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Japan, wary of outsiders, keeps doors closed to refugees

71 Comments
By ELAINE KURTENBACH and MARI YAMAGUCHI

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71 Comments
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This is always a lively debate. Let's do it again. I say, yes, Japan should take a few. But that will be too nuanced for some who will say we will be overrun by foreigners, even though they too are foreigners.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

You can't buy your way out of shame, Japan. Start acting like the global citizen you claim to be. If refugees feel they're up to the challenge, why can't the country be up to the same challenge? Japan's homogenous society is fated to wither away and die, just like it's senior citizen majority. Sooner or later, reality will kick in, and I hope it is sooner than later, for later will be too late.

-10 ( +10 / -20 )

@TrevorPeace,

Japan's homogenous society is fated to wither away and die, just like it's senior citizen majority.

I wouldn't be so sure of this. Well, that is, if you are implying that Japan will be forced to allow more immigration, other than those that come on non-permanent visas. Remember, this is the country that shut itself off from the outside for more than 200 years.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

In the past, Japan in some instances has allowed in refugees. During World War II, Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat stationed in Lithuania, granted transit visas to thousands of Jews, defying requirements that they have proper funds and a clear final destination after Japan. Another official, Tatsuo Osako of the Japan Tourism Bureau’s office in the port of Tsuruga, helped many Jews and Europeans who arrived to stay on.

So? How does this matter today? Plus I would love to hear from the descendants of these refugees how their lives were here in Japan growing up in the society after WWII? Are they even still here?

And in the 1980s, Japan resettled more than 10,000 Indochinese refugees, mostly Vietnamese boat people.

Same question, helped to resettle, are they still in Japan, or were they resettled somewhere else?

Helping to resettle these refugees would be great, if they would just allow them to come, and help them get resettled possibly within Japan or another third country.

Japan could become a transit country for these refugees. Japan has a hard time taking care of it's own, kind of hard to expect them to help others.

this is the country that shut itself off from the outside for more than 200 years.

TOTALLY different era, and I dont see why it matters today? Why is it that people use fairly "ancient" history to prop up their arguments about how Japan is today?

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Good. Look at the state of western Europe! Look and learn, Japan!

9 ( +22 / -13 )

It's the wolves inside dressed in sheep's and cows clothing that are always the greatest threat. Don't all the owners of economic and political capital love to dress in wool and leather?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Now, instead of studying for a law degree, Mohammed is working as a fitness instructor in Tokyo

This is a bit of a red flag. Unless he came to Japan on some other status of residence which allowed him to work and which hasn't expired yet, he is not legally allowed to work until his application for refugee status has been approved. There is a modest amount of financial assistance for those who don't have the means to support themselves while they wait. It's not alot but the idea is that it's a good way to seperate genuine refugees who will obey the law of the host country from economic migrants will start looking for work immediately. Is that fair? Maybe, maybe not.

France actually has an even stricter system where asylum seekers are neither allowed to work or access welfare benefits until their applications are approved (although the wait time is alot shorter than Japan). Most non-French speaking asylum seekers now avoid France like the plague.

I think part of the problem is that we live in a much more global society with easier travel and instant communication but each country is still setting its own arbitrary refugee recognition criteria. Asylum seekers can check their twitter feed and see which countries are offering what benefits, what jobs are available, what to say to immigration officials to get applications approved, etc. We need to overhaul the entire system globally.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@Yubaru,

TOTALLY different era, and I dont see why it matters today? Why is it that people use fairly "ancient" history to prop up their arguments about how Japan is today?

Yes, it was a totally different era, but it still matters today. Why? Because, at its heart, Japan is not a country built on immigration. So, while it may import ideas, technology, etc. and even allow a number of foreigners in on a "temporary" basis, the idea of allowing a large number of immigrants in on a permanent basis is unsettling for many. And that is because it would be viewed as changing the nature of Japan. At least, that is how I think many would feel.

I was merely trying to highlight what I believe would be the inherent resistance to what I believed @TrevorPeace was suggesting.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

130 officers - even if they processed just one person per week, that gives a potential of more than 6,200 people, allowing for days off and holidays. No need for these long delays while approval is pending.

I guess that they have a massive 'ring-sho' system of paperwork, and every officer has to sign off on every applicant, making no-one person responsible.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan pays to assist genuine refugees who have been displaced to countries surrounding Syria. This is far more cost-efficient than moving those people to Japan and supporting them here. There is no reason for "refugees" to travel all the way from Syria to Japan.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

"helped to resettle, are they still in Japan"

Indeed, I knew a Vietnamese guy who was resettled in Osaka back then. It didn't last long. He got himself off to Texas, land of the free, as quick as he could. Now he's a chemical engineer and sits on the board of five companies.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

A small number is fine, but seriously, the cultural differences have to be taken seriously. Virtually everything in Japan is haram, from nearly all the food, to the drinking, the sexual mores, the easy mixing of genders, to the secular nature of Japanese society. I do not think the Japanese should be forced to change their culture to accommodate people from an utterly different culture while there are tons of other Muslim countries that would be far more welcoming. I'm fine with my tax money (and yes, I pay taxes here) being sent to help them resettle where they can be happy and fit in.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

The problem isn't refugees, its the people who made them refugees in the first place. So a big fail on the nations who are purporting to work these problems out, or well done if they wanted the instability in the first place.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

jansob1DEC. 29, 2015 - 11:11AM JST A small number is fine, but seriously, the cultural differences have to be taken seriously. Virtually everything in Japan is haram, from nearly all the food, to the drinking, the sexual mores, the easy mixing of genders, to the secular nature of Japanese society. I do not think the Japanese should be forced to change their culture to accommodate people from an utterly different culture while there are tons of other Muslim countries that would be far more welcoming.

There are already a number of practicing Muslims living in Japan and like practicing Muslims living in secular countries around the world, they get along just fine. So the idea that "virtually everything in Japan is haram" is simply untrue.

But more to the point, not a single person in this thread or in this argument has asked Japanese people to change their culture to accommodate people from other cultures. All anyone is asking for is the chance for refugees facing genuine threats in their own countries to adapt themselves to life in Japan. It's funny how that is so threatening to the western, mostly white immigrants to Japan. Especially when at least for those of us in the EFL Education and corporate leadership fields, our express purpose for being in Japan in the first place is to force Japanese culture to adapt to accommodate our own cultures.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Do you have a skill to offer the Japanese Economy? Can you communicate in Japanese or are you willing to take intensive lessons to get there in a short period of time? Do you have enough savings to not be a burden on the Japanese government?

If you can answer yes to 2 of those 3 questions, then take their application seriously. The declining birthrate shouldn't be the reason you let in tons of people who have no clue about Japanese language, society, lifestyle, and have nothing to immediately offer the economy. Why should Japan go out of their way to further weaken an already crippled economy?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Out of the 7,533 people who applied for refugee status in 2014, or appealed earlier refusals, only 11 were approved.

Defines the term "disgraceful". Japan can hide behind its langauge and cultural barriers all it wants, and the rest of the world will galdly watch as it fades even further into irrelevancy. Remember two sayings all you Japanophiles: "Be careful what you wish for", and, "We have seen the enemy, and it is us."

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Because, at its heart, Japan is not a country built on immigration.

Fair enough, but throughout the world how many countries ARE built on immigration really?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

In my view Japan is taking the correct approach to this problem. Most of these people are not refugees, they are clearly economic migrants trying to jump the que for a quick entry into an economically stable, prosperous country. Syria is a long way from Japan, so too is Iraq, Afganistan, Pakistan etc. So why do these so called refugees travel so far from the nearest safe country to escape from a war zone or area of conflict and then if they are in fear of their life from the home they supposedly are escaping persecution, why and how do they return a few years later after gaining permanent residence .....this situation has spread across Europe, America, Australasia and mos t western countries. One only has to look at the chronic situation in France, Belgium, Netherlands and the U.K. to identify that they have nothing in common with the country they enter and have no intention of assimilating, then in Japan there is the cultural difficulties which even for those with knowledge and understanding of Japanese ways find it extremely difficult .....stick to your Policy Japan. Japan has many internal problems with homeless and jobless (far higher than the official 3.5%) it should focus on its own people first not import more problems.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

@jansob1

Most Muslims do not subscribe to the strict interpretation of Islam that Saudi Arabia and a few others practice.

I lived in a Muslim countries for a few years, and men, women, Muslims and non Muslims co-mingle freely. Women work, travel and drive cars independently. Non Muslims are free to drink alcohol and eat pork and other haram food without fear of reprisal.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Most of these people are not refugees, they are clearly economic migrants trying to jump the que for a quick entry into an economically stable, prosperous country.

Huh? I thought we'd seen the death of this lie. I guess not.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

The issue with low refugee numbers in Japan is almost entirely a question of geography. Unless you've sailed directly to Japan by boat, odds are that you must have passed through at least one other safe country where you could have lodged an asylum application. There are no direct flights to Japan from Syria, Afghanistan or any other warzone. If they are boarding a Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul to Tokyo they need a convincing explanation for why they haven't applied for asylum in Turkey to overcome the assumption that they are simply economic migrants. People tend to forget that the legal burden rests on the asylum seeker to prove that they are a genuine refugee, not on the host country to prove that they are not.

If North Korea ever decends into civil war and refugees start setting sail to Japan in boats, you might actually see Japan taking in thousands of genuine refugees.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I read a story in this page this morning about the decline of population in cities that were worst hit by the Tsunami. The story claimed that many of the victims are STILL living in temporary housing.

If Japan can't properly take care of their own, they probably shouldn't be bringing in thousands of refugees.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Besides the fact that they already passed through at least one country before arriving in Japan (or Germany to which many are aiming) and thus voiding the legitimacy of their refugee claim and becoming job seekers there is another issue here. These people will not be going back home, Syria is going to take decades to rebuild itself and by the time these people can return home they will say "oh but we have lives here now and families who we can't take back, they are now wholey Japanese" (or German as the case may be). This massive influx of people in Europe has not created a wave of refugees but of de-facto residents in the refugees themselves and quite possibly de-jura citizens in the form of coming generations. These people do not share the same culture and will seek to change, they are trying this in France and in Sweden it has come to the point where members of the Swedish armed forces are not allowed to be in uniform on the streets during the Swedish National Day events for fear that "they might offened the 'New Swedes'".

Japan is better off keeping them out.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

These people do not share the same culture and will seek to change, they are trying this in France

The French have never properly integrated them, and then wonder why they are not integrated. It has to be a two-way street.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

I only have one question to ask:

What good can we expect from people who could NOT live with each other?

Seriously they turn against each other because the neighbor in Shia or Christian or even worst atheist. What good can we expect from such people?

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Shame on Japan! No wonder it's leading the rear in terms of human rights.

-13 ( +5 / -18 )

What good can we expect from people who could NOT live with each other?

The refugees are not the ones who couldn't live with each other, the fighters are. You seem to be mixing up the two groups.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

There are already a number of practicing Muslims living in Japan and like practicing Muslims living in secular countries around the world, they get along just fine. So the idea that "virtually everything in Japan is haram" is simply untrue.

Sure, Indonesian and other moderate Muslims have little problem adjusting.They are from a culture that is diverse and tolerant, but we are talking now about people from an area where the stricter forms are the norm, and where there are few non-Muslims. I've lived among loads of Muslims in the US, and people from the Middle East (Syria, Iraq, Gulf States, Egypt, Jordan) are a whole different population than those from Indonesia or Malaysia, and are a lot less willing to adapt. Also the handfull of Muslims I have known here (Pakistani and Egyptian) were not here permanently...most saw it as a "work and get out" destination....and the culture was a big factor in their not wanting to stay.

But more to the point, not a single person in this thread or in this argument has asked Japanese people to change their culture to accommodate people from other cultures. All anyone is asking for is the chance for refugees facing genuine threats in their own countries to adapt themselves to life in Japan.

The larger the population, the more they will demand special treatment and exceptions. I've seen it happen in my own neighborhood back in the US. Besides, it seems that a lot of these people are actually leaving areas where they are safe (Turkey, esp.), not combat zones. They would be moving for economic reasons (into a dying economy for which they have neither the job or language skills). Again, why won't other Muslim countries take them permanently? That question never seems to be taken seriously.

It's funny how that is so threatening to the western, mostly white immigrants to Japan.

It's funny how you assume to know my race and reasons for my opposition.

Especially when at least for those of us in the EFL Education and corporate leadership fields, our express purpose for being in Japan in the first place is to force Japanese culture to adapt to accommodate our own cultures.

Wow, speak for yourself, Commodore Perry. If your express purpose is to force people to accommodate your culture you have little in common with me or most of the foreigners I know.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Just goes to show that Japan is smarter than many other countries. Muslims, refugees or otherwise, will never adapt and integrate into the culture of any other country, they want others to adopt and adapt to their culture. Countries that accept a large amount of "refugees" are headed for nothing but trouble.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Muslims, refugees or otherwise, will never adapt and integrate into the culture of any other country

1.5 billion Muslims, and you make a blanket statement that you inaccurately believe covers them all.

I've known a number of Muslims in my life, most in non-Muslim countries, and they have adopted and integrated just fine.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

" . . . the government has so far resisted calls to open the door wider, for both humanitarian and economic reasons."

Perhaps Japan also equates some (not all) Muslims with violence and believes that the more Muslims you allow in the greater the potential risk for terrorism you have. It's already been witnessed by everybody time and time again in NYC, London, Madrid, Paris, Bali etc., etc.

"Limited public support for allowing in more displaced people weakened after the November attacks in Paris . . ."

Of course it did! The threat of violence and terrorism is probably what makes more Japanese cringe about opening the door wider for thousands of displaced Muslims than protecting their so-called unique cultural identity.

Japan hasn't experienced any of the same violent acts of terrorism as the USA, the UK, France and Spain have . . . yet. Maybe this is what the Japanese are most afraid of. They simply don't want to join this sad list of victims, and who could really blame them for their hesistancy and concern about opening its doors to thousands of Muslims.

There are other things which should be done first, such as keeping the Muslims closer to home by establishing safe havens within Syria itself and the Middle East or demanding the other Middle East countries to demonstrate their humanity to do more by helping their fellow Muslim brothers and sisters. At the moment, most of these Middle East countries act and behave as though they're more afraid of their own kind than we are.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Good. No need to appease the very nations that created this mess. Let the Turks, Egyptians, Saudis and Iranians care for their own.

13 ( +15 / -3 )

There are other things which should be done first, such as keeping the Muslims closer to home by establishing safe havens within Syria itself and the Middle East or demanding the other Middle East countries to demonstrate their humanity to do more by helping their fellow Muslim brothers and sisters.

Exactly....other Muslim countries could certainly take them in, but won't because of tribal/class issues.....I heard a Qatari minister saying they would not fit in or feel welcome because they are poor and most Qataris are wealthy. If that can be an excuse for other Muslims not to take them, then why not "Japan has a different culture/different religious background/different language/weak economy"? Surely they would have a better chance at working and adapting and thriving in a Muslim country.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

There are already a number of practicing Muslims living in Japan

There have been Muslim's in Japan for well over 100 years.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Stay true Japan.

Looking at the mess in places like Europe and the United States (which itself doesn't allow in much refugees from the very nations it has invaded and destroyed, i.e. Iraq/Afghanistan), being selective and restrictive is not a bad or 'racist' thing.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

I have just spent a month in Germany visiting family, and I saw it for my own eyes. Japan will not make the same mistake as the hand wringers would have them do.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

The issue here is large.scale islamic immigration, and the disastrous result of that. Just look at Europe.

Japan is completely right in giving aid locally, but refusing mass population transfer.

The only refugees that Japan should arguable accept from the area are Yazidis and Christians, who are genocided by the radical Sunnis like ISIS.

But Sunni refugees? With dozens of Sunni countries in the area, where they can stay safely? Is the writer joking?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Good they offer nothing to the betterment of Japan as a whole and put strain on an economy trying to work itself out.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

I have no voting rights here, so my opinion is not worth hearing....nnnne!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

This story is just clickbait, to draw fire away from the Yasukuni visit story.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So, hands up the foreigners who are against allowing even a few foreign refugees in. Is it because you are so well integrated with good Japanese and cultural sensitivity and never complain? I cannot fathom you at all.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

The southern part of my home country, the Phils, is home to Muslim Filipinos. Due to civil unrest and secessionist fights, Muslims can be found everywhere even in the Metro areas. Some Muslims who are either married to Jdescendants, descendants themselves or in giso Nikkei visas who wanted to flee from the violence there are already here in Japan. So technically, there are refugees who are already here. there could be some who are members of the rebel groups who seek for peaceful life and take refuge here. I just wish that they have altogether left the violence behind them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why are so many people fixated with Japan should open up to immigration? Are you so sure Japan will overall benefit from it? It's a very complex issues but many take a lot of things for granted. Beside, I believe similar decisions should be made by the people through plebiscite. So once the will of the nation is expressed, there is nothing to complaint anymore. In addition: Nation-states are not charity associations, they exist for the interests of the citizens. I believe this 'help the others' rhetoric is ridiculous. Is against the very raison d'être of a State. Plus, if these people flee outside their messy countries, who will reform them? Western people fought for their rights, they did not run away.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

zones2surf:

Remember, this is the country that shut itself off from the outside for more than 200 years.

And that can call itself lucky that it wasn't completely taken over by European colonial powers in response, and even so European meddling caused a lot of trouble, most importantly the superiority/saviour complex that ushered in the unspeakable war crimes commited by and against Japan in WWII... and that was a direct result of the awesome cultural and technological turmoil after hundreds of years of stagnation.

That point is not really well used as a defence of closed borders.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

How many homeless are there in Japan? If the government and people refuse to help their own then why would it should they help a group of people that due to religion believe themselves to be superior to their hosts?!

Peoples pensions are already shrinking enough as it is

4 ( +5 / -1 )

1.5 billion Muslims, and you make a blanket statement that you inaccurately believe covers them all.

I've known a number of Muslims in my life, most in non-Muslim countries, and they have adopted and integrated just fine.

Criticizes a blanket statement about 1.5 billion Muslims, then makes a blanket statement on the same 1.5 billion based on having met 3 in his life.

Moderator: You are not permitted to reply to strangerland, nor he to you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wish people would have never have to flea their country because of a war, it must be horrible once, then horrible twice to see that those who can help you are locking their doors and looking the other way, just saying. I have no solution but something tells me that locking yourself in your bunker and not facing what is happening because of your own action (or inaction) is not right.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thank goodness. Keep the barn closed. Syrian refugees offer nothing beneficial to Japanese society. Learn from the colossal mistakes of the US and Europe.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

This is a serious social experiment. Let's see 20 years or even 10 years down the line how the countries as Germany and Canada are doing as compared to Japan. Somehow get the feeling that the developed countries that took in immigrants are prospering as compared to the ones that said "No outsiders". It can't be a bad thing for more people working and paying into the system. Yes they could be a strain on the system in the beginning but we're not talking about a single generation. Countries that don't have any progressive view will have huge problems later if not already. Japan should be forewarned.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It will be interesting to see Japan in a decade more or two in its current homogenous state...for sure, the current state of things (social/economic/political) seems precarious already..hope there will be some miracles along the way.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I think Japan needs to up the number of refugees they accept at least to something reasonable. Accepting just 11 out of 7,533 that applied in 2014 is not reasonable. When you consider Japan's "inaka", is hollowing out and that there are thousands of properties just rotting away, you'd think the Government would mesh some program together. Japan's overall population is currently around 123 Million... they can afford to accept in 10,000 refugees a year without upsetting the balance and harmony of Culture and Society.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

As katsu78 mentioned, it's ironic how gaijin in Japan want to keep out "foreigners". And after reading the comments, I'm getting a sense of intolerance (to put it nicely) to Muslims. Donald Trump would do quite well with the foreign vote in Japan.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Matthew FraserDEC. 29, 2015 - 12:57PM If Japan can't properly take care of their own, they probably shouldn't be bringing in thousands of refugees.

Why does it have to be zero-sum? To properly integrate refugees, they're going to need language/cultural training. Surely some of the refugees from Fukushima have these skills. When the government makes a competent plan to help one group, it can be designed such that it helps others.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Good for Japan. It's good to know there are still advanced nations unashamed of self-preservation.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Japan is no place to send refugees.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"Japan is not a country built on immigration". Are you even serious? Ask an Ainu if the displaced coastal Koreans who killed them & stole their land were "immigrants"!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

StrangerlandDec. 29, 2015 - 02:38PM JST

Muslims, refugees or otherwise, will never adapt and integrate into the culture of any other country

1.5 billion Muslims, and you make a blanket statement that you inaccurately believe covers them all.

I've known a number of Muslims in my life, most in non-Muslim countries, and they have adopted and integrated just fine."

I have no idea where you live or have lived, but I have known and do know a number of Muslims and they have not "adapted and integrated just fine." It is true that many of them keep a low profile, but they certainly do not adopt Western culture; they keep their own. The more vocal ones always claim they are discriminated against, take offense at such things as Christmas celebrations in schools, and advocate for the right to have Sharia Law. When there is a terrorist act by their more violent brethren, they rarely condemn such things, instead they proclaim that they fear "Islamophobia." You can play pretend all you want, but I suspect that many Muslims everywhere sympathize with the radicals.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Japan is Japan and by no means has the resources to accept troubles from other countries. The US and Europe are good examples of opening up doors to people from the Middle East and are the cause for many of the world's terrorists problems. IN Japan we do not need more trouble or looking over our shoulders if some of these people are going to blow us up, or like the foreign gangs in south mainland Japan who recently attacked in a terrorist fashion style. Does Japan need this kind of trouble?No,they can stay out of Japan. The comments by Tsuru, of the Immigration Department.

But he said, “I think Japan should consider taking a share in accepting the refugees.” needs to be retracted and he should be fired.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Arab countries don't take them. Israel won't take them. Why pick on Japan all the time. Anyway, once any refugees find out how low wages are in Japan and the incredible high cost of living and a dismal welfare system, they would want to go to greener pastures.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

As katsu78 mentioned, it's ironic how gaijin in Japan want to keep out "foreigners". And after reading the comments, I'm getting a sense of intolerance (to put it nicely) to Muslims. Donald Trump would do quite well with the foreign vote in Japan.

It's not "immigration" people here are worried about...many people here often talk about how Japan needs MORE immigration to survive. This is about who to take in. These Syrians are (to put it nicely) a stark cultural mismatch with Japan, and are in need of housing, money, job training, language training, cultural orientation, and if they are actually war refugees, psychological counselling for trauma. That's just the adults. The kids will need bilingual education that is welcoming and sensitive to their plight and accepting of differences. Japan doesn't do well providing these things to its own population, Much less its current foreign population. Add to this that there are dozens of more compatible countries, and Japan (and me as a taxpayer) are perfectly willing to pay for the needed services there, and I have to wonder why people are so utterly hell-bent on making sure they come here. It's not so much Islam as the variety of Islam...live in the Mideast (I spent 6 years there) and you'll understand why people from Damascus or Cairo will have more problems fitting in than those from Jakarta.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"These Syrians are (to put it nicely) a stark cultural mismatch with Japan -- No more than any westerner."

Yeah, right. Japan's Constitution, which has shaped the postwar nation's common views of government, education, and human rights, was written entirely by Americans, and its antecedents are exclusively Western.

And then there are the various libertine aspects of Japanese culture, such as alcohol being revered as a sacred elixir.

Anyway, the micromini-skirted 17 year old girls in Shibuya would make an "interesting" contrast to niqab-wearing Syrian women, that's for sure. LOL. I predict nothing but trouble, because the Japanese simply aren't willing to compromise on their culture, they way western europeans have been forced to do..

5 ( +6 / -1 )

" -- No more than any westerner." But most westerners came here as young, healthy, untraumatized, educated adults with jobs arranged, speaking the international language and knowing they could go home any time....these people will arrive with nothing and no fallback. Starting a new life is a whole lot easier in a culturally familiar setting.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

jansob:

" But most westerners came here as young, healthy, untraumatized, educated adults with jobs arranged, speaking the international language and knowing they could go home any time....these people will arrive with nothing and no fallback. "

That is not the main issue. The main issue is that most Westerners came here willing to accept the local culture and local laws, and not indoctrinated with their own supremacist civilization that knows no way to integrate. Massive muslim immigration leads inevitably to unintegrated parallel societies and conflict. Just look the problems that China, Thailand, and the Philippines have with their non-integrated and non-integretable muslim populations. Why exactly would Japan want to inflict the same problem on itself?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So, with all you intolerant gaijins in Japan, this Canadian should sell his second home in Sendai? What will the governments get then? Fewer taxes, nothing more, nothing less, and I can use my experience in Japan over the past 15 years as a warning not to return. But then, all you thumbs-downers would probably love that, wouldn't you?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"StrangerlandDec. 29, 2015 - 02:38PM JST

Muslims, refugees or otherwise, will never adapt and integrate into the culture of any other country

1.5 billion Muslims, and you make a blanket statement that you inaccurately believe covers them all.

I've known a number of Muslims in my life, most in non-Muslim countries, and they have adopted and integrated just fine."

I too know and have known a number of Muslims in my life, in my own Western country. They DO NOT adopt our culture and integrate 'just fine.' In fact they live in their own enclaves, keep their own culture and customs, advocate for Sharia law and whine and cry that they are discriminated against. All this when politicians and left-wing bleeding hearts bend over backwards to accommodate them

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I too know and have known a number of Muslims in my life, in my own Western country. They DO NOT adopt our culture and integrate 'just fine.' In fact they live in their own enclaves, keep their own culture and customs, advocate for Sharia law and whine and cry that they are discriminated against.

I don't buy it. What country is this?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

you appear to be one of those people who apparently lives in some kind of fantasy land, only believes what you want to believe and refuses to face reality.

No, I just don't buy into the racist gibberish that so many people have fallen into because of the acts of a few individuals.

Racism is at its base the act of blaming all for the acts/stereotypes of a few. There are 1.5 billion muslims in the world, and because of a few terrorists, the racists are all up in a frenzy. Then they use anecdotes (like yours) and try to show that all Muslims are bad or untrustworthy as a result.

I suggest you take a look at the mess Muslims have made of their own countries and ask yourself why so many want to move to somewhere, anywhere, better.

Indonesia is a mess? Malaysia is a mess? I've been to both, and they both seem to be just fine with me, so I'm not sure what you are talking about... or wait, I get it, you are taking the situation in some countries and applying it to all of them! See my above comment on that.

Can't face reality?

On the contrary, I refuse to let bigots and racists drag me away from it.

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Maybe this explains why Donald Trump is so popular in Japan.

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It is very difficult for foreigners to become part of the community and integrate into society in Japan. Thats just way it is and so I can understand the Japanese policies on restricting the number of asylum seekers they grant residency to. It would be safe and comfortable but a very lonely existence for them unless a very large number are granted residency. I would suggest applying for asylum in a Western European nation, where their application is more likely to be successful and where they will find it easier to integrate into the more cosmopolitan societies of these countries but with that being said they will also face some issues with the bigotry and racism of the small percentage right wing nationalist types. Its a better bet though as they will have plenty of others from their own country to offer assistance.

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No to refugees. Japan does not need to import another cult following bunch of religious zealots. They have their own issues after dealing with the Aum Shinrikyo cult. If Japan opens its doors to immigrants it should be for those that want and can assimilate to the Japanese culture, not those that want to bring their own culture and make demands for Japan to change and adapt to them.

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Wait another year and we'll see how over a million new immigrants are doing in Germany! My prediction is that there'll be a civil war!

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