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40% of evacuees from Afghanistan have left Japan over poor support

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Let give those 60% that have tried hard to adjust and stay credit instead of reporting those 40% that did try and failed.

13 ( +37 / -24 )

I find the statements by the Afghans easy to believe, having had my own experiences at “Immigration” in Tokyo

4 ( +43 / -39 )

Just sad. But then again, I am not THAT surprised.

4 ( +42 / -38 )

So much for Japan's supposed "Omotenashi". Shameful.

0 ( +42 / -42 )

They were comprised of former staff members at the Japanese embassy in Afghanistan. The ministry gave them one year to adapt to Japan, how many years was Japan in Afghanistan and were supported by the staff because the Japanese couldn't speak Pashto? How much effort did the government really apply to help them adapt? Japan bent over backwards to accommodate Ukrainians but not the Afghans or even the people who fled Myanmar. The ugly truth is that although they like to imagine that they are not, Japan still has racist tendencies.

-2 ( +37 / -39 )

They were comprised of former staff members at the Japanese embassy in Afghanistan. The ministry gave them one year to adapt to Japan, how many years was Japan in Afghanistan and were supported by the staff because the Japanese couldn't speak Pashto? How much effort did the government really apply to help them adapt? Japan bent over backwards to accommodate Ukrainians but not the Afghans or even the people who fled Myanmar. The ugly truth is that although they like to imagine that they are not, Japan still has racist tendencies.

Especially now, it's considered more good looking and cool if Japan helping Ukranian refugee. That will appeal to Japan's image to the world. Japan even will change immigration policy only for Ukranian refugee.

https://thediplomat.com/2022/07/how-the-war-in-ukraine-could-change-japans-refugee-policies/

-10 ( +20 / -30 )

An initiative doomed to failure. In order for this to succeed all 169 of the refugees needed language and cultural training to even have a chance.

14 ( +25 / -11 )

Let’s see how many of the Ukrainian refugees currently living in Japan will remain a year from now. But then Japan isn’t responsible for the wars in Afghanistan or Ukraine. As for those English-speaking Afghans, they will do better in the US or Britain

8 ( +25 / -17 )

As hard as life in Japan may seem to these refugees, do they fully understand what they’re returning to?

32 ( +38 / -6 )

I'm surprised Japan admitted as many 169

4 ( +27 / -23 )

When it comes to humanitarian thinking and behavior, Japan will always disappoint the world, then tell everyone that they did nothing wrong.

-3 ( +29 / -32 )

Imagine choosing to return to a country controlled by the Taliban instead of remaining in Japan?

What a damning indictment for Japan!

1 ( +37 / -36 )

Let’s see how many of the Ukrainian refugees currently living in Japan will remain a year from now. But then Japan isn’t responsible for the wars in Afghanistan or Ukraine. As for those English-speaking Afghans, they will do better in the US or Britain

If Japan is to have foreigners living here at all, they'd prefer them to be Caucasians.

-13 ( +23 / -36 )

Japan once again showing that it is backward and nowhere near on par with the west.

When it comes to humanitarian thinking and behavior, Japan will always disappoint the world, then tell everyone that they did nothing wrong.

exactly.

-9 ( +29 / -38 )

When it comes to immigration in Japan, the lies they tell.

-9 ( +26 / -35 )

Although Japan has granted refugee status to 98 people, 58 returned to Afghanistan despite the risk of persecution by the Taliban

This doesn't read well for Japan.

-6 ( +28 / -34 )

I understand it'd be difficult for the government to continue to support them indefinitely, but the refugees should at least be offered language classes and help with the transition rather than just be told it would be difficult to continue living in Japan. I'm inclined to believe what the evacuees have to say over some ministry spokesperson.

22 ( +27 / -5 )

The Japanese government taking a page from the "quiet firing" phenomenon, giving only the least possible amount of support while having impossible expectations of success at adapting until the refugees give up and instead make the extra effort to immigrate into less restrictive countries...

-4 ( +22 / -26 )

Although Japan has granted refugee status to 98 people, 58 returned to Afghanistan despite the risk of persecution by the Taliban, while seven left for the United States and Britain, according to the evacuees.

How sad, returning to Afghanistan was better than staying.

-8 ( +21 / -29 )

If they speak English, they should easily find assembly jobs in factories of large Japanese companies with international business. Those companies have not stepped up.

10 ( +19 / -9 )

With much background info still missing, I haven't yet seen the whole picture. I don't even know about the retention rate for refugees in other host countries after their entry.

Other than the full refugee status, the visa type granted to most of them is probably 特定活動 or "designated activities." Despite the category name, the refugees are basically free to work in any industries (except sex industry) ... if they please. Quite many foreign residents in Japan work to survive on a more limited and restrictive status. Currently the unemployment rate remains low and manpower shortage is addressed in key economic areas.

In a (non-English speaking) European country where I once lived, many refugees, highly skilled and educated ones engaged in lower-paid manual work as a start over. They spoke English well but still needed to learn a local host language from the start. But that's not an uncommon phenomenon.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Japan can suck big time for foreigners. Unless you are Caucasian, culturally Japan and some Japanese people believe they and their culture are superior. Japan has a foreigner hierarchy. That can affect the way they interact with foreigners. If you do not understand then talk to some of the "interns" and "language students."

-5 ( +24 / -29 )

It should be clear to everyone now that the LDP only takes care of itself and its benefactor America.

All of the US' allies are Japan's allies, and all of America's enemies are Kenji and Minami's enemies.

When the next Top Gun or Marvel movie comes out, all the Japanese will flock to see it.

The rest (concerning other countries) is window dressing.

-16 ( +9 / -25 )

Around 40 percent of the 169 people who fled to Japan 

And

The latest revelation comes at a time when Japan has drawn attention for its acceptance of more than 1,800 evacuees from Ukraine, one of the conflict areas.

I wonder what could be the difference between people from Ukraine and Afghanistan that the Ukrainians get preferential treatment. Trying to think hard and still cannot figure it out!

I remember the same thing happened in Europe too, wonder what could be different between people from these 2 countries!!!

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

Did they choose death over staying in Japan? Not surprised at all.

Bet it is going to happen with Ukrainians too.

Even foreigners start to understand what kind of country Japan truly is.

-12 ( +16 / -28 )

Don’t only complain. Try that challenge yourself and take such an Afghan family into your private home. Got you and silenced you? Of course, 100%. lol

-12 ( +6 / -18 )

As mentioned before, sad but not surprising.

Poland has accepted over 6 million Ukrainian refugees. In the Fall of 2021 they hosed down Afghan refugees to keep them out at the Belarusian border.

Sadly Japan is not the only racist country around (though they’re pretty high on the list).

-10 ( +11 / -21 )

The public job placement office Hello Work said they had only a 1 percent chance of securing work in Japan, according to an evacuee.

Many or perhaps even most foreigners in Japan speak little or no Japanese and teach English, translate, start a restaurant or work as laborers. Even Japanese shop clerks I meet recently are barely audible or knowledgeable about the service or product.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I came to Japan some 15 years ago in my early 20s already speaking fluent japanese, JLPT N1 certificate in hands, still it was very hard to adjust at first, still haven't adjusted to the work culture in this place, could only find peace of mind after becoming fully self-employed to never ever have any japanese coworkers around for more than a week. If you come with 0 knowledge of the language it will take years before you even have any chances to be a fully independent, active member of society. And I'm just guessing here but if you have a middle eastern face the average japanese will not be interested in talking with you. These people have been duped! random "first world"  ≠ good life

-8 ( +18 / -26 )

40% of evacuees from Afghanistan have left Japan over poor support

Not surprising, not surprising at all.

But again, how much of a future is there for non-Japanese / english speakers from Afghanistan in Japan?

Except maybe to work in the Gaimusho at the Middle-East / Afghan desk or something. Business-wise, with the talibans in charge, I doubt that there are many chances of carving much of anything over there for private companies.

On a side-note...

Around 40 percent of the 169 people who fled to Japan from Afghanistan following the Taliban's return to power in August last year have left their new home due to what they say was pressure and a lack of support from the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

... I recall the figure of (supposedly Afghan) people to evacuate in the days being 400. Were we talking about including also non-Afghan (read: Japanese in Afghanistan such as NGOs and such) who said back then they would ultimately remain and we ended up evacuating only 1 Japanese Kyodo staff or did we "loose" somewhere underway 231 Afghan nationals refugees expecting to be evacuated? As usual, Kyodo and the J-gov toss around a lot of numbers around and the reader is left to make sense out of them...

-12 ( +7 / -19 )

The generosity and sympathy of Japanese society shines through once again.

-6 ( +21 / -27 )

Although Japan has granted refugee status to 98 people, 58 returned to Afghanistan despite the risk of persecution by the Taliban

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

How on earth anyone can think Japan is a good country for refugees is beyond me.

-5 ( +21 / -26 )

yes.as expected.Japan is very different country than Afghanistan.

and yes-here benefits are not that great like in Germany or UK...so....

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

@finally rich

Agree 100% with you.

Being self employed is the way to go in Japan.

Japan is one of the easiest countries to export from and if a reliable product line can be sourced then it’s easy money.

Importing to Japan not so much, but again, there are opportunities for real growth in some markets.

Having enough capital to get by and a good relations with the bank is a must.

Having native staff on hand is also necessary as xenophobic attitudes are out there.

In the long run, established businesses do well here.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Oh well

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

The 98 were newly recognized as refugees in August by the Japanese government, in a rare move for a country known for its strict refugee screening policy and poor record of accepting asylum seekers.

It is and will always be known for its anti-foreigner policies.

-8 ( +10 / -18 )

Why is it hard for Afghans to adapt and easy for Ukranians ? Discimination.

-15 ( +5 / -20 )

mimi

Today 11:12 am JST

Why is it hard for Afghans to adapt and easy for Ukranians ? Discimination.

Same reason Ukraine gets all the attention and places like Yemen get none.

But I suspect the instant the Ukrainian refugees get a chance to blow this place for countries like Canada, Australia, USA Europe, etc.. they will.

Heck after my divorce and having custody of 2 pre-school age Japanese Nationals I was regularly told to take the "Hafu" and leave as Japan would be "difficult" to raise "Hafu" on my own and not a place for Gaijin. ( Problem was Canada refused entry of the children due to it's laws at the time).

These "leave you will be better elsewhere" was repeated at immigration, ward offices, schools, etc... So nothing in Japan surprises me.

-5 ( +14 / -19 )

They said ministry staff visited their homes and told them that living in Japan would be difficult and that a decision on whether to stay or leave the country would have to be discussed with their families.

Welcome to Japan, impending tourists.

After spending your money, please leave.

-8 ( +16 / -24 )

So the none to subtle pressure to leave worked well. Like companies sidelining workers so they will quit. If being lousy at the local language was the real reason I would have packed it in decades ago. But despite that, I have thrived all the same here.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Why is it easier For one group and harder for another? One group is deeply secular and has no religion house or Mulla to meet and pray. The other is not deeply secular and has religion houses with Priest to meet and pray. You will see the the old house of Christians with a Priest but never a House of Muslins with a Mulla in Japan. The reason being is Japan is not so welcoming to religion sects other then Buddhism. Unlike the UK a island Japan has never been defeated by different religion sects and societies. Where the UK has been more excepting of being dominated. Japan has never been invaded and exposes to other religions. It a Mono culture and will stay that way until too late, like today. Japan has to populate or parish and the only way is immigration.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

A hugely unpopular opinion I am wel aware but introducing English as an official second language would be very very hood for Japan.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Good *

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sad. Can you imagine the culture shock of coming to Japan from Afghanistan? I came from the UK and took me ages to even begin to settle in......

5 ( +10 / -5 )

I am Japanese and grew up in both the US and Japan and now permanently live in Tokyo. Feel bad for those who have to leave but really want to stay....

Problem lies in the Japanese bureaucracy, red tape and lack of a modern practical mindset by organizations to come up with effective solutions. Hope those who stay in Japan can adapt and in some cases befriend locals who are willing to help and there are many who have....

Relying on immigration and government sponsored organizations is often time consuming, and while intentions are good, very slow and impractical. Example, ward offices and Hello Work (organization name is in English....funny and ironic :)p are staffed with non-English speakers and all forms have to be filled out in Japanese! Why are signs on the doorways in multiple languages but not the basic forms!!! Does not make any sense and is half baked. Same as the internet websites and online forms....trying go digital, yet still using Faxes!!! And some page translations are in not good Engrish and other pages are not fully translated and in Japanese....with Kanji/Kana required mandatory fields.....Ahhh Herro, foreigners don't have Kanji names unless they have to translate into equivalent Kanji characters, which my foreign friends often have to do on other websites (also inputs in half-width characters...makes no sense). What brainchild is responsible for overseeing the design of these web pages!!!

The language barrier is a tough hurdle, even though Japan is now promoting English or (Engrish), this is not going to be a quick crossover....many Japanese speak only Japanese Engrish which nobody understands except Japanese, so effectively useless. If this is common in Tokyo and other major Japanese cities, think about those who live in rural areas! Hope this changes to accommodate those who wish to stay, as the intention to provide assistance is there, but lack of Japanese organizations' know-how to implement this....

9 ( +15 / -6 )

Japan doesn't deal with refugees or asylum seekers much, so an influx of 160+ would strain a non-existing support system. This is one of those things that wealthy countries need to bare, as part of their world leadership.

They need a plan to integrate the entire family into Japan. That means having a plan for all the new arrivals to become acclimated and learn the new systems. The plan needs to be flexible when people fail to complete a step as outlines by the schedule. Life gets in the way of our plans.

Even in the best situation, moving countries is a difficult thing for families. I bet there are lots of people posting here who know those challenges. I've moved about 11 times in my life, mostly before age 30. My parents were really organized and knew exactly all the steps. That's without having a completely new culture and language involved.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

You will see the the old house of Christians with a Priest but never a House of Muslins with a Mulla in Japan.

Wow generalization at it's best.

I live in North east Tokyo, I am not religious I was raised by Catholic parents but am atheist.

I know at least 4 Iman/mulla within 30 min by subway or bicycle there are 2 Mosques and a load of Halal food stores and a islamic cultural center that is just my little piece of Tokyo.

Sure if living in deap countryside it will be very rare and difficult but not in any major city.

I know of them in Saitama, Ibaraki, Kanagawa, multiple in Tokyo-to.

To be quite clear the Muslim association in Japan is very well organized and is very active in helping others. The real question is are these people fleeing harsh Islamic laws and government interested or do they feel safe associating with these groups.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I mean, the employees of the Japanese embassy and their family members had so many choices, right?

How on earth anyone can think Japan is a good country for refugees is beyond me.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Disgusting.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

I know at least 4 Iman/mulla within 30 min by subway or bicycle there are 2 Mosques and a load of Halal food stores and a islamic cultural center that is just my little piece of Tokyo.

Of course, you do, as always.

There are eight mosques in Tokyo.

There are around 80 mosques in Japan, many of them relatively small. The country's biggest place of Islamic worship is Tokyo Camii, which has space for around 1,200 worshipers.

The first mosque in Tokyo was built by Tartars who came to Japan as refugees after the Russian Revolution in 1917. 

30,000 Muslims live in Tokyo.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@BT

You couldn't have said it better! I have a similar background and used to live in California where many documents, ads, tests, etc had Spanish written on the back of the English sheets. Was kind of hoping that Japan would do the same with English, but don't get me wrong it is a lot better than it was 20 years ago. The problem lies with where the translations stop. You see street signs, caution notices, labels, and all sorts of tourist related areas translated in English; but when it comes to becoming a resident here, most paper work, contracts, websites, etc are only in Japanese. It is getting better, but I still see room for improvement.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

wallace

Today 01:46 pm JST

Yes! You have a problem with that?

One Mosque near my place is now under renovations.

I don't just spend my time in google I actually go out and meet real people.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Antiquesaving

I meet a great many people in my profession including Muslims.

Last month I met around 700 people. Exhausting but necessary.

There are quite a few in Kobe including a mosque. More than 10,000. But I have never met any Imans or Mullas.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Antisaving: All the wrong sect for those whom left ?, Also Most Muslins are not allow to borrow money when Interest is involved, EG Western Banks etc. So those bussiness type would find it very difficult to set a business outside a small local muslin polulation. Having to deal the Japanese way, would be against their secular laws. They could stay and work as a salary worker in a factory. Where the non muslins don't have these secular problems. Like I stated before we should be given credit to those 60% which have stayed.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Saw that coming !

They would rather not be in Japan .

Japan is safe but not comfortable for many foreigners .

Sad but true

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

How bad must their experience with Japanese bureaucracy have been for some to return to Afghanistan?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Why would they go back to Afghanistan? I'd think they'd use this time to get transit to the US or Europe instead of going back to the Stoneganistan where they may be executed.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

No mosques here. hope the 60% find new happy lives with shrines and temples

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Seth MToday  03:56 pm JST

No mosques here. hope the 60% find new happy lives with shrines and temples

There are 80 or so mosques in Japan.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

wallace

Today 02:29 pm JST

Antiquesaving

> I meet a great many people in my profession including Muslims.

> Last month I met around 700 people. Exhausting but necessary.

> There are quite a few in Kobe including a mosque. More than 10,000. But I have never met any Imans or Mullas

Wow 700 you do need to be one up!

Never met one? OK I suggest Friday night Okachimachi, after last prayer, some very nice people, also some great Halal food markets open very late, get my spices and mutton there.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Wow 700 you do need to be one up!

Try 750!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The fact that these poor people would rather return to a Tailban occupied country than stay in so called "First World" Japan says a lot about how Japan treats its immigrants. Abhorrent behavior.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Whilst I have sympathies for any refugee or asylum seeker, there are always going to be limits to what support sheltering countries can offer. Afghanistan is a long way from Japan, the refugees would be better off elsewhere. Ditto the Ukrainians.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Who needs to manufacture hostility for achieving one’s real purpose, when it comes so naturally.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Wow How nice dancing on the Kyodo's greatest scoop. Kyodo's English news division is so anti-Japan as you can guess. Just a week ago, Japanese media reported 51 out of those 98 refugees would settle at Koyama-city, Tochigi-prefecture, which is now busy for full-supporting those Afgan refugees' family, especially for them to attend schools.

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/7073ed0bfcb1ea6892953948e29b40f76a03d31c

This reported that they were given 5 years residency permit with possibility for PR.

Yet this

Although Japan has granted refugee status to 98 people, 58 returned to Afghanistan despite the risk of persecution by the Taliban, while seven left for the United States and Britain, according to the evacuees.

It doesn't add up somehow at all but forget what English-news-only media in Japan report under Anonymity。

They were given all the living cost, and yet, left here due to pure supports. ... really?

They may prefer Rwanda transferred from UK, or Turkey backed up by financial arrangements within EU to Japan where nobody speak English and discriminate them. That7s what it's happening here right? RIGHT?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Who was it, insisting all media have social responsibility? Then how the hell KYODO does not dispatch the same news in Japanese in Japan? They're reporting the truth right? RIGHT?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

It is time for Japan to stop concerning too much about just its appearance within corrupt UN community.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

they could have volunteered to learn the language. the government does not have to offer courses. just group buy courses from a private teacher.

but some people would even rather return to war, than learn to be fluent in a new language. at least there all speak their language.

some refuse to learn a new language and when faced with the decision that they need to be fluent in a new language, they just refuse and rather return. maybe because of pride, maybe because of wanting to not use that much effort. it is a significant effort to be fluent in a new language.

also if benefits would be denied if they don't learn to be fluent, that would affect the decision to leave as well.

in Finland, many refugees never learn Finnish, and just use English, even after decades. benefits are offered regardless for the rest of life, around 1000 euros per month, don't have to work. some Afghanistan women just mingle with other Afghans and speak only afghan languages and basically stay outside of normal Finnish society and just collect benefits from making children.

so I understand them voluntarily returning to Afghanistan. if my country Finland would say to refugees that they have to learn to be fluent in the new language or life will be difficult, most refugees would return, too.

of course, they might be that much in danger, if they return voluntarily. it just means changing their beliefs into more fundamental ones, that´s all.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

kennyG

Today 06:24 pm JST

Not sure what you are ranting on about.

169 people who fled to Japan from

> Although Japan has granted refugee status to 98 people, 58 returned to Afghanistan

So your 51 came from the 98 that remained and 58 ( 40% ) of the original 169 .

The fact 51 got what you say doesn't change the fact 40% decided it was a better choice to risk the Taliban than remain in Japan.

This is not anti Japan they are just facts.

I always find it hilarious when foreigners get so upset at unflattering facts about Japan often more upset than 99% of the Japanese would on the same thing.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Japan was just a stepping stone for many of them wanting a better life. They want to go where they can speak the language and where they can easily bring the other 30 members of their extended family once they are settled.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@redmanticore

While I agree that immigrants who do not learn the local language can expect to be sidelined, I feel concerned that you assume immigrants can learn a new language to a high degree within a short period of time with little money, something that affects the majority of immigrants to Japan.

I agree that a lot of refugees seem unwilling to integrate though and that the current liberal immigration policy of Western European governments is untenable.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

SDCA

I have a similar background and used to live in California where many documents, ads, tests, etc had Spanish written on the back of the English sheets.

It isn't only Spanish. Government forms in California usually include Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, and yes, even Japanese, in addition to English. Very accommodating.

It would behoove Japan, especially if it wants to attract foreign workers, to at least include Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and English on forms and documents, both paper and online.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

> Although Japan has granted refugee status to 98 people, 58 returned to Afghanistan despite the risk of persecution by the Taliban, while seven left for the United States and Britain, according to the evacuees.

40% of 169 is nearly 68. In such case this specified "58" most probably out of that 98 who's got refugee status.

It doesn't add up as 98-58= only 40.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It doesn't add up as 98-58= only 40.

169-58= 111

seven left for the United States and Britain, according to the evacuees.

111-7=104

Six others have remained in Japan but have not applied for refugee status, while the 98 Afghan refugees who remained in Japan have moved outside of Tokyo and were slated to take Japanese classes for six months starting in October,

104 -6 = 98

So if you read the article the numbers add up.

169 arrived in Japan, 58 decided to skip the refugee process and return, 7 left for other countries, 6 still haven't asked for refugees status and 98 have been granted Refugee status

169-58-7-6 = 98

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I don't believe that these refugees are rejecting the Japanese language and culture.

It's not written anywhere in the article.

Besides, they have better chances of survival if they stay in Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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