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Japan announces changes to refugee system

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By Thomas Wilson

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Shocking, Japan.

Abysmally shocking, Japan.

I would have expected better, given that Japan needs assistance itself every so often with natural disasters, but never mind.

6 ( +31 / -26 )

Activists said the changes, which were widely expected, will add extra hurdles to asylum seekers trying to reach Japan,

this is completely false. the new legislation is aimed at those trying to abuse the system by repeatedly submitting an application. while their applications were being reviewed, which took about six months, they were allowed to work. if they were rejected, they would submit a new application and continue working. the legislation will remove this loophole.

13 ( +23 / -10 )

Well that has just put the final nail in.

No Syrian restaurants springing up in Japan anytime soon then.

17 ( +23 / -7 )

Wise decision. I'm glad Japan has politicians who think what's best for the nation. Large-scale immigration would irreversibly change Japan. During the history, Japan has hugely benefited from small-scale immigration of highly skilled labor (e.g. during Meiji Restauration), but large-scale immigration from unstable countries that are not exactly known for their high level of education could be catastrophic for a harmony-aspiring nation such as Japan.

-7 ( +33 / -38 )

good job japan!

if EU wants to destroy themselves by hosting these immigrants with questionable motif then let them be. They don't learn even after Sweden become a country with crazy high rape statistic , they don't learn even after rotterham child rape abuse incident with 2k victims.

If EU wants to be stupid then let them be!

-4 ( +28 / -31 )

Leave it to Japan -- a nation with an serious aging population problem, I might add -- to not only NOT accept more refugees despite the worsening crises in Syria and Myanmar, but to make it HARDER for them to enter. SHAME ON JAPAN!! When the time comes for people to seek shelter because of a major crisis or crises here, and with all the earthquakes, floods, volcanoes, nuclear power plant disasters, and other things that are on the INCREASE almost daily (save for the ongoing nuclear crisis just being as it always is), Japan better hope other nations don't treat it the same way it's spitting on those in need now.

8 ( +35 / -28 )

The world should be giving Japan a kick in the arse.

0 ( +26 / -26 )

"such as gender-based violence."

This is a good idea and will surely limit Japan's intake of refugees. Why? Because the vast majority of refugee applicants worldwide are men, as if men -- and not women -- are the victims of oppression in the Mideast and Africa!

5 ( +15 / -10 )

Good job Japan, I agree with these regulations. I don't want these refugees in the US either.

-2 ( +26 / -27 )

"We will offer you a unique welcome. In Japanese, I can describe it in one unique word: 'omotenashi'. It means a spirit of selfless hospitality, one that dates back to our ancestors, yet is ingrained in Japan's ultra-modern culture. 'Omotenashi' explains why Japanese people take care of each other... and our guests... so well."

--Christel Takigawa, 2013

25 ( +34 / -9 )

Japan wins again!! Japan is the most successful con country in the world. Just think the freedoms Japanese citizens enjoy abroad verses the freedoms they dole out to foreigners in Japan. A descendant of one of their once economic refugee to Peru even became the president. Many Japanese in the diaspora were once ECONOMIC REFUGEES , today , Japan pretends they NEVER were once a needy society. Real conmen of the century!

9 ( +24 / -15 )

Wise decision, Japan. They learned from the mistakes of the European countries with their lax immigration policies.

-5 ( +21 / -26 )

no need to import wannabe terrorists!!

and you know who I'm talkin' about. ;-)

-5 ( +20 / -25 )

plasticmonkey: Nice quotation! But you missed the key point: Japan treats its nationals well, and foreigners so long as they are GUESTS. Once they stop being a guest... well... you know how welcome they are.

Shame they didn't change these laws before the Olympic bid that you quote from. Might have shown that it was all just the horse manure we knew it was when they said Japan is welcoming.

12 ( +23 / -11 )

Excellent! Good on Japan!

-9 ( +16 / -25 )

Just think the freedoms Japanese citizens enjoy abroad verses the freedoms they dole out to foreigners in Japan.

If anything foreigners in Japan have more freedoms. What freedom are you talking about?

A descendant of one of their once economic refugee to Peru even became the president.

The Peru president was a Peru citizen, not a foreigner.

-15 ( +10 / -25 )

I imagine some of the posters from the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are ones saying don’t allow refugees in Japan. I know you’re from places which value free speech and have rights to your opinion, and JT allows that, and has asked for it.

But I’m curious how many of you actually know whether your ancestors got to the ‘new world’ through official and proper channels. (Rhetorical question.) How many of your ancestors were less than ideal human beings (whatever that means) who had to run away from their homeland because of crimes they’d committed, or were sent away because of crimes they’d committed (e.g. Australia and the US)? I have trouble believing they all came to the new world for noble purposes.

How many ran away because of wars? How many were religious kooks who couldn’t fit into their homeland? (Puritans anyone?) Does your country have laws permitting the government to discriminate based on religion?

Did your family meld into the society eventually and contribute to its betterment? Maybe your family did, but if your family was of European origin, it’s ‘your people’ who commit the greatest number of crimes in your country, not ‘them’.

I understand we have the right to voice opinions about what our own home countries should do, and I understand JT has asked the question, but as permanent residents in Japan do you honestly think Japanese leaders and Japanese people should listen to our point of view? Back in our home countries, are the Japanese expats (or any other for that matter) encouraged to voice their opinions on immigration issues? If not, why not?

9 ( +17 / -8 )

Many of the comments here saying that we shouldn't take in anyone are a bit disturbing. Some of these people (at least 11) are recognised as genuine refugees and Japan has signed an international treaty agreeing to take them.

That said, under the UN Refugee Convention Japan is allowed to set it's own criteria for determining whether someone has a 'well founded fear of persecution'. The fact that Japan is a fairly isloated island at the edge of the world will mean that most asylum seekers will have passed through a safe country before boarding a flight and arriving in Japan. The burden of proof also rests on the asylum seeker, so those who enter Japan on tourist visas and abscond, but then apply for asylum years later when they are caught are usually unable to gather any proof of what persecution they might face in their home country. These factors probably explain why most asylum applications in Japan are unconvincing and are rejected.

We should probably have a uniform global standard for the way we assess asylum claims so that it's not easier to apply in one country rather than another. Resettling refugees to a different country from that which they applied in would also stop refugees from being able to choose where they want to live. But I doubt Japan would sign up to a treaty like that.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

And then some people wonder why some of us are not very well disposed towards Japan. Quite simply it is parasitic on all humanitarian initiatives, taking much but contributing little, just like it is parasitic on world peace, the world market, the world's environment. Keeping its head down when any initiative is required and white-anting any global agreements until all you see is the basic outline but no enthusiastic good faith.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

@Moonraker

All very true, but Japan bankrolls alot of these humanitarian UN programs and the money usually shields them from criticism.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Japan, you should be ashamed of yourself.

-2 ( +12 / -14 )

"I imagine some of the posters from the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are ones saying don’t allow refugees in Japan"

Well, I'm from London and I also say:

DON'T DO IT JAPAIN!

-6 ( +11 / -17 )

Shouldn't we classify refugees between political and war refugees? People in mass fleeing a war zone is different from someone escaping North Korea. So if the Syrians had gone to Jordan to escape the war, then by definition, they would no longer be called refugees when trying to go to Germany.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Perhaps time to remember the ambassador to Lithuania during WW2 Chiune Sugihara. He requested a number of times to Tokyo to be allowed to issue visas for Jewish people to leave the country for China and Japan. Against orders he issued some 3500 transit visas. Even while waiting on the train to depart he issued visas from the train window. The Japanese government should hang its head in shame.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

Yes, let's remember Chiune Sugihara, and also never forget how shitty his own government treated him, on his return to Japan.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

"We will offer you a unique welcome. In Japanese, I can describe it in one unique word: 'omotenashi'. It means a spirit of selfless hospitality, one that dates back to our ancestors, yet is ingrained in Japan's ultra-modern culture. 'Omotenashi' explains why Japanese people take care of each other... and our guests... so well."

Sad part too is that the IOC bought it hook line and sinker. However the "hospitality" part only works as long it doesn't inconvenience the individual....then forget it.

Key word; as noted is "guests"....refugees aren't guests they become permanent, hence not allowed.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

That's right folks. Japan doesn't want the same fate as USA or EU. Where there immigrants, there is crime, chaos, and fear. Keep it up Japan!

-3 ( +12 / -15 )

That's right folks. Japan doesn't want the same fate as USA or EU. Where there immigrants, there is crime, chaos, and fear. Keep it up Japan!

Hardly....there are 60 MILLION refugees in the world as I write this here, there is no easy solution BUT only taking a handful a year if that is a slap in the face to all civilized societies. Japan should be shamed on the world stage for once again tossing money at the problem but being unwilling to do more.

It's willing to let it's citizens die in a foreign war, but does not give a shat about problems that may inconvenience them at home.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Adam ShrimptonSep. 15, 2015 - 03:46PM JST Shocking, Japan. Abysmally shocking, Japan. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You would have to live in Japan to understand why it would be extremely difficult for non speakers of the Japanese language to be able to assimilate in this country. Give it some time and you will see the troubles increase throughout Europe.

The most sensible thing is to free Syria from the terrorists so that people can return in safety. This means getting the western countries to stop interfering and destabilising Syria and other Arab countries.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Hold on!! It is Abe's policy to have an aggressive, offensive Amy causing refugees -- irony off

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

... foreigners so long as they are GUESTS.

Tell me about it. I've been a "guest" for over two decades now and don't see my status ever changing.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

As usual asian countries keep rejecting refugees

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japan announces changes to refugee system Do you think Japan has a system for refugees,? they do not have a refugees system at the first place, so what they are going to get tough on.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Tell me about it. I've been a "guest" for over two decades now and don't see my status ever changing.

Wow, who did you piss off? What country are you from?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

If the government represents the people and the Japanese people dont wan't something that is the peoples right and the governments obligation. As a permanent resident of Japan I respect the rights of the Japanese people to choose to accept or deny changes inorder to preserve its culture and beliefs. If other countries want to enter into a social experiment that is their right also. As for the people that are fleeing these places and their record of peace and harmony in other nations be it for economic or refuge there is evidence.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Allowing refugees into Japan will only dilute Japanese culture in all respects and create a situation where refugees get better social welfare than impecunious Japanese especially the homeless/ unemployed.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

The central question for the future is whether humans, globally, embrace an ethic of empathy and inclusivity, or one of fear and exclusivity. I understand that this is an enormous issue with lots of practical implications, lots of details to work out. But an attitude where one diminishes the life of another because of the that person's origin, race, ethnicity, or other uncontrollable circumstances is simply not constructive.

And compassion does not necessarily mean naivety.

If Japan is 'global' enough to host the Olympics, it should be capable of taking in more than 11 refugees in a year.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

The central question for the future is whether humans, globally, embrace an ethic of empathy and inclusivity, or one of fear and exclusivity.

By "humans" I'm guessing you mean governments because humans naturally do this. Governments are now just corporate entities trying to be or become powerful. There are exceptions to this of course and I would say New Zealand is one. Though reading about their Milk conglomerate and the TPP makes me wonder their direction as well.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

What I'm saying, Yubaru, is that I've been here most of my adult life, built a career, raised two outstanding children, and am active in my community, but I can imagine that if I keep this up for another couple of decades and die here, my obituary will read, "noted foreign guest passes." I'm under no illusions - and I'm here because I love the country. Imagine how it must be for those who come here by necessity.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Well, exonomically speaking , Japan is going down the toilet anyway. Even ask any Japanese national and they will freely admit that they expect the standard of living to get worse and worse. The refugees are better off in another country, hopefully one with some type of prosperous future. In the meantime, it is important for Japan to realize that when world powers scoff at the idea of Japan being a true global leader, and a country to be accepted as an equal among the great(er) world powers, it is because they don't fundamentally understand and believe in human rights and cooperstion. For Japan, any type of charitable donation or contribution is a quid pro quo, and membership payment to play pretend with the big boys who put their money (actions) where the mouth is.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Further to the story of Chiune Sugihara is the Chinese consul general in Berlin Ho Feng Shan. After 1938 many counties would not accept Jewish refugees but against orders he issued some 1200 visa to allow the refugees to leave Germany for China. Like Chiune Sugihara, Ho Feng Shan act of humanity was not recognized. Even though ‘the bell tolls for thee’ the world cannot hear it.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The concepts of omotenashi run up against those of soto and uchi Guess which one wins out?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

to some of the glib expats here who got your own priviledge, but Dont want to see less well off foreigners in this pure land. Just wait next this government will go after cultural refugees like you...

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Come on Japan Today, it's one thing to be biased and another thing to file erroneous reports. The new system is meant to streamline the process as a whole by removing applicants who have little or no chance of receiving asylum. Furthermore, it provides for humanitarian protection (I believe you mentioned this, albeit briefly). Please, if you want real news, consider Japan Today a good introduction to whatever topic you are reading about, but please always question what you read (not just here but any news site, for that matter).

http://atimes.com/2015/09/japan-unveils-eased-refugee-recognition-criteria-but-critics-quick-to-cry-foul/

5 ( +6 / -1 )

this is completely false. the new legislation is aimed at those trying to abuse the system by repeatedly submitting an application. while their applications were being reviewed, which took about six months, they were allowed to work. if they were rejected, they would submit a new application and continue working. the legislation will remove this loophole.

nakanoguy01 -- thank you. You expressed better than I possibly could why Japan simply does not get it, and never will. I mean my god, Japan has every right to be upset when people might have actually come all the way there, and it actually took "about six months" to review their application, -- six months -- and, to make things even worse "they were allowed to work". How can anyone say Japan is not a compassionate country? Makes me sick.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The next time Japan needs help, the world should just ignore Japan.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

What I'm saying, Yubaru, is that I've been here most of my adult life, built a career, raised two outstanding children, and am active in my community, but I can imagine that if I keep this up for another couple of decades and die here, my obituary will read, "noted foreign guest passes.

Fair enough, but what about taking citizenship?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

"Even ask any Japanese national and they will freely admit that they expect the standard of living to get worse and worse."

Despite the fact it's actually gotten better? I first stepped foot in Japan in 1986. Just about everything is way better now. Tokyo was a grimy place with brown-tinted air, where most people lived in drab "rabbit hutches." Pushers were needed on the inadequate train services.

Housing, infrastructure and food have increased dramatically since. And yet during this period that saw vast improvements, the pundits were all saying things were getting worse. Yeah, right. They were wrong then, and they are wrong now.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Wise decision. I'm glad Japan has politicians who think what's best for the nation. Large-scale immigration would irreversibly change Japan. During the history, Japan has hugely benefited from small-scale immigration of highly skilled labor (e.g. during Meiji Restauration), but large-scale immigration from unstable countries that are not exactly known for their high level of education could be catastrophic for a harmony-aspiring nation such as Japan.

I think most people would call that kind of thinking highly xenophobic. Being careful and cautious is one thing and they should, but this is sadly pathetic.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

WELL DONE JAPAN!!

If only other countries had balls like you

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Every Japanese owes their life to the forgiveness and generosity of America. Every Japanese owes his or her livelihood to W. Edward Deming who reformed Japanese industry into the global powerhouse it is today. We foreigners built the Constitution and the economy. But god forbid we help out a few starving and near death foreigners because "that would change Japan". Ridiculous! Japanese is already the 51st state, thoroughly changed.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

They learned from the mistakes of the European countries with their lax immigration policies.

and they only learned the negative ones, not the positive. ever wonder what makes those countries (europe, america, etc) strong and vibrant? it is not because of their money or military hardware, it is their belief in human values that really keep their democracy working, although a bit messy, but that is the strong, not the weak point of democracy.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@fokoro: When Yosuke Matsuoka, Father-in-law of Abe;s grand uncle was in China, Hitler asked to execute all Jews in China, (Hitler, Mussolini and he created SanGoku Doumei Triad coalition) he replied There is no Jews in China in English as he was fluent in English. He was in charge of China, He ordered Japanese Embassy in China to send them to all these YudayaJin to Japan. And he invited Christian priests from Japan to move to Manchuria (Japan began hunting Christian Churches) No visas, Japanese language of Jews is YudayaJin. Japan had to welcome Jews as Japanese people that time believed Jews are advanced race. They were not refugees. They were guests. Time was when Japanese were not eating meat especially no pork.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@JeffLee Isn't the population higher in Tokyo than in1985 and aren't the trains still packed? The air might be less polluted by diesel but the number of Japanese on welfare is far higher! People have less money as land has lost value and loans are harder to come by. Japanese corporations just get by on wafer thin profits and their staff haven't seen any rise in wages since 1991. 80 trillion yen a year is feeding corporate Japan and being used for foreign acquisitions bypassing the Japanese worker Things are better?

I don't think so......

1 ( +2 / -1 )

In Holland, one cartoonist was stabbed to be dead by his art of humor. In France, there was body bags for Jeisuit Charlie gun shots. One Christian man was murdered during his trip to Hungary to Austria by asylum seeker.In US, Boston bombers were former refugees. In London, one British solider was butchered on the street during daylight. In Australia, there were hostage crisis and rape cases among humanitarian immigrants. Those ungrateful immigrants repaid their gratitude with violent crimes to their host nations.

Many apologists of economic migrants or potential terrorists should realize that not all asylum seekers are real refugees. Some are Trojan horses which will rape, behead and bomb the host city of Troy.

Japan is so fortunate for accepting low volume of refugees for not sharing the cruel fate like them. Japan will not sacrifice the freedom of expression for political correctness and cultural sensitivity.

Less is always better than more for safety, law and order and national identity.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Fair enough, but what about taking citizenship?

Fine legalities would never eclipse my pallor and profile, and I am not the type to take a Sisyphean position. 無理なことは無理, as my wife never forgets to remind me - and, "Nobody ever said that life was fair," as my step-father had oft reminded me years before. This is not and will never be a country that easily welcomes non-Japanese. Argue about its merits and demerits until you're blue in the face, but it will never change, for better or worse.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

plasticmonkeySep. 15, 2015 - 07:50PM JST

The central question for the future is whether humans, globally, embrace an ethic of empathy and inclusivity, or one of fear and exclusivity. I understand that this is an enormous issue with lots of practical implications, lots of details to work out. But an attitude where one diminishes the life of another because of the that person's origin, race, ethnicity, or other uncontrollable circumstances is simply not constructive.

And compassion does not necessarily mean naivety.

If Japan is 'global' enough to host the Olympics, it should be capable of taking in more than 11 refugees in a year.

I totally concur with plasticmonkey's comments here. Well said....my heart aches for Japan sometimes......Japan just doesn't know what it doesn't know........ Fear of the unknown..........so sad....Japan is capable of doing so much better globally in so many areas .......

4 ( +6 / -2 )

This is the typical Japanese response to the international community calling to obey the international laws of asylum/refugees, in response they are going to expel rather than accept refugees.

The justice ministry took another controversial step according to the new system, they are going to bring more trainees in order to complete the work for Olympics. Despite the opposition of the world community and the criticism/outcry of the all the human rights organizations, many call it the modern day slaves but japanese officials do not care. imagine a trainee from a poor country will work for five year either in a ricefield or dragging heavy metals under abusive voice of his boss, he must learn japanese in these five years and should leave japan for his home country for ever, is it training or rude exploitation.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

thanks to this law. keep japan safe and sound!!!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

It ts not true entire Japanese loves not to have any immigrant to Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

countries such as Japan accepting these refugees, many of whom are simply economic migrants, will never solve the problem that has led to this catastrophe, which is religious fundamentalism. by allowing boatloads of these people into japan, who will never integrate into the local population and exist purely off the taxpayers dollar, the government will be shooting itself a massive hole in the foot, as the germans will learn down the path. not to mention a future generation of disaffected young men who will become prey for the perverted fundamentalists that spout their absurd rhetoric and brainwash the future of humanity. Governments like Japan's are simply trying to protect their citizens from this scourge which is their job. their job is not to try and clean up the mess that religion has caused in other societies.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I think there is a good possibility many of the applications for refugee status in Japan are not genuine - no refugee in their right mind would want to come here given the attitude here is clearly unfriendly towards non-white foreigners and treats asylum seekers as prisoners. It's a great place to come if your white and educated, otherwise go to kinder more welcoming and more developed nations like NZ, Australia and Canada.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

If Japan is 'global' enough to host the Olympics, it should be capable of taking in more than 11 refugees in a year.

The Olympics have nothing to do with taking refugees. Taking refugees won't solve their problems. The refugees should sacrifice their lives fighting for their country for the future generations. Attempt coup d'etat.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Good. This 'loophole' needed to be closed for the majority of the 'seekers' were taking advantage of the six months application review process in which they are able to get work permits.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

This will only give ammunition to those who are already claiming "for Japanese, a good refugee, is a refugee that stays in his country"

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I don't understand why so many people expect Japan to take in people from other countries if they don't want to. It's their country and if they want it to remain Japan for Japanese only that's their business. I wish the USA had stricter immigration laws. It's not that I don't sympathize with people from war torn countries, I just think instead of running away from the problems in their country they should fight to change it.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I don't understand why so many people expect Japan to take in people from other countries

Maybe because Japan signed the 1951 treaty conventions on refugees on 1981 and then should abide to the convention which as perfect defined rules.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Maybe because Japan signed the 1951 treaty conventions on refugees on 1981 and then should abide to the convention which as perfect defined rules.

"..Persons compelled to leave their country of origin as a result of international or national armed conflicts are not normally considered refugees under the 1951 Convention or 1967 Protocol.."

http://www.unhcr.org/3d58e13b4.html

11 ( +12 / -1 )

If Japan is 'global' enough to host the Olympics, it should be capable of taking in more than 11 refugees in a year.

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Can't do. Immifration is handled by different branch of Govt. FYI There is somethng you don't know about Japan. Budget and Japan is not governed by dictatorship.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The last time Japan opened its doors to refugees was probably around 300 b.c, when the Yayoi people (who were likely fleeing civil war and crop failure in China and Korea) came over and completely overran the country. We are still planting the exotic rice crops they brought with them and their foreign wheel technology (now used in cars) has become the cornerstone of the economy. I guess refugees aren't always bad for Japan are they?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Lets just keep up the vigilance & keep out the spongers!Why else would all of these people want to get to the U.K.? The # 1 reason for the situation in Calais is the tunnel to England , Land of "The DOLE!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Leave it to Japan -- a nation with an serious aging population problem, I might add -- to not only NOT accept more refugees despite the worsening crises in Syria and Myanmar, but to make it HARDER for them to enter. SHAME ON JAPAN!! When the time comes for people to seek shelter because of a major crisis or crises here, and with all the earthquakes, floods, volcanoes, nuclear power plant disasters, and other things that are on the INCREASE almost daily (save for the ongoing nuclear crisis just being as it always is), Japan better hope other nations don't treat it the same way it's spitting on those in need now.

Does it enter your mind why despite all of this, Japanese residents stay put (except for Flyjins)? It's the same reason why these so-called asylum seekers want to immigrate here as well as those Hateimus Japanicus who go far as to bring a foreign spouse here.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Mr. prime minister, I'll believe it when it happens. The government has to talk the talk and walk the walk.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The problem with large quantities of refugees is that they frequently do not wish to adopt the rules and governance of their new country nor contribute to its overall welfare. The question of evaluating what the contribution of the Syrian refugees might be is properly with the Japanese. At the moment, they consider it negative. Perhaps that can change in time. The bottom line is that the Islamic world should take Islamic refugees. It just makes the best sense.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

What is is happening now in Europe is an invasion and if history is any guide ("reconquista") they will eventually expel these Muslim foreigners. The followers of Mohammed have always offered "infidels" (that's everyone but them) three choices -- conversion, the sword, or tribute ("my way or the highway.") They worship a violent, immoral man who had 16 wives (plus many concubines), the youngest of whom (Ayesha) was 9 years old. Europe is setting up future generations for profound cultural shock and horrific violence. The USA, by killing Saddam Hussein and destabilizing Bashar Al-Assad, is directly responsible for the current Middle East violence. Japan will be an island of tranquility in a future world of chaos.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"We will offer you a unique welcome. In Japanese, I can describe it in one unique word: 'omotenashi'. It means a spirit of selfless hospitality, one that dates back to our ancestors, yet is ingrained in Japan's ultra-modern culture. 'Omotenashi' explains why Japanese people take care of each other... and our guests... so well."

You know full well that there's two sides to 'omotenashi'...there's the outer you (kind, respectful, open to strangers) and there is the inner you (gaijin are inferior, wish they would go back where they came from). Unfortunately, Japanese people never talk about the latter to anyone but other Japanese.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@Toshiko

Thank you, I'll have to read what the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki have to say about it. Kikkoman has a good summary about the introduction of wet-rice cultivation to Japan from China. There's also an interesting paper by Hiroto Takamiya on the topic.

http://www.kikkoman.com/foodforum/thejapanesetablebackissues/19.shtml

http://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10125/17154

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@M3M3M3: It is true Japanese people are mixture of immigrant from China and Korea. Southern Japan, there are old buried site of immigrated people/s burial site called Kofun where ancient Chinese or Korean potteries and other things were found. Most Japanese culture is mixture of Chinese and Korean nurtured to be Japanese culture. Example is Shinto and Buddhism. Also flower arrangement and tea ceremony. Kanji. From Kanji, Japanese created hiragana then to katakana. There are scholars who wrote Emperor's ancestor Amaterasu came from China to Kyushu. Even current Emperor mentioned he has Korean ancestor and caused turmoil last year. Do you notice Japanese, Korean and Chinese have same kind of nose, mouth, eyes, and face shape? I am old and my time, we could openly said we are same Mongorian race. I still believe mixing with none related race is better than mixing like almost incest. Cousins marry cousins, I used to define incest.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If Japanese government wants to make the smart move, they should not take any refugees in. These people are the cause of their own problem. It isnt like a few psychos are being mean and people are fleeing. The people fleeing are part of the same culture which creates these animals. No man starts out as a baby with desires for rape and killing and no man just one say goes from completely nice and peaceful to animal rape slavers overnight. It takes a culture to create it. These refugees should go back to Syria and kill off the problem they are a part of.

Japan is one of the few countries which has never had to deal with this specific problem, they should not invite it in. These people are not refugees, they are dangerous.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

@toshiko

It is true Japanese people are mixture of immigrant from China and Korea.

Yes, this is very true. Japan is very genetically diverse compared to countries like Korea and China and it's good that even the Emperor has acknowledged his Korean roots. Unfortunately I still have some Japanese people try to tell me that Japan is genetically homogeneous and 'pure' and that's why we can't let in too migrants, even Koreans and Chinese. It seems like such a taboo subject so even people who are aware of this don't share the knowledge.

I am old and my time, we could openly said we are same Mongorian race.

That's interesting. I wonder why things have changed over the years.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I see a lot of 'liberal progressives' giving many the 'thumbs down'. These people obviously live in a very, safe secure bubbled wrapped environment and have yet to live with 'refugees'. Just look at Western Europe, what were once great Nations of mainly Caucasians, are swiftly falling into anarchy as growing zones of 'outsiders' swell. Those 'no-go' zones do exist in every one of those Nations as mostly 'Muslims' are bringing chaos to what was once order. In the United States, the same thing is happening among 'our own melting pot' of diversity, which is breaking down into cultures of skin color, race, and religion. Borders, language, culture bind a Nation together, without those three, you have chaos. Look at any Nation that has suffered 'civil war', Sudan, Libya, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon,'Yugoslavia', diversity is often a dream of progressives, but a nightmare of reality to everyone else. If Japan starts bringing in refugees, especially Muslims, it's a cancer that will kill Japan's 3000 years of uniqueness. There are 'zones' in Tokyo where many Indians and Pakistani's live-work, and they do not want to go back. Europeans and Japanese worked hard after World War Two and built great Nations, now the people from other Nations, unwilling to do those sacrifices which it takes to build a Nation, pour into developed Nations and demand and take, and take, and take, without every truly giving back. For those who desire 'refugees' come into Japan, open up your home to them, and do not let them become your neighbors problem, otherwise, you're just a hypocrite.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Good on you Japan do not accept any un document people..its will affect this country send them back to their country..SO they solve their own problem with their Prime Minister etc..! First of all asylum seekers must love their mother country no matter what..send them back !!

1 ( +6 / -5 )

This is not and will never be a country that easily welcomes non-Japanese

True, I guess I am not out to change the world. I only care about my little corner, and I rather like having the ability to vote in elections (seeing as how I pay a crap-load of taxes). I am not blind either that I will always be seen as a foreigner, and I really dont care, because the people who view me that way, dont know me. The folks that know me, they know my intentions and my place of birth and they accept me as being an equal, as a fellow human-being.

I do like the looks on the faces of the immigration folks when I go through the Japanese lines at the airport!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Good for Japan. Don't need the social welfare drain they bring. Let them stay where they are and fight to make their countries better instead of tucking tail and running.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

This is a response to those who were abusing the system. Just because your own country is a dump and you prefer to live somewhere else doesn't make you a refugee. The UN and other unelected organisations seem to want unrestricted movement of people around the world and insist that anyone who is impeded is a refugee who is being treated unfairly.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

An example every self-respecting country should imitate.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Was this law necessary ? 11 people per year ? What's next ? zero ? Japan will never open the gate of immigration, we all know that. To justify such "no refugees" policy, they argue they pay 200 million dollars to the UN (with our money!) according to the Guardian. Do you really think 11 people from all over the world on a population of 126 millions people, is this gonna destroy Japan ? Even 100 on 10 years ? This is completely crazy! You should feel ashamed by such congratulations without having dignity for other humans. If they were Asians, rich to buy house and to consume in Japan, surely you will see them different and law would not be so tough...

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

From a historical point of view, the USA did not help rebuild Japan after the war. It had a notably 'hands off' policy', and the constitution was mainly written by Japanese - with an accidental input by by Beate.

Just why Japan has to be grateful for having every city firebombed to the ground and two nuked, or how this equates to generosity, I have no idea.

Can we have stricter immigration laws to restrict those with such views?

@Johninjapan

Every Japanese owes their life to the forgiveness and generosity of America. Every Japanese owes his or her livelihood to W. Edward Deming who reformed Japanese industry into the global powerhouse it is today. We foreigners built the Constitution and the economy. But god forbid we help out a few starving and near death foreigners because "that would change Japan". Ridiculous! Japanese is already the 51st state, thoroughly changed.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Way to go Japan. Can I suggest, two important protocol before allowing entree to refugees of islamic faith. That is they undertake birth while they in Japan under the temporary visas. So birth control and Temporary Visas should be a must.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I say kudos to Japan. PCBS aside, everyone knows that the refugees will degrade any country they land on. Japan is a land of Kagoshima kurobuta pork, sake, good beer, and the world's most beautiful women. Japan doesn't need people causing trouble at the restaurants about what they cannot eat, harassing residents for carrying alcohol in their shopping bags, and harping on women about the shortness of their skirts like they do in Europe. You all don't have the guts to say it so I will. It's true and you know it!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

In Holland, one cartoonist was stabbed to be dead by his art of humor. In France, there was body bags for Jeisuit Charlie gun shots. One Christian man was murdered during his trip to Hungary to Austria by asylum seeker.In US, Boston bombers were former refugees. In London, one British solider was butchered on the street during daylight. In Australia, there were hostage crisis and rape cases among humanitarian immigrants.

@Nathaw In Holland, hundreds of people have been killed by other Dutch. In France a three year old was killed by his French parents who put him a washing machine. Several Christian men have been murdered by their Christian wives in their very own home. Timothy McVeigh, Kevin Harpham and the members of the Weatherman Underground were bombers or attempted bombers and were never refugees. In Plaistow a teenager was attacked with a machete in broad daylight. In Australia, a man escaped from a Perth psychiatric hostel and got some explosives and took a hostage.

Nobody is saying all refugees are saints. But neither are all citizens.

We complain about us non-Japanese being singled out for crime. Lets not be complete hypocrites.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Temporary asylum visas, mandatory photographing, fingerprinting and complete background checks and limit their stay unless they get a permanent job, learn the language, take and pass the tests for language, cultural knowledge, pass the Japanese requirements for a high school diploma and become a Japanese citizen. No anchor babies and swift deportation back to wherever they came from if involved in any criminal activities during the temporary asylum status period.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan is quite properly looking after its national interest. Fortunately, it has always refused to be swayed by the mostly western siren call to open its doors to every economic chancer. The appalling situation unfolding in Europe confirms the wisdom of Japan's policy. What's more, whinging gaijins on this site aside, most people abroad now agree.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I'm not defending the stance, but I would point out Japan effectively accepts far more than 11 refugees a year, because while it doesn't give many people full refugee status it does give special residency permits to more than half of the people that apply which does allow them to stay in Japan and make some kind of a life here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The Japan that so many expats love are mainly a result of the closed nature of Japanese society. if not so, every town in this country would have become a coca-cola hollywood city long ago. So there is a downside to openness. Have we considered that?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I had a long and in-depth conversation yesterday about with some very old friends of mine who are originally from Liverpool but have resided in Australia for 40 odd years. Worldly, moderate, honest folk. One of their daughters has lived in Germany for the last 10 years. And I'll try to keep this as objective as I can. They talked about their experience of returning to the UK and how they have at times been in the cultural minority in parts of their home country - not because of skin colour, but because whole sections of communities are transplanted in without any assimilation to British culture, values, beliefs and where language, religion, values and behaviour are entirely and deliberately kept foreign. The lady talked about being threatened by gangs of youths from some of these cultural groups. Returning to England now they feel it truly bares little resemblance to their homeland and faces a mass of problems based around immigration policies of the last 40 years.

We then talked about Australia in the same context - a country built ENTIRELY on immigration save the Indigenous, and we talked about different phases of Australian immigration and groups of immigrants within that process. For example, the Vietnamese/ Cambodian community, initially faced massive racism and difficulty but have become an integral part of the Australian cultural fabric and social landscape because they have worked hard to adopt the values and identity of their new country and are moderate people. Australia has taken a lot of Middle Eastern immigrants and are generally happy to do so providing they subscribe to the values, beliefs and ideals of the destination country. And I think they do for the most part, but it's not without it's problems.

But I'm not sure Japan is the same scenario historically and socially and I think it has every right to resist this kind of immigration. It's a difficult fit. Some of the precedential experiments don't seem to going so well. And lets be honest, it's not on it's own in this respect. Middle Eastern countries - もしもし!?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Smart move. At least one country still has some sense.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I really wanna comment on the negativity with respect to insinuating xenophobia. First, imagine you and your spouse live forever in Japan; you meet somewhere else and settle here. Juxtapose that with mixed nationality couples ( i insist here to mean one Japanese national and you some other...). So, without arguing the point or presenting details from my imagination, it is safe to say that ethnicity is important over here more so than other g7 countries with huge and historic immigration... If you feel rejected and living in social isolation, try to believe that most Japanese eventually reach that same point regardless of family and peer identity...it may actually be the case for many, i would argue...so long term resident foreigners are acutely aware of their own otherness and move to project that as 'you outsider' mentality on the locals around them...one saving grace is the never ending capacity to startle people around town when they see what is for them a strangely looking human being...i only worry some day a poor old lady will get a heart attack, of course, but at the same time, i'm amazed at the sheer power of my presence (on occasion!...)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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