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Japan accepted 74 refugees in 2021, highest on record

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Japan really is not a good destination for refugees. Nobody wants them here. Nobody can speak English here. Japan isn’t set up for non-Japanese at the best of times, let alone an influx of refugees from some war-torn country. And they’ll be sent home again soon enough, once the PR campaign dies down.

15 ( +37 / -22 )

174% increase from 2020! But it is less than 100 people, in 2021 German accepting 1.24 million refugees and 233,000 asylum seekers.

4 ( +20 / -16 )

Refugees can be fascinating, very intelligent people who bring much value to their host nations.

18 ( +28 / -10 )

Japan does not recognize those fleeing Ukraine as refugees...

Because they are VIP that can help Japan to gain international appeal

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2022/04/07/national/quasi-refugee-law/

No other country's refugee being recognized as fast as Ukraine even they are from conflict zone in the past.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Still a laughable number. Nothing for Japan to pat itselft on the back for.

Japan inc. (and Japan's consumers) are more than happy for goods and capital to cross borders but when it comes to fellow human beings, that becomes another story.

Unless there are systemic changes (very unlikely), there will be no meaningful progress.

8 ( +29 / -21 )

Japan granted refugee status to 74 people seeking asylum in 2021,

No indication of where they came from, although some assume they are all from Ukraine.

In international terms the number is insignificant. Japan should be doing much more to help those in need.

some countries accept more than 10,000 refugees annually.

An example of how generous Japan could be. The question is, why does Japan refuse to do more when much smaller and less well off nations can do so much?

-6 ( +9 / -15 )

Are they refugees or are they not refugees? The headline is contradictory to fact.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Japan granted refugee status to 74 people seeking asylum in 2021, the highest level since it began recognizing refugees in 1982, the immigration agency said Friday.

pach pach pach

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

Individuals not granted refugee status but permitted to stay in Japan on humanitarian grounds totaled 580 in 2021, a significant increase from 44 in 2020.

Permitted to stay, but not as refugee's. Shorter time and less assistance I assume than those admitted as refugee's.

the largest number of refugees, at 32, came from Myanmar, reflecting a military coup in February last year that toppled the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

So, more admitted from Myanmar than anywhere else. The largest number for 2022 could be Ukraine. Time will tell.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

74? WOOOOW! What a stunning amount! I mean compared to say, Turkey who continues to be the world's largest refugee-hosting country, home to 3.7 million refugees, Japan should pat itself on its back for taking in seventy-five. Pathetic. I'm surprised they even released these stats to the public; guess they felt this was a triumph not an absolute abject failure. Then again, Japan has never been 100% accommodating for non-Japanese residents who work and live there so it's no surprise that refugees would go elsewhere. Why try to seek asylum in a country that treats you like a parasite?

https://www.unrefugees.org/refugee-facts/statistics/

-7 ( +13 / -20 )

I don’t know what is more pathetic, the low number or the fact they are bragging about it.

-1 ( +20 / -21 )

This story needs a laugh track.

-6 ( +10 / -16 )

74 ?

What does Japan expect a big round of applause and a pat on the back for being selfish and cruel .

Japan is an unfriendly destination for anyone foreign.

I sincerely doubt the 74 will stay very long or comfortable

-11 ( +7 / -18 )

The strongest most vibrant and creative nations were created and built by REFUGEES. if that is not enough reason to open up your gates Japan then I don't know what is.!!?

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

No indication of where they came from, although some assume they are all from Ukraine.

Well no nobody should assume they are from Ukraine if you read the story.

Japan does not recognize those fleeing Ukraine as refugees.

Sure no indication of where they came from, and that would be advertising to countries where their peoples have gone to. However they did manage to point out that they took in more refugees than the following countries.

China, with 18 refugees coming, Afghanistan, with nine, Iran four, Yemen three, Uganda and Cameroon two each, and Iraq, Ghana, Pakistan and South Sudan one each.

Compared to Turkey who took in 3.7 million. Japan still has a long way to go.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Why should Japan be concerned about accepting refugees. Japan like other countries has enough of its own issues. There are many in the domestic front who need assistance. And why should we be concerned about refugees especially since we do not know these individuals. We need to discontinue being politically correct and ensure that protecting ourselves is on the front burner.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

ok my bad miss read the story myself

No indication of where they came from, although some assume they are all from Ukraine.

Well no nobody should assume they are from Ukraine if you read the story.

32, came from Myanmar, China, with 18 refugees coming, Afghanistan, with nine, Iran four, Yemen three, Uganda and Cameroon two each, and Iraq, Ghana, Pakistan and South Sudan one each.

So yeah they did mention the numbers

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Peter14....

No indication of where they came from, although some assume they are all from Ukraine.

"According to the Immigration Services Agency of Japan, the largest number of refugees, at 32, came from Myanmar, followed by China, with 18 refugees coming, Afghanistan, with nine, Iran four, Yemen three, Uganda and Cameroon two each, and Iraq, Ghana, Pakistan and South Sudan one each."

Japan is an Island in the far east. It has cultural, language, diet, religious and economic differences to these countries. There are far better and more welcoming places for refugees from the above countries.

Japan doesn't need them, the people don't want them. Japan should just pay cash to the UN as usual to help.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Quasi evacuees not refugees

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

"Shogo Watanabe, representative of the Japan Lawyers Network for Refugees, said the government has been accepting Ukrainian evacuees for its own international gain, and that it has failed to increase the number of refugees recognized in its system. "The Immigration Services Agency is subject to political influence and should be removed from the recognition process," 

Watanabe gets it. You don't see any other countries congratulating themselves on accepting the absolute bare minimum (and still maintaining the right to kick them out in six months to a year). Kishida is so hungry for praise and attention that someone in the J-government should use it and say things like, "Hey, Kishida... did you hear you get a free 'Japan is #1 with Kishida!' pin from the world if you let in 1000 people and give them refugee status? It's true!" Kishida would champ at the bit for his new pin.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Japan accepted 74 refugees in 2021, highest on record:

74 refugees granted asylum status in the whole year of 2021. Yet it is a record, unbelievable.

One would have thought the number is at least 100 times more to be of any real significance.

No big deal at all..

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Refugees can be fascinating, very intelligent people who bring much value to their host nations.

true. It’s called “brain drain” and has a serious effect on places like Africa. The qualified and intellectual flee their country, find a better life in first world countries, leaving their homeland to rot.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

"According to the Immigration Services Agency of Japan, the largest number of refugees, at 32, came from Myanmar, followed by China, with 18 refugees coming, Afghanistan, with nine, Iran four, Yemen three, Uganda and Cameroon two each, and Iraq, Ghana, Pakistan and South Sudan one each."

Of course this is tokenism.

There's completion among the world's rich countries to see who can gain the most politically correct credit from admitting refugees and "asylum seekers".

Merkel's actions in Germany on that subject were an example of the leader of a nation gaining popularity at home and abroad with those who agree with her actions (and never mind those who didn't).

The whole thing was quite remarkable - a country that had nothing much to do with Syria and Iraq, historically, took in people who owed their predicament more to the Americans, British and French than to the Germans.

There was the old German-Turkish link to consider - as has been pointed out above - the Turks were hosting many of the refugees who were to end up being invited into Germany.

Also, there was already a long established immigration policy in Germany of allowing in Turkish "guest workers" - a million, or more of them over time.

Where does that kind of example leave Japan and it's leaders? Unable to respond in exactly the same way, I'd say.

The factors which made Germany able to respond in that way do not exist in Japan to a great enough degree to make such a magnificent gesture possible.

And, I am sorry to add, all such things are only a gestures. The majority of ordinary people in countries that emit high numbers of refugees and "asylum seekers" do not have the wherewithal to become the kind of people seeking entry into the rich countries.

They mainly have to stay put and put up with all the hardships in their benighted countries that those with enough money and connections can seek to escape from.

The Ukraine situation is a special case - there's lots of competition in Europe to help the refugees and most Ukrainian refugees hope to return home, if possible, in the not too distant future.

There,'s probably not much point in a large number of such people relocating to such a different environment as exists in Japan.

On the other hand, Chinese and Southeast Asians - such as the Burmese, Vietnamese, Indonesians, Filipinos, etc. - may feel more able to live and work in Japan, as the Turks do in Germany.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Congratulations to Japan for a record breaking 74 refugees accepted in 2021. Well deserve, indeed.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

NB - in the above post "There's completion among... " Should be There's competition...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

LOL

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Why should Japan be concerned about accepting refugees. Japan like other countries has enough of its own issues. There are many in the domestic front who need assistance. And why should we be concerned about refugees especially since we do not know these individuals. We need to discontinue being politically correct and ensure that protecting ourselves is on the front burner.

I couldn’t agree more.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Shameful.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

According to some Japan Today commenters, Japan seems to be hell for foreigners. Refugees are not likely to have jobs unless they can speak Japanese, and it would be better for them not to come. That being said, countries with high GDP per capita should accept more refugees. Unfortunately, many Japanese fear a deterioration in public safety. Most do not want a chaotic society like the West.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

why they want to come to Japan is they were denied to grant refugee status by north America and Europe. thus they want to come to Japan. and after they came to Japan, they would be disillusioned by the reality, that is Japan is not wealthier than other developed countries and harder than they imagined to make a living and complain and whining Japan , like I would'nt come, If I knew Japan was like that. We dont want to hear their complain any more . thats why many Japanese oppose to accept more refugees.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Japan has a hard enough time looking after its own ‘refugees’. There have been many articles about people from Fukushima forced to go and live elsewhere receiving abuse, discrimination, and rejection.

Japan is great at platitudes, especially in the form of posters, slogans, and bumper stickers. But when it comes down to actually giving a damn and helping those most in need away from the source of the trouble, Japan trails way behind most other developed countries IMO.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

We dont want to hear their complain any more . thats why many Japanese oppose to accept more refugees.

@Hiroshi - If Japan took its collective head out of the sand and just started being a bit more outward looking I think you’d find many things would improve quite quickly.

The gaijin don’t want to destroy your culture - your culture is mostly great! It would be nice however to get certain services and attitudes a bit closer to basic 21st century standards.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

The strongest most vibrant and creative nations were created and built by REFUGEES. if that is not enough reason to open up your gates Japan then I don't know what is.!!?

The strongest nation in the world is China, it was not built by refugees. Vibrant is a meaningless buzz word.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Stop the presses!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Who caused the problems in Africa and the Middle east? Was it Japan?

The countries that caused the problems (you know who they are) should happily take in the refugees they caused.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Being a citizen of a cpuntry that accept (far) too many refugees, I can tell you it is no good. As a summary :

brain drain for the left countries to the benefit mainly of the country of destination.

call for economic migrants

political gain instead of life saving policy

culture replacement (more Africa than anything else in some part of my country, fact)

demography replacement (bringing more breeders than the locals)

Refugee status should be very limited, maybe more than in Japan but 10 or 100 times less than some other countries.

It should always be enforced to bring them back to their home country once possible.

USA is the archetype of a country created by refugees.

Best countries to live in are not with Gini coefficient high...

New Zealand, Australia, and Nordic countries, reknowned for nice countries to live in are not with many refugees historically. When things have changed like in Sweden, check the news to see what it has become.

Anyway, only locals can decide for their country, that is also a human right.

Japan is giving a lot of money to help the refugees in all parts of the world, so it is a bit excessive to shame about only the refugees number per year.

I wish Japan can remain Japan and not see its way of living change too much and become meaningless like many other countries who have "sold their souls".

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

A lot of the commenters here argue that Japan shouldn't let in refugees because it's "not a friendly country to foreigners". Apart from the circular reasoning of such an argument, it also implies that European and North American countries are some kind of post-racial multicultural paradise (or hell, depending on your viewpoint).

The fact is that many Western societies are extremely hostile towards refugees, despite their governments' nominal support (and some European countries didn't even pretend until the refugees were Ukrainian). If you're from a Middle Eastern, African or Asian country, "fitting in" and just living your life in most of Europe, except its metropolises, is close to impossible. English doesn't seem to be a factor either, as some European countries aren't doing much better than Japan on that front.

You may think Japan is doing the right thing by being oblivious to the suffering caused by multinational corporations (including Japanese ones) and wars frequently started by western powers, and I'd disagree. However, the idea that Japanese society is significantly less welcoming than the 'open' West is simply not based on reality.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

English is learned by from childhood by all refugees

I meant spoken by locals in non-English speaking countries. For example, students in central eastern European counties tend to perform about the same as Japanese students in international tests. And Hungarian or Polish are easy languages to learn either. Both have ridiculously complicated grammar and phonology.

Japan has much less of a problem with racially motivated hate crime. I don't want to pull up the stats for every European country (and one could argue it has something to do with the coexistence of various backgrounds in those countries), but I'm speaking from my personal experience as a European with roots elsewhere. As much as I like to complain about Japan now and then, I'm glad I'm here and not in my old country. But yeah, that is only anecdotal.

I really can't think of any reason Japan would be a better place for refugees except the food is more healthy and it's a bit cheaper.

This is another fairly common argument and difficult to argue against. All I can say is that refugees mostly aren't going on holiday but fleeing conditions way worse than getting stared at in the street or being praised on their chopstick skills. The gruesome conditions in detention centres are another issue, but, again, those are not at all unique to Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Gee... Ordinally Japanese can't communicate in English which seems to be the absolute failure for Japan even about refugee acceptance. This kind of comment should be heard directly from refugees from Myanmar , Afghanistan, Iran Yemen, Uganda and Cameroon, Iraq, Ghana, Pakistan and South Sudan. Wow.... Refugee seems complaining about it .

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Look at top 10 countries

1) Where they come from

2) Which countries accepting most. and also conditions of refugee camps.

85% of refugees are accepted by so called developing countries (according to UNHCR )

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Lots of complaints about the low number of refugees. But remember that the refugees have a voice in where they go, and it seems that not many want to come as far away as Japan. They prefer to stay in nearby counties to that they can go home again one day. I understand that, and I'd probably do the same thing.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I'm a little puzzled by the connection between refugees and Japans "social order". I'm also puzzled as to why Japan signed up to the International Convention for Refugees if Japan feels this way. Japan must be dysfunctional.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

No nation is 100% safe or protected from being troubled by unrest or war or whatever. The point is you should always try to put yourself in asylum seeker shoes.

Who would have thought that Ukrainians would someday become refugees?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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