. He was not, as the ministry’s findings suggested, a hardened criminal or a deadbeat father—not according to court records, not according to his family.

Here is your failure!!

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Kyo wa heiwa dayo neToday  12:25 pm JST

The photo of the deceased mr Okafor is both disturbing ,offensive and innapropriate

Used with the permission of his family and, IMO, absolutely germane to the article.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

A powerful article, beautifully written.

Mr. Richard also writes for Consortium News, one of the very best independent news sites today.

https://consortiumnews.com/

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Great article! Good on Japan Today for publishing it.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Correction to the above posts. ‘Autoincorrect’ posted a misspelling of the author/user’s name. Should read “Dreux”. Apologies and Regards.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

gogogoToday  03:02 pm JST

The media did not fail these immigrants the Ministry of Justice did!

The Ministry of Justice cleared the detention center of wrongdoing, issuing a report that contained several defamatory statements about the detainee. He was not, as the ministry’s findings suggested, a hardened criminal or a deadbeat father—not according to court records, not according to his family.

Here is your failure!!

He may not have been * a deadbeat father, though Dreux doesn't mention it is according to his ex-wife or to his daughter. And the statement that he was not a hardened criminal according to court records contradicts with 5 year sentence at that court on a charge of larceny *

If someone can link court records, that would be great help

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I've been to more than 80 countries and sometimes I've had to deal with things at immigration offices. Visiting one in Japan was the worst experience. Ever.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

PomeranianToday  06:19 pm JST

I've been to more than 80 countries and sometimes I've had to deal with things at immigration offices. Visiting one in Japan was the worst experience. Ever.

This is a good post if detailed on what made it the worst

1 ( +2 / -1 )

And when you have a valid visa, you would not go to immigration offices at each one of 80 countries unless you had special reasons to do so. What made you go there in Japan and how many times out of those 80 countries, you actually had to go to each of immigration of officers?

Thanks in advance

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@kennyG

First of all, visa to Japan was not required for some (before covid). But you could ask to extend your permission of stay ie. Thats why I visited here. As main issue I may point that clerks not speaking English, upon on that they are not willing to help sometimes just arrogant. Need more ?

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

PomeranianToday  07:22 pm JST

@kennyG

First of all, visa to Japan was not required for some (before covid). But you could ask to extend your permission of stay ie. Thats why I visited here. As main issue I may point that clerks not speaking English, upon on that they are not willing to help sometimes just arrogant. Need more ?

I know. You wanted to extended it hence you went to immigration office in Japan and found out the person you faced with didn't speak English. That is basically a Immigration office. Is it too much to assume possible immigrants are supposed to speak their language? or do you mean the clerks you have dealt with in such 80 countries had no problem speaking your language in all of 80 immigration offices you visited? Please do not extend your arguments how helpful or unhelpful, arrogant or not.

You're not the only one who cannot forget nor forgive arrogance of that kind of clerks we all think what the heck they think they are everywhere.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Thats why we going back to start point and I stand by what I said earlier. It was worst exprience ever. Have a good night.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

PomeranianToday  09:16 pm JST

Thats why we going back to start point and I stand by what I said earlier. It was worst exprience ever. Have a good night.

OK your very personal experience. and you don't mean Japan's is the worst among immigration offices of 80 countries. Sorry to have bothered you

1 ( +4 / -3 )

As always, for someone interested in, I will leave the report prepared by MOJ/Immigration Agency

https://www.moj.go.jp/isa/content/930004425.pdf

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

As always, for someone interested in, I will leave the report prepared by MOJ/Immigration Agency

https://www.moj.go.jp/isa/content/930004425.pdf

I've read the author's book. He spent a long time investigating that report, and over the course of many pages in the book systematically demolishes its claims.

There was never any negotiations with Nigeria, for instance. Totally fabricated. And he has the Nigerian consular officer on the record, making that statement, among other evidence.

I would assume there wasn't space in this short article to go into all that. But his full investigation has been published in the book.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sorry but Its what I mean exactly. Its maybe subiective, but real. Not bothering at all.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

If you go to the Japans immigration office, the workers their treat you as if you are a criminal, and you are beneath them. The mind set is if you are not Japanese you should not be there, we will allow you in but if you violate your so called welcome they will kick you out only after you do your time in immigration and pay for your confined time there and the fees.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Japan is digging it’s own reputation into the ground.

I don't think Japan cares what the rest of the world thinks of it.

The world is not blind and for sure the country is declining in both aspects, ethically and economically.

Again, I don't think Japan cares.

In the end, it’s a great shame and Japan deserves to be punished by the international community for such blatant racism and nepotism.

Yeah, but I don't think anyone will do that, particularly when it comes to sales exports of Japanese products, no one is going to be stupid and sanction Japan, they would be cutting their own throat.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Is not worth to sanction Japan for Human Right violations and racism.

Let them suck their own economical deflation.

Japan will be begging for international help very soon.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Never had a bad experience in Japan at immigration except for one bad tempered female and coming back from SE Asia they wanted to look where the sun don’t shine but I talked them out of it…

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Oh, one more thing.

In Japan, it’s a must to get the language down-less hassle and problems.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan will be begging for international help very soon.

I don't see that happening. As stubborn as they can be, doubt it, at least not in the immediate future.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Japan's have to take care of inside Japan issues not mind other countries business.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Back in the 80s, a friend of mine got held over a "brawl" with some youths. While in detention it happened he overstayed his visa and so they held him even longer for overstaying. He wasn't charged with anything about the "brawl" which might have been nothing more than an exchange of words but he was still held for over 6 months, during which he lost his job in and had to pay about 4,000 DM to be let off and sent back to Germany.

He wrote about his involuntary stay in Japan, the cell he had to stay in, the food he was given and the fact he was allowed only 1 phone call during all of his stay. He managed to send that letter to his parents via a friendly inmate who had some contacts out there. There were no visits of lawyers, no visits from anyone from the embassy, basically he was kept in limbo not knowing what would happen next.

3 months after he took his life.

I love Japan but until it changes into a democratic country, I will not visit.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

In Japan, it’s a must to get the language down-less hassle and problems.

Of the people I know who stayed more than a couple of years, 98% or so of them had made some effort to learn to speak Japanese. People who don't put in the effort, are usually disillusioned after a couple of years here, due to feeling essentially like adult babies who can't take care of themselves in civilization. People who are making the effort to be able to handle their lives on their own find it much easier to live here.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I love Japan but until it changes into a democratic country, I will not visit.

Japan is democratic. They elect their leaders through democracy.

I'm not sure what you think democracy is.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Back in the 80s, a friend of mine got held over a "brawl" with some youths. While in detention it happened he overstayed his visa and so they held him even longer for overstaying. He wasn't charged with anything...

He wrote about his involuntary stay in Japan, the cell he had to stay in, the food he was given and the fact he was allowed only 1 phone call during all of his stay. He managed to send that letter to his parents via a friendly inmate who had some contacts out there. There were no visits of lawyers, no visits from anyone from the embassy, basically he was kept in limbo not knowing what would happen next.

Sounds alot like the gaijin folklore that no Japanese lawyer has ever heard of. Don't be offended, I think it's quite funny.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Of the people I know who stayed more than a couple of years, 98% or so of them had made some effort to learn to speak Japanese. People who don't put in the effort, are usually disillusioned after a couple of years here, due to feeling essentially like adult babies who can't take care of themselves in civilization. People who are making the effort to be able to handle their lives on their own find it much easier to live here.

Absolutely agree. But before learning the language, people from English speaking countries need to realize that the Japanese judicial system is not based on common law. (To be honest, I don't know anything about it)

Japanese law is derived from Roman law which has been adapted through French and German law.

I really find it amusing at times to see foreigners trying to get a grip of local law with common law in mind.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Strangerland, I think democracy means a vote is a vote, not like in Japan where some votes count more than others or like in the US where gerrymandering strips communities off voting.

If a rural vote would count thrice in Germany like it does in Japan it would cause an uproar.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Back con topic.

He was not, as the ministry’s findings suggested, a hardened criminal or a deadbeat father—not according to court records, not according to his family.

The MoJ was lies to the press and no reporter bothers to doublecheck it.

How do you call that?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

These people would be alive now if they never came to Japan, i put the onus on them and them alone. Japan is fine just the way it is, if one cant fit in with their way of doing things then I suggest they dont depart their country

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Few are even bothering to point out that she may have broken the law, but she was no murderer, thief, etc. She merely stayed longer, without a visa.

You forgot to add suspected Fraud and Defamation. Defamation because in an attempt to qualify for asylum, she made defamatory accusations against her "boyfriend", and fraud because she concealed the fact she's an illegal immigrant from everywhere where she found work.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites