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Ogata urges Japan to do more to help refugees

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By Linda Sieg and Ami Miyazaki

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More of this lady and this thinking, please.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

“Japan has to set up a situation to welcome people ... not to welcome everybody, but those who are in need, in serious need and who are willing to come or would like to come,” Ogata, UNHCR chief from 1991-2000, told Reuters. “I think we should be open to bringing them in.”

Sure they welcome people, for a visit and to spend money, but to integrate them into society? Hardly, Japan is ill prepared to be inclusive to refugees living in the country.

I mean look, the country can hardly take care of it's own refugees, who should have been first priority, let alone do anything other than throw money at the problem and hope it goes away.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Yubaru-san…. …that's probably why she said "Japan has to set up a situation to welcome people"

2 ( +7 / -5 )

She said it all in this sentence:

"“But if the top doesn’t work, and doesn’t give answers ... everything is not going to come from the bottom,” she said. “The leadership is key.”"

Great lady, wish there were more like her!

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Yubaru-san…. …that's probably why she said "Japan has to set up a situation to welcome people"

Do you have any idea how many centuries it is probably going to take to even acknowledge that there is a problem?

3 ( +9 / -6 )

I don't know. Everyone keeps talking about what country needs to take in more refugees more than they talk about why there are refugees in the first place.

I guess it's easier for countries to say we all need to bring more buckets to collect the water from the leaky dam than it is to fix the dam, but shouldn't fixing the problem be the focus?

And from all reports, most refugees want a certain country and have left countries they were placed in (Finland, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia) if it wasn't there preferred place (Germany).

So, even if Japan welcomes refugees, do the refugees even want to come to Japan?

4 ( +9 / -5 )

@HarveyP So, even if Japan welcomes refugees, do the refugees even want to come to Japan?

Not Japan, not saying it's a one-to-one comparison, but here's anecdotal evidence that one group of refugees wants to leave a country that granted them asylum.

http://www.businessinsider.com/r-syrian-refugees-in-uruguay-say-they-want-to-move-elsewhere-2015-9

5 ( +5 / -0 )

How about helping them help themselves by turning them away.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Ogata, without specifying the Middle East crisis, said Japan was not doing enough on the humanitarian front despite its desire for a bigger global political role.

Exactly. She's saying that Japan wants to have its cake and eat it too.

“Japan needs foreign workers. Without any ... can Japan survive?” she said.

Answer: no it cant

“It’s not a fighting kind of role that I think Japan is going to play. We were a very strong military country, we fought the war and lost, okay?”

Exactly.

Ok Abe. Really want to show us womenomics? Step down from office and let this lady run the show. She's got more brains than the old geezers of the LDP combined.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

It seems the Abe regime wants to follow it puppet master's lead by shifting more public funding away from domestic priorities into the death industries and then using its military to help destabilize the world, leaving others to deal with the social disasters this creates.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Agreed warispeace. When your boat is sinking, instead of just bailing out the water (accepting refugees) fix the hole (stop the problems creating refugees).

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I think $1.6billion is more than enough support. The issue is how is the money being spent. The argument that Japan needs more lower skilled foreigners is crazy. Lower skilled means lower pay (certainly in Japan) and combined with great distance from family and language & cultural pressures just makes things even more difficult. I understand these people are fleeing a lot worse but I don't think increasing the intake goes to solve the problem.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Japan welcomes young people from other countries in their 20's to give the best working years of their life and then kick them out when they can't pass a mandatory kanji test that would be difficult for native Japanese to pass.

'member that? Nurses from Indonesia helping at hospital?

Through the EPA program, the Japanese government started accepting nurses from Indonesia in fiscal 2008, and from the Philippines in fiscal 2009, at the request of the two countries.

Under the program, the nurses are allowed to work at medical institutions in Japan for a maximum of three years while learning Japanese and studying to pass the national nursing exam.

However, only 66 of the 629 Indonesians and Filipinos who have come to Japan through the program so far have passed the national nursing certification test.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Ali R

So, just because someone lost one fight/war, one has to stop fighting forever??? The Americans lost on the field in Vietnam! Aren't they still fighting everywhere?

Japan must become a regular country, like everybody else. And that includes fighting if needed.

Sadako wants to become Japan's Merkel.

There are riots every single day in Germany, courtesy of 'peaceful' asylum seekers.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

I think Putin must find this quite hilarious.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I disagree! The free world is treating these refugees the wrong way. Instead of accepting them and spending billions of dollars supporting them the money would be better spent on fixing the problems in their home lands. Look at the issues that have already occurred due to refugee immigration in Europe and other countries as well. It's is not immigration! It is invasion!

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Well said, Ms Ogata.

This is what true engagement with the world community (that Japan has profitably exported to for decades, thank you very much) entails.

It's required to get to the next step in Japan's evolution: having the political, sociocultural and commercial nous to reengage with the world, much, much higher up the value chain than our competitors.

The alternative is akin to persimmons rotting on the branch as we go deeper and deeper into autumn.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Ogata said Japan’s cultural homogeneity tended to make people less open to refugees but ordinary Japanese would be more accepting if political leaders took the initiative.

she responds perfectly i think to the current mood in japan, whether demographic, political or social imbalance.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Listed below are several of the arguments that have been used by misguided people to try and justify refugees. Next to each is the reason why each of these arguments has no merit.

1) They are an economic necessity - Not true. The idea that a bunch of desperately poor, uneducated, foreigners with families are an economic necessity is ludicrous. In fact, when you compare cost vs. benefit, it is obvious that they are not only NOT a necessity; they are not even an asset. Rather, they are a liability and a huge one at that.

2) They do work Japanese won’t do - Not true. They do work Japanese won’t do for $7 an hour (especially if Japanese can collect welfare and unemployment forever). Of course, if you got rid of the refugees, the jobs wouldn’t pay $7 an hour. The people who wanted the work done would have to pay a wage that was attractive enough to get Japanese to do the work. And it might even be enough so Japanese could support themselves and get off welfare and unemployment!!

3) They work & contribute to the society - So do Japanese. And if I break the law with loopholes with welfare, under table jobs and might be commit crimes, I can expect to pay a penalty of some kind. Anything from a small fine to the death penalty. I do NOT get rewarded. This argument makes no sense.

4) They are just trying to make better lives - Aren’t we all? So why Japan has low class life, not everybody in Japan is middle class right?

5) It is impossible to round up and refugees don't get any benefits from Japan - All they have to do is new rules of refugees status visa such as Welfare with special rules of part working or part studying no lame excuses, Labor Department find them work obligatory no excuses you come to Japan is to work right?, No refugee payment assistant more of 1 year because you came to Japan is for work right?, going to Japanese classes obligatory or cut any current or future benefits.If they don't like it they will leave on their own if not so they really wanna work, living and be useful to the society.

6) Immigration control is racist - This is just another play of the race card by people who have no other cards to play. Immigration control is the world-wide status quo. There is nothing racist about it. Furthermore, the Japanese welcomes immigrants of all races and ethnicities from all over the world who have gone through the legal immigration process. This is not just a bad argument, it is an attempt to create hatred and division. Racist is their code word for patriot.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Umm no. Seeing as how she worked at the U.N, it does not surprise me that she touts universalist clap trap. Its still disappointing that Japan took in only about 6 refugees in an entire year..... only because the number should in fact be ZERO.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

It would be a big mistake for Japan to take in the refugees. First of all....ever notice how many of them are men in their early twenties or are capable of fighting for their own country. Not long ago refugees threw bottles at police because they would not let pass into their country.....seriously. If I want a favor from another country I would not go about by fighting with their police. So if they are willing to fight with police.....how well do you think they will behave in your country. A country has EVERY RIGHT to deny entry.....just look at France and the serious problems they have over there with immigrants. These so called immigrants are merely headed for a country that they can leach off. Then they will begin to make demands under religious claims etc. While I do understand that there are many whom just want a better life those are outnumbered by those whom will look merely for a handout. So when they get to Japan.....what jobs are they going to do? How many do you think speak Japanese? So what exactly can they do......draw free money while they attend classes for a few years just to be able to barely speak Japanese. They will demand interpreters...then there is no need to learn to speak the native language. Simply put....it would be a big mistake for Japan to take in the refugees. I wonder how many Refugees China or Russia is taking in.....oh that's right, they do not want to go those countries because they will not much of anything free. Why are not trying to migrate to other middle east countries.....what no free stuff or is it that those countries just do not want them so it is up to everybody else to take them in. A lot can be learned from just looking at the middle east.....their own neighboring countries do not want the masses as they know many will be nothing but trouble.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Japan has perform greatly with their refugee program. It is the best in the world. IT good to see a country willing to take in refugee that will benefit the country not a burden. Look at Australia they have let in 100,000,s and now they have spend heaps on keep and eye on these people because they can not be trusted. This is because most Australian see islam has a evil entity. Japan also deem Islam as a evil entity and so will not except any refugee who are devoted to this so call evil entity.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

After the widely publicized riot in front of the Turkish Embassy last Sunday, I do not think that we will be accepting anyone from that part of the world as immigrants. Although I was impressed by the Japanese skills of some of the people who were interviewed by the press.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Japan is for the Japanese just as Europe is for Europeans. End of story.

You're going waaayyyy overboard. If only the Europeans would've thought Africa for the Africans then Europe wouldn't have the the problems they have now. Don't you know the first world lives, like a vampire, of the third world. Or to use your language: the first world breast feeds off the third world while at the same time despising the mother.

Now, I agree Japan shouldn't and doesn't have to accept these refugees. But not for the seemingly bigoted reasons that you pose. Japan has different historical circumstances and relations with the third world. They didn't go in and rape the countries of their resources, subjugate the people, implement a self-sustaining system that keeps the child sucking at the t*t, and then leave with the expectation that everything should be all forgotten and alright.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ask the Chinese,Koreans, Taiwanese or any other asians. I think they would disagree with that a tiny bit.

Yeah, but we're not talking about refugees from this countries. We're talking about refugees from Syria, North Africa, immigrants in Europe from its former colonies, etc. Jeeze Louise!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yeah, but we're not talking about refugees from this countries. We're talking about refugees from Syria, North Africa, immigrants in Europe from its former colonies, etc. Jeeze Louise!

How's that any different?? You give shelter to some human beings but not to others?? A bit racist, no?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Japan definitely should accept more refugees, but I'm a little bit concerned about terrorism. Some idea for preventing terrorism is needed at the same time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How's that any different?? You give shelter to some human beings but not to others?? A bit racist, no?

........ This is why the whole situation is annoying.... because of people like you that like to throw the race card everywhere at any time. People are different, accept that cold hard fact. Accepting a refugee from say Ukraine would be far more easier and far more pleasant then a refugee from anywhere from the middle-east and Africa. If a country wants to prioritize where refugees should even come from then its their business, political correctness has no place when maintaining social order. And these louts entering Europe are breaking down order where ever they go.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Accepting a refugee from say Ukraine would be far more easier and far more pleasant then a refugee from anywhere from the middle-east and Africa.

That's a VERY ignorant thing to say

People are different, accept that cold hard fact.

Well, you just contradicted yourself. You make a broad sweeping statement about everyone from BOTH the Ukraine and Africa/or Mideast. Why can't you just accept that people may or may not integrate, and where they come from has nothing to do with it .

because of people like you that like to throw the race card everywhere at any time

Interesting you chose WHITE Ukraine as a postive example and Africa and Mideast as a negative example.

And these louts entering Europe are breaking down order where ever they go.

Japanese people could say the same thing about YOU here.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Yeah, but we're not talking about refugees from this countries. We're talking about refugees from Syria, North Africa, immigrants in Europe from its former colonies, etc. Jeeze Louise!

How's that any different?? You give shelter to some human beings but not to others?? A bit racist, no?

How is that any different? Are you serious? Look, you bemoaned about the immigrants in Europe, you even mentioned African immigrants. What I'm saying is that after colonization in Africa by Europe, after imbedding corruption and dependency in spite of granting independence, Europe has a little obligation towards those immigrants, if you will. Europe is in a lesser position to complain about Africans immigrants.

My point is, what obligation does Japan have towards refugees from the Middle East, Africa, Syria, etc?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It was Europeans who went in and upset or destroyed the social order in the middle east and Africa during their imperialist rampage around the world (Japan was next). Europe should take the immigrants because the existance of the immigrant is their fault. Entirely. Leave Japan out of their problems. 100 years ago Japan started getting involved in that system, and looked what happened to Japan. Isolationist Japan is best. Too bad we have Abe.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

gokai_wo_manekuOCT. 30, 2015 - 03:07PM JST It was Europeans who went in and upset or destroyed the social order in the middle east and Africa during their imperialist rampage around the world (Japan was next). Europe should take the immigrants because the existance of the immigrant is their fault. Entirely. Leave Japan out of their problems. 100 years ago Japan started getting involved in that system, and looked what happened to Japan. Isolationist Japan is best. Too bad we have Abe.

Okay, so when Japan is at war with North Korea and refugees need somewhere to live let's make them all go to China and Indonesia - cool with that?

Look, there are no borders or 'responsibilities' when it comes to desperate people with nowhere safe to live - it's a human responsibility, or are Japanese not in that category either?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Look, there are no borders or 'responsibilities' when it comes to desperate people with nowhere safe to live - it's a human responsibility, or are Japanese not in that category either?

I take it then that your door is always open to the homeless sleeping down at the park?

It's not a human responsibility! This idea that we have to all hold hands and sing kumbaya is such garbage. It's the responsibility of the government to make sure they're taking care of the people who put them in power; it's the responsibility of those people to keep their leaders in check. If the leaders are out line you oust the leaders. You fight, you have a revolution, you do what Egypt did to Mubarak. You don't flood borders of sovereign states by the miltitude, lay your problems at the doorsteps of others and demand that you have a human right that those people open up their doors and let you crash through. What the hell are you people smoking who think like this? If you really want to help them, help them make their homelands bearable places to live.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

When I am Weaker Than You, I ask you for Freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am Stronger than you, I take away your Freedom Because that is according to my principles.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Isolationist Japan is best.

Hosting international events like the world cup does not mean isolation. Or taking resources (maybe oil) from elsewhere (maybe the middle east)...Perhaps it can only fit that definition if u want to benefit from the world system but don't want to share their concerns.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That's a VERY ignorant thing to say

An educated thing actually from an observational point of view. This is true no matter how it triggers your one size fits all point of view.

Well, you just contradicted yourself. You make a broad sweeping statement about everyone from BOTH the Ukraine and Africa/or Mideast. Why can't you just accept that people may or may not integrate, and where they come from has nothing to do with it .

No contradiction at all. Ukrainian people are similar to each other and different from say an Afghan. The same rule applies to all groups of people. This effects levels of integration and the amount of work that has to be put into it, yes it matters where they come from. Why do you think Ukrainian refugees hardly ever make the news in crime statistics such as rape? or waltzing into another country uninvited, it's because overall they are more civilized then say those that come from the 3rd world. Truth is truth, if it bothers you too bad.

Interesting you chose WHITE Ukraine as a postive example and Africa and Mideast as a negative example.

It's "positive" not "Postive". And yes they are white, which is important. I think even the Japanese would acknowledge that dealing with them would be easier then say these other people that make endless demands.

Japanese people could say the same thing about YOU here.

Yes they can, and good on them. If question on whom the Japanese would chose given our opposite positions on the issue, then I am sure they would pick AiserX over Aly Rustom any day. Rustom advocates for the Japanese to take anyone and everyone in, X advocates for the Japanese own self interest even if I am not 1 of them.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Ogata for Prime Minister, please!!

Survey of some better seniors in a Japanese high school class showed me that most thought Japan should not take in refugees. Reasons were: Japan is and island. Japan has not fixed Tohoku. The Olympics are too expensive. It is too hard for foreigners to adapt to Japan. There are not enough jobs for them and that will lead them t riot.Japanese cannot communicate with foreigners. There are not enough nursery schools to take care of them. Japan is too far and they will not enjoy it here. Only a few said they thought Japan should accept them. Many said they honestly had not heard about the situation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No contradiction at all. Ukrainian people are similar to each other and different from say an Afghan.

How does that make them integrate better in Europe.

Why do you think Ukrainian refugees hardly ever make the news in crime statistics such as rape? or waltzing into another country uninvited, it's because overall they are more civilized then say those that come from the 3rd world. Truth is truth, if it bothers you too bad.

The only thing that bothers me is the racism you spew, and the uninformed and biased point of view you preach. What PROOF do you have that people from 3rd world countries commit more crimes, and how much is that is down to people like YOU marginalizing them in the first place?

If question on whom the Japanese would chose given our opposite positions on the issue, then I am sure they would pick AiserX over Aly Rustom any day. Rustom advocates for the Japanese to take anyone and everyone in, X advocates for the Japanese own self interest even if I am not 1 of them.

Everyone loves a brown-noser

1 ( +1 / -0 )

gokai_wo_maneku : You are totally wrong about Europeans causing disruption or upsetting social order in the middle east: The Social disorder in the Mddle east was cause directly by mixing religion and state. As a result the western world felt that if they did not force their help onto the middle East to settle disputes that the unease will affect the world wide oil supplies. This is the main reason why Japan will not except refugee,s with a Islamic faith. Japan fear that adding a other religious order to their society will cause social disorder. They can easy back this up by point at recent event in Counties which don,t discriminate on religious grounds. Like England and Australia where there citizen are attack and kill on the street of their Cities by Islamic Refugees. Just add more substance to their lack of refugee intake by Japan. What would be the percentage of the world refugee that are Islamic ? I Assume the percentage would be over 95%. This alone would have Conservative governments thinking Hard about allow Islamic followers into their Countries. If Islam can get along with Islam what hope do they have in a no Islamic Country of get on with that countries citizen. You can call me Bias or Bigot, I am Just telling it from the factorial point of view. Or am I demonising Islam they are going a good enough Job themselves.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

You are totally wrong about Europeans causing disruption or upsetting social order in the middle east:

He's totally right. Here's wikipedia

When the Ottoman Empire was defeated by an Arab uprising and British Empire forces after the Sinai and Palestine Campaign in 1918, the Arab population was rewarded with what many Islamic activists of more recent times have described as an Anglo-French betrayal. British and French governments concluded a secret treaty (the Sykes–Picot Agreement) to partition the Middle East between them and, additionally, the British, via the Balfour Declaration promised the international Zionist movement their support in re-creating the historic Jewish homeland in Palestine.

You can call me Bias or Bigot

If the shoe fits, wear it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Workers shortage and Refugees resettlement in country was difference story and difference social development in country. If you do not want social problems in your country and then you stay away from resettling refugees from other countries. Politicians, social workers, refugee advocates, human right advocates and NGOs are lying about resettling refugees from war torn country from Africa and Middle East do not have social problems in host country. It's completely lied.

You may not disagree with me but its truth. If you look at France, UK, Holland, Germany and other Scandinavia countries and then you can see big mess in there. Those countries started from resettling small scale refugees in their country and later becoming big mess and couldn't sort out politically and the host nation citizen becoming marginalized in freedom of expression and they were accused of racist if they open their suffering. They becoming victim in their country but refugee advocates, human right advocates, UN and other NGOs do not see that way and recognized their problems and even given more pressure on host nation Government and peoples.

I'm strongly believed Japan should be staying away from UN refugees resettling program. Once you have jumping on train wreck and then you won't be easily jumping of from train wreck. Japanese Government should give more financial assistance via Japanese NGOs instead of participating in UN Refugee resettling program in future.

Even strong refugee advocate German Chancellor Angela Merkel is recognizing the refugees’ problems in her country and EU member countries now.

If Japan needed unskilled foreign workers and then temporary relaxing tourist visa restriction in country like Burma and Cambodia will be helpful for peoples from Japanese friendly countries.

I respect Ms Sadako Ogata opinions but she must see realistic and see truth on the difference problems created by migrants in Europe countries.

Give me thumb down if you like but telling truth is better than lie.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

" Japan has to set up a situation to welcome people ... not to welcome everybody, but those who are in need, in serious need and who are willing to come or would like to come, "

...I would like to see how she wants to set up the screening for this. If she opens the floodgates like Merkel in Germany, she can have all the millions of young middle eastern men she wants. And sure, they´ll all claim to be in serious need... whatever it takes to get in.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Something I know first hand: Hard working Kurdish immigrants in the Kawaguchi area who work in the demolition business. One of them wanted to learn English in preparation to go to Australia to join his fiancee who was already there and marry her. Why don't they stay and fight? Different reasons maybe. Perhaps in their situation they saw the futility of standing up to Turkey without international support. Current Syria situation is different: they don't want to fight for Assad and they don't want to fight for Daiesh (ISIS) - either one may kill you or both if you sit on the fence..... Bush and Blair allowed billions to be spent on a war that helped to bring this situation about. Maybe Ogata would have had the foresight to have done it a different way, others did but nobody took notice of them - too late now. It is going to cost a few more billions to put it right in the short term but in the long term accepting the migrants/refugees will be an investment. Twelve million migrants came to West Germany in the 50s/60s - it didn't seem to cause them too many problems in the long term did it? There are over a million Tibetian refugees - they too would have no chance against the Chinese occupiers of their country without international support.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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