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Asylum seekers face battle for survival in time of coronavirus

13 Comments
By Mariko Tamura

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Japan is one of the major donors to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, but has been criticized by the world refugee agency for its poor track record of recognizing those who have fled to its shores, with less than 1 percent of applications accepted.

What's to criticize? I'm sympathetic towards others who want to leave a country to another for survival and a better life, but that doesn't mean any country should allow rampant refugees and immigrants to flood through their borders. We have seen the past decade what that has done to many countries especially in Europe, rise in crime, instability, etc.

Quality over quantity.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

"What is central to our action is that we cannot infect refugees with the virus. We are determined to prevent that,"

this is an excuse and nothing more

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I assumed they would receive financial assistance from the government while their applications are pending. No?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It would have been nice to have read of an actual account of life in detention, an interview with an asylum seeker, instead of everyone but...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Immigration must publish their rules to determine who is to be accepted as a refugee.

Everybody should know in advance if there's any chance to get asylum way before applying.

Too much ofuscation and confusion created this chaos.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

the majority of the 'problems' outlined above would apply to many Japanese too, these days, I think. the 'asylum seekers' were allowed in in the first place, and seem to get a variety of support.

some of the above I can't follow.... e.g. detainee asylum seekers who have Japanese spouse and children..... not a very clear article, despite being quite long.......

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Of course the truth around this is kept very quiet, hence the murky article...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I assumed they would receive financial assistance from the government while their applications are pending. No?

No, because detention centres provide housing, food, and all other necessities free of charge. Those who want the luxury and freedom of provisional release are able to apply, but they are expected to cover their own expenses on the outside. They are free to return to the detention centre if their funds run out before a decision is made in their case.

Immigration must publish their rules to determine who is to be accepted as a refugee.

The rules are clear. A refugee is someone who has a well founded fear of persecution on the basis of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a social group. The problem has never been that asylum seekers are unfamiliar with the eligibility criteria, it's actually that they are now far too familiar with the criteria thanks to refugee NGOs and internet resources. They are able to craft elaborate stories of persecution which seem to check every box. It takes more and more time to verify these stories, demand evidence and pick apart any inconsistencies.

"My clients in detention centers are terrified of catching the coronavirus. More detainees need to get out," said Komai.

I suspect their fear of catching the virus is as well founded as their fear of persecution. There are no cases of widespread outbreaks at detention centres and the vast majority of asylum seekers are not elderly or in high risk groups. You probably have a much better chance of catching the virus on the trains or shopping while out on provisional release.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What M3M3M3 says.

If people have funds to support themselves outside of the detention centers. You don't have to be poor to seek asylum.

But the success rates are low for applicants.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Quality over quantity.

And why are you here? Japan doesnt want "refugees" here because of neither of these reasons. They dont want society to be influenced to change to accept diversity.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My best friend and college roommate came to the US in the late 90's as a refugee from the former Yugoslavia during the Balkan wars. Her father came first as he was the only one with the paperwork to make it out, with the rest of his family and her parents going first to Germany (then being expelled) and then being granted asylum in the US. Her family is like a second family to mine and they were the kindest people you'd ever meet. I was only 10 when we met so I don't remember it specifically, but her family was incredibly unwelcome in our small town and even up until when we were in high school people would joke about her being a spy and one of our teachers would constantly make jokes about her being a Russian mail order bride.

Ironically, if you didn't know their names you'd never know they weren't American. Even though they weren't given much help or a kind entrance, they melted into society. This is probably the only thing America does better than anywhere else, ironically. If the refugees coming to your shores are largely not adapting into your society, perhaps the problem is with your society?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Many of the asylum seekers in Japan are Kurdish refugees from Southeastern Turkey who would have their application approved almost anywhere in the world. But Japan thinks that Turkey is “pro-Japanese” so it will overlook Erdogan’s genocidal policies

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I don't care who these Asylum seekers are, or where they come from, just so long as they dont go mad and start stabbing people at random... which is so often the case in the UK.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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