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Japanese government separated families by deporting 47 Vietnamese


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everyone who breaks the law gets separated from their children, even legal citizens.

10 ( +29 / -19 )

So wrong separating families like that.

-5 ( +20 / -25 )

Japanese government separated families by deporting 47 Vietnamese

It is the families who choose to be separated and only one member be deported.  The entire family can leave Japan if they want.

4 ( +30 / -26 )

Law is law, and the law itself should be based on human nature and the complications that come along with it.

We can’t fault those following the law because if they didn’t, who knows what would sneak up behind to bite.

Its sad that these families had to beat separation but they’d have been well advised not to break the law.

I guess there’s no restriction on the members remaining in Japan to travel to the home country.

17 ( +25 / -8 )

I know I'll most likely get many down marks for this but the law is the law. You want to stay in a country other than your native country, follow the law and do it right. The government is not separating families. Those who do not follow proper procedures are. 37 years legally in Japan and ' have never had a worry in the world of being separated from my daughters. I follow the laws and keep up my legal status, pay taxes, pension, insurances, contribute to my local community and so on. I'm not pro government but people need to stop blaming the government for doing their job. As far as I'm concerned that is 47 less people that mine and every other tax payer's hard earned taxes needs to pay for. Imagine the chaos if all boarders were open worldwide. So my final message to all the people entering a country other than your own; Do your kids/family and favor and do your paperwork before becoming illegal in another country!

8 ( +22 / -14 )

On humanitarian grounds, the government should issue a special residence permit to illegal residents who have long been living with family in Japan

I dare to say that would set a bad bad precedent......

13 ( +20 / -7 )

In a telephone interview with Kyodo News, Phuong said immigration officials forcibly pulled her son from her lap in a room at the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau and whisked him away, and detained her, about a week before her deportation.

The law is the law, ok. But that still doesn't make this necessary.

She was just staying without a visa, not robbing a bank or killing people.

-2 ( +18 / -20 )

Very sad story, but this is what happens when you violate visa laws in most nations.

This guy should have known his wife’s situation wouldn’t have fixed itself! Why didnt he go the legal route with her? Cause she entered on her sisters visa.

12 ( +22 / -10 )

Man, you know it is bad when your policies start getting compared to those in the US.

9 ( +16 / -7 )

"My wife certainly violated the immigration law, but she regrets it," he said. "All I want is just to live with my wife and son."

Canada and Germany have proclaimed their moral superiority and are taking all comers. The child is still very young and can very easily acclimate to a new country. Problem solved!

-17 ( +13 / -30 )

Whoever did wrong must pay for it. But sometimes humanitarian leniency is required in such cases. They can find other kinds of punishments. When it comes to basic humanity we all know where Japan stands.

-2 ( +14 / -16 )

@ those saying the law is the law,

Strangely enough, families break laws because they are... families. They're doing whatever they can to stay together. Show some fricking compassion.

"On humanitarian grounds, the government should issue a special residence permit to illegal residents who have long been living with family in Japan," said Motoko Yamagishi, secretary general of the Solidarity Network with Migrants Japan.

And here we have a distinguished Japanese citizen defending foreigner's rights. Well said, Ms. Yamagishi.

-6 ( +16 / -22 )

ReformedBasher, Strangely enough, .... True however she knowingly broke the law before having a child. SHE did this to her child, not the government.

8 ( +20 / -12 )

The Japanese Goverment is totally right on this one. Do not give your country, culture to people that do not respect your rules. All you need is to look to Europe to see how that works out.

6 ( +18 / -12 )

Law is Law. Adults and even children must obey the law in Japan, as guests. Japan does not want "open border" situation like in Western EU. The deported children and adults can make application again in future to get a visa to Japan, if they meet requirement.

-2 ( +16 / -18 )

The Japanese need to have an Ombudsman Office with the power to intervene in individual cases where heartless "law" tramples on "humanity". Humans have always migrated and mixed from time immemorial. In the modern world with its fixed borders and bureaucracy, and especially in these times of wars, famine and persecution of minorities, huge displacements of populations are straining the fabric of some societies. Japan is not yet one of the latter. A little more mercy shown by the J-government would not be strained, as the Bard might say.

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

Law is law ? From 1930 through 1940, there were over 1 million Japanese immigrants in China, did they have visas ?

1 ( +21 / -20 )

Hiep said returning to Vietnam to be reunited with his wife is impossible as he is a refugee and their son can speak only Japanese.

Why the Vuetnamese child only speaks Japanese, when both parents and all family are Vietnamese? Unlikely the family only spoke Japanese in the house This story sounds strange to me.

-3 ( +13 / -16 )

i love the law and order folks who believe there should never be any exceptions. everything is black and white in their books. yes, she broke the immigration law, but she has been living in Japan for over ten years, paying taxes and without breaking any laws. now she has a 5-year-old son. why not just make her pay a fine and allow her to continue living in japan? there are mitigating circumstances that make her case different from others. yes, deport the ones who have broken the law or have no family connections to japan, but surely some of you have compassion for her situation.

4 ( +17 / -13 )

Sure the law is the law, but to expel the wife of a person recognized as an actual refugee? I am sure that in certain cases exceptions can be made. But just a question, what if these people were Mexican, should they have been able to stay? For if I am not mistaken, a lot of people commenting on this very site were against Mexicans being expelled from a certain country for exactly this same very reason, staying illegally.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Law is law only when it needs to be. Japan knows it best.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

For if I am not mistaken, a lot of people commenting on this very site were against Mexicans being expelled from a certain country for exactly this same very reason, staying illegally.

It all depends on the day on this site. Generally people here bash Japanese law and the government.

One thing I notice is one person will get the visa to stay then they invite other family members to live with them from their country without going through the proper procedures. Where I grew up, this was the norm.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

everyone who breaks the law gets separated from their children, even legal citizens.

Depends on the crime. People who get a fine broke the law, but still can go home to their families.

It all depends on the gravity of the crime. People lose freedom and are separated from their children when they did something bad enough.

Now you have to choose if staying without a visa is as hurtful to society as theft, assault or murder.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

I don't see how this is remotely the same as what happened in the US? This illegal criminal was deported, while her child is staying with it's legal father, what's the issue here? The mother broke the law, TWICE, and is paying for it. She separated herself from her child

6 ( +14 / -8 )

They had stayed illegally in Japan for durations of up to 21 years and five months.

speaking as somebody who was deported, I agree with other posters. Law is law.

i came back. I don’t work illegally. I love japan because I never lock my cars or house. I don’t do anything bad. But illegal people seem a tad bit suspicious.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Plenty of non-sense in that story :

kid does not speak Vietnamese. No way

kid was born in Japan. They created the wrong situation

he kept the boy, not his mother. Ugly not to leave boy with mother. I personally needed my mother much more than my dad at 5.

using another person's passport. She has done once, she can fake again being anyone else. High Crime.

We don't know why he is a refugee and the full story so it still hard to judge the whole. Odds are that they come to Japan for economical reasons anyway...

5 ( +14 / -9 )

Vietnamese parents with wife taking care of the child, but child speaks only Japanese? I doubt this.

The mother was deported and entered Japan using her sister's passport. Getting married to a refugee and having a child will not justify their family's decision to break immigration laws although I feel sad for the child.

She had a choice and enough time to make everything legal but chose not to.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

The five-year-old boy should have gone back to Vietnam with her mother. In less than six months, the boy would be speaking fluent Vietnamese and would have forgotten that he had ever been in Japan. A happy ending for the mother and child.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

Law is law is quoted a lot here. But there does not seem to be any law in Japan.

I remember some years ago at Otamachi an immigration officer showing a foriegn student student a book printed by the Japan Times newspaper listing the different visa's required in Japan, sayiing (shouting) "you see, you see, look see".

It would seem that a newspaper sets the law of Japan, and not ledgislation.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

I dont understand the outrage, in case above she should be thankfull for quick deportation instead of prison for falsifying travel documents.

break the laws - pay for it., we have laws for a reason.

4 ( +17 / -13 )

I agree with @Alex. False visas are a serious crime. She was lucky. Did we pay for her flight?

6 ( +14 / -8 )

It is irresponsible parents bringing their kids with them to violate the law. When you break the law your kids get taken away, even citizens.

1 ( +11 / -10 )


SHE did this to her child, not the government.

And what did the child do to deserve any of this? This fact seems lost on you - the child did nothing, yet it's the one that suffers the most. Armchair analysis at it's worst.

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

I wonder how many commenters have actual experience with the legal 'racket' in Japan? From my and others experience is all pretty arbitrary, police can fabricate whatever they want, destroy omit evidence deny due process, prosecutors are not held to any scrutiny to investigate phony police reports, judges can make decisions based on the personal feelings the laws be damned.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

I hope all those cheering on the separations and deportations never have their families torn apart.

Never have to go through the deprivations and indignities of poverty and/or whatever else makes people leave their homes in search of better, safer and happier lives.

I'd rather see these courageous and innovative souls here, than mollycoddled and privileged sorts who jaw on about their financial gains and other follies.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

I remember some years ago at Otamachi an immigration officer showing a foriegn student student a book printed by the Japan Times newspaper listing the different visa's required in Japan, sayiing (shouting) "you see, you see, look see".

It would seem that a newspaper sets the law of Japan, and not ledgislation.

Or perhaps the officer realized that handing a copy of the 出入国管理及び難民認定法 (enacted by the Japanese Diet in 1951, not by the Japan Times) to someone who couldn't read Japanese wouldn't make much sense.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

The officer was merely using the handy translation printed by the Japan Times.

Extremely unprofessional for a person in that position.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Apparently some people don't really understand how laws work and that the world isn't all happy one place with unlimited resources for all, with few paying real citizens somehow supposed to cover the expenses of "poor" and illegal dwellers.

You dont want to be poor, work to get out of poverty in your own country , but leeching off tax illegaly in another country is simply theft.

If some bleeding heart liberals here want to help everyone, by all means , find poor people wherever you want and donate everything you have to them, I applaud you for the sacrifice, but forcing everyone else to pay for your elitist ideas is very wrong. , and also confusing because it seems to forget actual poor citizens of a country that hosts you, takes care of you ( because you immigrated here by choice ) and frankly speaking here is where one should be helping instead of illegals from other countries.

And please spare the think of the children speech, they knew perfectly fine whats coming to the children conceived in poverty , with no documents or legal status.. in fact mother and father should be charged with child abuse.

-3 ( +11 / -14 )


No one is blaming the child, all the blame belongs to the parents. they cheated the system for a few years and lost. They have no one to blame but themselves for their current situation.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

They have no one to blame but themselves for their current situation.

I'm relieved that you think the child is blameless. It's still the one that suffers the most though. The parents could have paid a fine or something, without the need to throw the child's life upside-down. it's not just going to "get over it". That's why Ms. Yamagishi says there is a need for a humanitarian visa.

People who don't get this don't understand how humanitarianism works, or they simply don't care. And the country itself is crying out for foreign labour, yet does this. Does not compute.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

Some people believe breaking law give them a happy life.

haha, it seems like didn't go well this time.

if you want a happy life, just don't break the law. it is not difficult, is it?

5 ( +12 / -7 )

Reformed Basher

You have a perspective but you can’t fathom what happened here because of the child?

This is not about humanitarianism. There are many cases where it would tear me up to do the right thing because it would also hurt others.

Perhaps you should spend all day crying for the kidz whos dads and moms are going to jail tonight. Their livelihoods and families wrecked! And why??? All because those pesky laws and rules we humans make.

You can tell the judges and jurys that nobody should pay for any wrongdoing as innocents will suffer too. You should have a strong case.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

They had stayed illegally in Japan for durations of up to 21 years and five months.

Nuff said...

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Apparently some people don't really understand how laws work ....

If this woman has broken the law, why has she not appeared in court? That's how law usually works.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Having a kid is no free pass to commit crime, and in fact parents should be punished far worse than non-parents due to their additional damage and burden caused to their dependant kids.

They should be permanently financially penalised too to support the kid their parents' shortcomings

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Like the police, the immigration people probably don't have much to do. So they do this.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

The Vietnamese family mentioned in the article are in a difficult position, but one that they should have anticipated. The husband knew his wife was in the country illegally when he married her, he knew that she could be deported at any time, yet they still had a child together. They had 11 years to find a solution, but did nothing.

On humanitarian grounds, the government should issue a special residence permit to illegal residents who have long been living with family in Japan

The problem with that is that if you do it once you will find hundreds of thousands, or millions, of illegals coming in, hoping for the same treatment.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Many comments say the law is the law and it should be obeyed.

I would like to point out that as well as Japan's own laws there are international laws. There are international laws regarding refugees. Does Japan obey these laws? It is almost impossible for a refuge to obtain residence legally.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

The story of this family is very sad. If the husband is a refugee and they are married with japanese son surely they should be eligible for spousal visa.

Immigration policies are harsh everywhere i guess. I'm from Australia and ours are particularly inhumane. We also have the murdoch media pushing a racist discouse against young South Sudanese people who came here as refugees in the 90s and 00s. The media mostly refer to them as "black african youths or gangs" and present them as violent, dangerous criminals its disgraceful.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Denying a child it’s mother is morally wrong!

This is a wrong decision not based on conscience and equity.

Where do our laws come from?

Once people understand the answer then then the meaning of justice becomes apparent.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

“ If the husband is a refugee and they are married with japanese son surely they should be eligible for spousal visa.”

1) She entered Japan using somebody else's passport;

2) She re-entered Japan with someone else's documents , after previous deportation;

3) Illegals cannot rely on marriage to save their neck (I just dealt with a similar case, white SA hubby, Fili wifey; hubby was the illegal one);

4) Kid was born in Japan; kid is not Japanese; this is Japan, not the US;

5) I don;t believe for one second that 2 Vietnamese only spoke Japanese to their child; we get similar claims here in the UK, from parents who themselves barely understand questions in English!

6) Nothing to do with humanitarianism; open the floodgates is more appropriate here;

7) Japan is in need of immigration; Japan is also saying loud and clear "come illegally, we'll deport you";

8) Japanese Law sets conditions for entry and permanence for ALL foreigners in Japan;

9) Close but no cigar;

10) Japan is correct here, even if gaIjin disapproves,

4 ( +9 / -5 )

their son can speak only Japanese.

I get so damn sick of this phoney excuse, used time and time again. I was raised in a household with two immigrant languages and there were never any communication problems. Then, at the age of five, I started school, and after a few months, our country's official language became the language I spoke best. And we still carried on speaking in our own languages at home.

Now why would an immigrant couple, who both had the same mother tongue not speak to their own child in their own language? Even iff they didn't, then a five year old is still more than capable of picking up new languages. I've seen so many immigrant children who went to America much later in life, and they grow up speaking fluent English.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Also, Japan does not recognise "anchor babies"! Even Britain no longer accepts them.

If the parents wanted one they should have gone to the US.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Kind of stunned that so many people in this thread are saying the law is the law and it needs to be respected. That level of common sense is usually in very short supply.

Of course it helps that in this instance Trump didnt do it so the derangement syndrome has not actually kicked in.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Also, Japan does not recognise "anchor babies"! Even Britain no longer accepts them.

One parent must uk citizen or permanent resident? See that is situation in Aus an i think permanent residency is a loophole. Should be 1 parent must be citizen

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Normally the wife of a lawful resident could apply for lawful residency, but she overstayed, had a deportation on the books already, and used a false ID to reenter. Normally they could both leave together, but he is a refugee. Normally the child could go with the mom, but he speaks only Japanese....

This is an edge case. There will always be edge cases. No matter where you draw a line, there's always someone who gets bisected by it.

You could try to make lines fuzzy, give the law the ability to make humanitarian exemptions... but that always seems to invite discrimination, and sometimes corruption. An exemption is by nature subjective, up to the whims of a crazy judge; who knows what he's thinking. And if you drew the line so far out there that no tragedies like this could ever occur, you'd end up letting outright criminals stay and other people would have to bear that burden.

This is just the nature of governing, the organizational equivalent of a natural disaster. In theory any given casualty is preventable, but in every case, if you decide not to live by the sea to avoid the tidal wave, you end up on the mountain and someone gets crushed by a landslide. All you can do is try to steer things into the best outcome for the greatest number, and when a tragedy inevitably gets someone, maybe run a donation drive.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

His wife, who had been previously deported from Japan, came back to the country in 2007 using her sister's passport, and married him.

Nguyen Thi Loan Phuong will be deported even she got recognized as refugee because Phuong used her sister's passport to enter Japan and also she was previously deported from Japan. She was breaking the immigration law. Anyone who lied to immigration to get a permanent resident visa or citizenship will cancel his or her visa and citizenship and deportation to his or her country. That's a law and sorry for their family separation.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The law is the law, but you can have a better law than this. This law can be improved to be less insensitive to ith others affected by it.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Reformedbasher; You are correct, the child did nothing wrong. But how do you feel about adults having a child only to use the unknowing child as an object thinking that child will keep the parent in another country illegally. This happens too too many times. So, yes the parents did do this to the child not the government

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Gotta play by the rules. See ya!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Mr. Hoang Van Hiep and company are so unlucky that PM Shinzo Abe is a big fan and follower of the Trump Doctrine.

What Donald says and do Shinzo automatically imitates!

But Abe's move to separate mothers and sons should not be construed as being typical traits of the land still virtually colonized by the G.I. Joes.

In fact , Ryukyuans would rather welcome them hard working and such enterprising Vietnamese families to take over those darn toxic Colonizer Yankee military bases and turn them into a diverse but harmonious cultural Shang-Rila and a prosperous commercial and gustatorial haven rather than being a symbol of war , atomic bombings and perpetual colonization.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

She came over here illegally to get married and have a baby. And then we are supposed to feel sympathy when the family gets separated, because the authorities finally caught up to her. Where do we draw the line between illegal activities - stealing (or worse) or lying on the immigration forms.

What would we think if the current facts remained the same, but we found out she was running from the police in her home country and hiding out hear in Japan - we would break up the family and send her back.

Just go to another country legally and you never have to worry about breaking up families.

0 ( +0 / -0 )



The world is in pain. Today people are dying and living under terrible dictatures. There are dying from war, famine, cold, eat... With environmental changes, earth and its people will need world wide solidarity. It is time to think more globally. Japan will have difficulties to adapt if it does not open to others. The future is not about nationality. This is not about millions of migrants but if you don't do immigration, you will have to give back money to poor countries.

World economy is linked with open migration and giving back part of the wealth.

"Deporting" while breaking families is an extreme right move. It is bad. We all regularized moms or dads even in USA. It is by millions of migrants or thousands for the smallest countries. This is not young men trying to find wealth. Here, this is just a mom who wanted to stay with her kid without having any rights or female rights defenses or hope to leave the dad one day without loosing everything. She was nearly a slave to stay with her kid. And this is what Japan is going after too and is able to go out in newspapers.


To conclude

This is dark when a kid mom is deported and migration can't find a way to adapt to the new world reality with a good heart. Japan need to be more open to the world humanity values. This is the basic of being a good part of the nuclear community with nuclear responsability.



-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Curious mix of blame the victims, Ayn Randism and sneering at the poor.

It seems only the rich are worthy of having a life in Japan, the rest of us proles just have to accept our lot in life.

Good luck to all migrants setting out on a difficult and often perilous journey to find a better way to live, wherever you end up.

You are the backbone and inspiration of humanity, not the pampered minority, living in their gated communities.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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