Voices
in
Japan

poll

Would you like to see Japan take in asylum-seekers from the Middle East to help alleviate the crisis in Europe?

90 Comments
© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

90 Comments
Login to comment

From what I've read about how asylum seekers are treated in Japan (basically like criminals), this country is probably the worst place to come as a refugee, but still better than facing persecution and death of your family so, 'yes'!

7 ( +22 / -16 )

Moot point -- won't never happen.

12 ( +18 / -6 )

Why are there so many young men seeking asylum? Wouldn't they be better off to fight for their country? I see it as an opportunity to seize residence in a comfortable country and introduce or maintain their culture to host nations.

-2 ( +22 / -24 )

Absolutely not.

Japan is about as far from the Middle East and as far removed as one can get. I won't get into the broader issues regarding the nature of the flood of "refugees" pouring out of the Middle East and the world's responsibility.

However, here is what I would say is this. Let's assume all are true refugees that fear for their lives and well being. One should work on the hope that the circumstances that have led to them fleeing would at some point stabilise in the future to allow them to return to their home country.

As such, should the priority be for the world to endeavour to house them closer to their point of origin, where return is easier and where the surrounding environment, culture, and language would be more similar. Yes, it would involve the world community funding this for the countries bearing the burden, but shouldn't that be the preferred route.

Resettling Middle East refugees, particularly those with no direct connection to Japan, to Japan just makes no rational sense.

9 ( +22 / -13 )

zones2surfSEP. 14, 2015 - 08:28AM JST Absolutely not. Japan is about as far from the Middle East and as far removed as one can get.

So is New Zealand, Australia and Canada and all have increased their quotas of refugees by thousands - it all comes down to the level of compassion for fellow human beings by government and citizens; what does it clearly say to the world about Japan in this regard?

4 ( +24 / -20 )

I see it as an opportunity to seize residence in a comfortable country and introduce or maintain their culture to host nations.

Sort of like a lot of JT posters do? How dare they!!

Resettling Middle East refugees, particularly those with no direct connection to (name your country), to (name your country) just makes no rational sense.

No room at the inn?

1 ( +11 / -10 )

I voted no, and not for ideological, religious or racial reasons. It's not just a question of taking them out of compassion. You have to have a workable plan, otherwise things are going to get ugly, which countries like Germany, Austria and Hungary are about to find out.

Suppose Japan accepted 10,000 Syrian refugees. When they arrive, where do they live? In apartments in neighborhoods all over Japan or in enclaves? ho pays for their food, clothing and lodging? What about their children? Where do they go to school? Most likely they only speak Arabic. How will the parents find work, especially since they, too, most likely speak Arabic?

Communities will ostracize them and they will just stick together.

The only solution to the refugee problem is for peace in Syria so that the migrants can return home. I'd wager most of them don't want to leave in the first place.

And for peace in Syria, that means Western powers stop trying oust President Assad and help him destroy the IS threat. Better the devil you know.

12 ( +19 / -7 )

@igloobuyer,

So is New Zealand, Australia and Canada and all have increased their quotas of refugees by thousands - it all comes down to the level of compassion for fellow human beings by government and citizens; what does it clearly say to the world about Japan in this regard?

New Zealand, Australia and Canada are all countries formed as a result of immigration, no? The primary language is English, no? There may already be communities in these countries that would provide support for these individuals, no? Also, there is the broader question of whether they should be taking in these refugees at all.

What Japan does or does not do says nothing about the compassion of Japan. Rather, what the other countries choose to do may say more about their own misguided thinking in this realm.

Look, the world is full of refugees. Africa, the Middle East, the subcontinent. Why do the "Syrian" refugees get special treatment?? Compassion does not mean acting irrationally. What is that they say about a full lifeboat taking on more people, sinking and everyone involved drowning in the process?! There are ways for countries to act with full compassion to meet the needs of the true refugees without resettling them thousands of mile away.

@SenseNotSoCommon,

No room at the inn?

Nice Biblical concept there. In relation to predominantly Muslim refugees. What I find is that it tends to be those countries with a Christian heritage that seem to be most concerned about the well-being of these "refugees". Their Muslim neighbours? Not so much. Particularly the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia. Although I see that Saudi Arabia is prepared to finance 800 new mosques in Europe... to promote Wahhabism to these refugees.

That said, back to your point. It is not that there is no room at the inn per se. It is a question of whether housing someone in the inn, to use your analogy, is the right solution. And, also, a question of fairness. There are millions of refugees around the world. Should they all be relocated to 1st world countries? Should we just depopulate all refugees camps? If not, why do the refugees from Syria get special treatment?

I can make all of the arguments why this is not the right solution, particularly with respect to a country's responsibility to its own people. However, I always know it is a losing proposition, because those that act rationally sometimes have to make choices that appear to be cruel and without compassion.

2 ( +13 / -11 )

Zones2surf

New Zealand, Australia and Canada are all countries formed as a result of immigration, no? The primary language is English, no? There may already be communities in these countries that would provide support for these individuals, no?

Your point being? Middle East people's don't speak English. It's true these countries are better set up for immigration, but why doesn't Japan do more? I think they perhaps just don't care, like you.

-8 ( +10 / -18 )

Middle East people's don't speak English.

A good number of them do speak English - many quite well. Virtually none of them speak Japanese, and Japanese life would be incredibly alien to them. Zone2surf made a perfectly rational post that asked serious questions. He closes by saying that people who make the difficult choices are accused of being cruel, and you confirmed that by saying he "doesn't care."

The cruelty is first the responsibility of those who are killing people and forcing them to become refugees. Then it's the responsibility of neighboring nations. It's also the responsibility of nations that have meddled in the Middle East and helped create the current situation.

There are people in need of help all over the world, many right here in Asia. That is where Japan could concentrate its humanitarian efforts.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Well, just 20 would be a huge improvement over current efforts.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

If the choice is being shot or being allowed to bring my family to Japan - I'd want to move to Japan.

"Compassion".

They will learn Japanese. Their kids will learn Japanese. Sure, some of their culture will mix and both cultures will be better for it. There will be some disagreements too. Think of the great middle-eastern foods, groceries, and clothing that will be available to all of Japan after they arrive? They will start businesses, raise their kids, become part of the local community. In 1 generation, this will be history and Japan will be better off for doing it.

The refugees start in camps and as they learn, they are moved to different communities around the country where families offer to help them learn Japanese ways and culture. My family did this with Vietnamese refugees in the early 1970s. I still recall the scared look on the family of 4 who stayed with us for a week as their housing was lined up at a camp. Mom yelled at them - thinking that would help understanding English. They didn't speak ANY English, but a smile and pointing goes a long way, as anyone here knows.

Japan is too afraid of outsiders "infecting" their country. The internet is doing more of that than 20K refugees from Syria would.

China, South Korea, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Panama, South Africa, Russia should all be accepting of these people too. Europe doesn't have any choice; same for the neighboring countries. The USA will end up taking a huge "share", just like they've done previously. When Syria calms down, many will return, but most will stay in their new countries and only visit "the old country" every few years. But we have to start with "compassion."

-13 ( +8 / -21 )

No. Absolutely NOT!

3 ( +13 / -10 )

They should be treated like anyone else who tries to move to, and live in Japan. Japanese Immigration requirements, for permanent residence, is not an easy thing! The requirements alone, would extremely limit many asylum seekers from qualifying.

On a humanitarian level, what does it say about any country who outright, won't allow people to seek safety, from a war torn country, just because they're from a particular country?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@igloobuyer,

Your point being? Middle East people's don't speak English. It's true these countries are better set up for immigration, but why doesn't Japan do more? I think they perhaps just don't care, like you.

The point I was trying to make is that some countries are better equipped to handle immigration than others, as your yourself agree. My point regarding English is that a large number of these individuals do speak English and English is, in fact, the default international language. As opposed to none of them speaking any Japanese.

I was also merely highlighting that some societies are built on a greater sense of multiculturalism than others. Or, at least, with it somewhat more interwoven with their society. This impacts how policymakers would look at bringing in refugees and their long-term prospects within their society if, in fact, these refugees become long-term residents and potentially even citizens one day.

I could imagine a Syrian refugee becoming a citizen of England, France, Canda, Germany, the U.S., New Zealand, and Australia (OK, maybe not Australia under the current government), for example. It is much harder for me to imagine that in Japan.

Now, you may argue that this is a reflection on Japan and that just because that may be the case doesn't mean they shouldn't accept refugees. That may be true, but it doesn't change the fact of what Japan is today. And if they don't give admit refugees, but turn around and give billions of dollars to support organisation taking of refugees and funding refugee camps near the refugees home country, does that make them less compassionate? Are we now saying that giving to charity to take care of the needs of the needy is "less compassionate" than opening up our own home to house the needy? Are we making judgements on who is more or less compassionate?

For example, Japan gave approximately USD 200 million to UNHCR in 2014. It gives billions in overseas development aid (at least US$ 12 billion in 2013) to help countries hopefully develop their own infrastructure and industry in order to provide a better life for their citizens.

The argument is always that Japan doesn't do enough, or it takes the easy way out by throwing money at issues rather than "getting involved". However, that is unfair, I believe. You may feel differently and that is fine. However, I think compassion and concern can express itself in different ways. And it is not wrong to take a realistic, pragmatic approach in how one acts on a desire to be compassionate.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Regarding whether Japan should take in asylum-seekers from MENA, when I first came to Japan in the 1980's there were many workers from Iran and Pakistan (not MENA I know). Given they have some cultural similarities to the current asylum-seekers, I'm curious how their experiences have been, if they've been able to meld into Japanese society. I know Yu Darvish has done well; many others?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They will learn Japanese. Their kids will learn Japanese. Sure, some of their culture will mix and both cultures will be better for it.

theFu, I don't think you live in Japan, right? Me, too is not living in Japan. Let me be frantly with you. Even if those second generation kids can read, write, speak, understand, eat, walk, sing etc...like Japanese. The majority of Japanese people still consider them foreigners and believe it is OK to have 'Bias' attitude towards them. Just look at what happen to the recent winner of Miss Universe japan 2015, Ariana Miyamoto, and you will know it. Therefore I cast a big 'No' vote to the question.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

China has 64mil empty apartments & houses. Saudi Arabia has unlimited wealth, as does much of the UAE. Russia has an immense land area. Why aren't they taking on any refugees? Hmm?

15 ( +18 / -3 )

If they are prepared to assimilate, it wouldn't be so bad. If they say they want to assimilate, hand them a cold beer and nice pork sausage; you'll soon be able to tell how genuine they are.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They should, yes, but as is clearly demonstrated by their record of accepting refugees in the past, they won't, and can't. It's all about this insane idea that they would "change the culture" here. They BARELY allow white-color workers to stay without jumping through crazy hoops -- no way they'd allow people who are running for their lives but can't at least dance in hooker clubs.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

zones2surf:

Resettling Middle East refugees, particularly those with no direct connection to Japan, to Japan just makes no rational sense.

None whatsoever. Thank you for the rational and logical explanation in this and other posts. You show great patience (more than I possess, certainly) with the more emotional posters who take issue with your irrefutable logic.

sighclops:

China has 64mil empty apartments & houses. Saudi Arabia has unlimited wealth, as does much of the UAE. Russia has an immense land area. Why aren't they taking on any refugees? Hmm?

I doubt you'll get an answer from this crowd, only down-votes. (Yes, I realize your question was rhetorical.)

As I have stated in other threads, the Islamic State would be idiots to pass up this opportunity to spread their representatives anywhere that is foolish enough to accept refugees. And considering their social media savvy, financing, weapons trafficking, and control of land in two countries, they are not idiots. Already, young male refugees have been waving ISIS flags while facing off with German police. It would be wise of Japan not to put themselves at risk for that.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

NO. reason? all of the above.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

No

0 ( +4 / -4 )

What Japan does or does not do says nothing about the compassion of Japan. Rather, what the other countries choose to do may say more about their own misguided thinking in this realm.

Nonsense. Japan and compassion with regards to refugees/asylum seekers is an oxymoron. Or did you miss the fact that Japan only admitted 11 last year? Think about that for a second and all your arguments about langauge and housing and everything else fall apart and become just convenient smoke-screens for a lack of compassion.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Doesn't Japan already have its own hands full with Chinese refugees & migrants?

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

Hand them a sausage and pint of beer. We'll soon see if they are truly prepared to assimilate.

4 ( +13 / -9 )

Absolutely not. There is no basic human right for a better life as the Hungarian PM said. Most of these are economic refugees seeking a better life. Americans caused all these recent problems in the Middle East (by killing Saddam, Kadhafi and by trying to get rid of Assad), they should spend the money solving it. Theirs is an alien culture, they would never assimilate, would never adapt. They want the host nation(s) to change for them. If you have doubts check out the sharia-law situation in Ontario, Canada. Or ask the edtors of Charlie Hebdo, or Theo van Gogh. Oh, you can't, they were murdered by not even first but second-generation muslim immigrants. And don't give me the BS rap of a "few isolated incidents", check out honor killings in the UK, immigrant youth crime in Holland (Forty percent of Moroccan immigrants in the Netherlands between the ages of 12 and 24 have been arrested, fined, charged or otherwise accused of committing a crime during the past five years, according to a new report commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Interior. http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/2624/moroccan-crime-netherlands), etc. Muslims killing muslims in the Middle East is their problems not ours. Japan is absolutely on the right track by not letting these people in. Multiculturalism is dumb idea, that has failed in every country it has been tried in. Humans are tribal by nature, no social engineer can change that.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

They will learn Japanese. Their kids will learn Japanese. Sure, some of their culture will mix and both cultures will be better for it.

No. The second generation are worse than the first generation, who, in some cases, will feel gratitude towards the host country. The second generation, having grown up in a household with a strong cultural identity, is effectively caught between two worlds as they try to reconcile the culture of their parents with living in Japan. This will inevitably lead to considerable friction as they push back against the host culture, which is why, in extreme cases we see some teenage Muslims abandoning Britain to sign up for ISIS.

Accepting large scale immigration of peoples whose religious and cultural background is diametrically opposed, if not outright hostile, to the values of the host country is madness. Shame on you Blair and shame on you Merkel.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Multiculturalism is dumb idea, that has failed in every country

Multiculturalism can work but it requires a great deal of efforts from many different parties and time to pull it off. Also some cultures, like muslim, are more challenging than others when comes to multiculturalism.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

The second generation are worse than the first generation, who, in some cases, will feel gratitude towards the host country. The second generation, having grown up in a household with a strong cultural identity, is effectively caught between two worlds as they try to reconcile the culture of their parents with living in Japan. This will inevitably lead to considerable friction as they push back against the host culture, which is why, in extreme cases we see some teenage Muslims abandoning Britain to sign up for ISIS. This. Drive around any Canadian city, especially Toronto, to see all the flag waving, yelling and screaming second generation youth are doing when their parents' country had a winning game. They can't decide whether they are Canadians, or Italians, or Portugese or Korean or whatever. They also live in immigrant ghettos, be it Korea town, Greek town, Little Italy, Chinatown or what have you. Multiculturalism is a failed idea, especially with muslims whose religion overwhelmingly controls their every day life and social interactions. And they are willing to kill indiscriminately for it. How many terrorist plots have been foiled in the UK and other European countries already?

If you want your wives, daughters or granddaughters subjugated by men then by all means, let them in and wait until they demand that their religious freedoms be observed by the host country. A ticking time bomb if there ever was one.

9 ( +16 / -7 )

NO, not even in the US...this is getting ridiculous. Take care of the 11 million ILLEGAL ones before accepting anymore people.. When does common sense start????

6 ( +11 / -5 )

@MikeRowave

Humans are tribal by nature, no social engineer can change that.

If you're saying individuals are incapable of thinking beyond the restrictions and myths of their respective tribes, I strongly disagree with you. I enjoy mixing with 'locals' (with whom almost all my mixing is done) who I know enjoy mixing with people from different cultures, something I've seen throughout the world.

But if you're saying that cultural extremists can and do make it difficult for anyone who wants to see life beyond their own cultural bounds, I fully agree. To me it's cultural extremists in every culture who create the problems, not nature. I don't think we're born to hate, instead we're acculturated to. I think cultural extremists are the biggest threat to biology, to nature. I think it's cultural extremists who use their own culture and a perverted view of biology (e.g. Hitler) to create most of the problems we see. And yes, I include Muslim extremists in the all encompassing list.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

In a world where multiculturalism is being pushed onto wealthy countries without us having much or any say about the whole thing, Japan should stand up for itself and its culture by minimising its intake of migrants, especially in mass numbers and from cultures where values, language and religions are very different from its own.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

I haven't read the previous posts, so please bear that in mind.

That spoken there is a theory that if Obama had been more aggressive militarily, that the conflict might not have grown to the size it has. That would mean less refugees going abroad for safety. But plz do make your own conclusion, mine may need more information in order to change what I've stated.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@jerseyboy,

Nonsense. Japan and compassion with regards to refugees/asylum seekers is an oxymoron. Or did you miss the fact that Japan only admitted 11 last year? Think about that for a second and all your arguments about langauge and housing and everything else fall apart and become just convenient smoke-screens for a lack of compassion.

OK, I think I get the logic and the linkage you are applying here.

Let's start with something I think we can all agree on. Japan is not a culture/country based on immigrants/immigration. At least, not in recent history (one can argue about what happened many hundreds of year ago another time). Therefore, the fact that the idea of admitting refugees/asylum seekers to Japan, individuals who may be here permanently and whose children may be here permanently, is challenging for Japan should not be a surprise. Nor should the idea that they might be resistant to it. Does this mean that they are not compassionate? Or just do not have a culture, framework or mindset that makes them easily receptive to the idea of accepting refugees/asylum seekers?

I know the statistics on the number of asylum applications approved. I know it is an amazingly small number in comparison to the number of applications made, which are in the thousands (I'll go back and pull the exact number of applications later). You will get no argument from me that the bureaucrats examining each application probably start with the premise that the application should be denied. They then probably look for any reason to deny it. Is that because they are not compassionate? Or is that just because the idea of accepting permanent refugees is something that they are inherently resistant to? Beyond that, they probably ask a very basic question: if this person is a true refugee, why have they chosen Japan? Why select Japan, which is not known for its immigrant culture and whose primary language is not English, the international language?

Beyond that, it is pretty well known that many of the applicants are not true refugees but use the refugee application process to then begin to work in Japan immediately. This was a result of the 2010 revisions to the law which permitted this and which many believe led to the increase in applications.

None of that excuses the fact that Japan does a pretty poor job with respect to the handling of true refugees in general, despite it being a signatory member of the 1951 U.N. Convention and 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees. There is no question that there are genuine cases of refugees who come to Japan, potentially under UN programs, and then end up in limbo for years awaiting a ruling on their refugee application.

Again, however, is this a question of a lack of compassion or just an inherent reticence to expand immigration in general? Indeed, I think we all know that those that work in the Ministry of Justice / the Immigration Bureau can be some of the most conservative officials in government.

The point I am trying to make is that when you begin with this as a starting place and then look at the idea of accepting a number of refugees from Syria in bulk in that context, one begins to understand why this is a path Japan may be reluctant to go down. And, again, it may not be about compassion.

One can argue that all of the countries that "so compassionate" because they are accepting refugees are countries that do so because they have a history of immigration and have a society that has an acceptance of multiculturalism. Does that make them "more compassionate"? Or just able to express their compassion differently?

Compassion takes many forms and expresses itself in many ways. Is there only one acceptable way to be compassionate and express compassion? Or can different countries find different ways to express their compassion in the context of their own culture?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@kyronstavic

n a world where multiculturalism is being pushed onto wealthy countries without us having much or any say about the whole thing

Could some of the wealthy countries have been ones that invaded and occupied countries that had no say in the whole thing? I'm not saying turnabout is fair play, and I don't believe in an eye for an eye, but I do think historical actions should be factored in when considering what's happening today.

And do these wealthy countries have constitutions or laws of some sort disallowing multiculturalism? Or is it just the loudest cultural extremists who want to preserve the purity of their race? Where have I heard that before.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Now, I wish to detract my previous post. The migrant issue is not 100% of the U.S.'s problem, since the countries involved are mostly from Europe. Why don't they step up militarily in order to make a more stable country from which the people flee?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

why is it always some liberal guilt trip to demand that every country have compassion for refugees and asylum seekers? it's great that various countries these people, but they also the support of the people living there. for japan and most countries in asia, there is just no willingness to do this, and that is just fine.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Yeah, zones2surf, let's not call it noncompassionate, let's call it "differently compassioned." Problem solved. No need to take anyone in and the critics can be criticized in turn for failing to understand us.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Quite frankly, I don't want to live in area with 1000s of muslims.

Their values, beliefs and culture are just too different to mine.

And I wouldn't want the character of my neighborhood changed by introducing 1000s of muslims.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

the Fu:

" They will learn Japanese. Their kids will learn Japanese. Sure, some of their culture will mix and both cultures will be better for it. There will be some disagreements too. Think of the great middle-eastern foods, groceries, and clothing that will be available to all of Japan after they arrive? They will start businesses, raise their kids, become part of the local community. In 1 generation, this will be history and Japan will be better off for doing it. "

That is a nice, idyllic image, but that is not what has happened with muslim immigration into non-muslim countries anywhere.

Take a look at Southern Thailand, Mindanao in the Philippines, the Uighurs in China, the Rohingas in Burma, to see how this would play out. Are you sure that endless calls for independence and Shariah are what Japan needs?

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Could some of the wealthy countries have been ones that invaded and occupied countries that had no say in the whole thing? I'm not saying turnabout is fair play, and I don't believe in an eye for an eye, but I do think historical actions should be factored in when considering what's happening today.

And do these wealthy countries have constitutions or laws of some sort disallowing multiculturalism? Or is it just the loudest cultural extremists who want to preserve the purity of their race? Where have I heard that before.

Problem is, the governments who did the invading didn't care whether they had popular support for those wars, and they don't care whether or not they have public support for foisting multiculturalism on us either. They pay lip service to democracy but don't care a hoot about practicing it or looking out for the best interests of us citizens who pay the taxes. For all its faults, at least the Japanese government is putting Japanese interests first in this instance.

And be careful about who you label cultural extremists. There's a certain mob who want the benefits of Western society but are a little less keen on accepting beliefs different to theirs. And I'm not talking about Muslims here - it's the latte Left who enjoy the freedoms of Western liberalism while trying to destroy it with policies and ideals that contravene it such as open borders and excessive welfare.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Thanks to the everlasting support of the America for Japan, Japan does not care what the international community saying to them, let alone accepting refugees, Japan never recognize or apologize for the miseries and suffering they brought to the millions of people in their neighbours they frequently ignoring the calling of the international community.

this is the irony that Japan used the Syrian civil war for their own advantage while getting the Olympic games against Turkey, now the Olympics games/ the games of the humanity will be played on a land which does not allow the people who are suffering from war and violence. is it not a joke with the international community and united nations that Japan accept 11 refugees out of 5000. the process of the asylum in Japan is itself a torture, they deliberately creating hurdles through red tapism, they separate toddlers from the mothers, putting severely ill asylum seekers in the jail and the length of the process is another punishment. in one case the japanese officials went to the asylum seeker home country in order to find out about his clam, this action put the said family expose and they suffered with more revenge. there are several such examples. even they deported the UNHCR recognized refugees.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

No thank you. I'd rather we took much easier people to assimilate from Vietnam, Burma (buddhists), even China to improve relations or catholics from the Philippines. That is if ever Japan opens its border (unlikely)

3 ( +6 / -3 )

wars, natural disasters and other human tragedies are not limited to one nation if you are kind to them today they will be kind to you tomorrow, Japan just recently escaped a dreadful situation in the form of Fukushima nuclear plant, thanks God the radiation did not crossed the limits, according to the japanese officials, that could be the biggest disaster and migration in the human history. then????????

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Most of rural Japan is depopulating rapidly. Put a couple of families in each of the thousands of dying communities, give em a few rice paddies and boom, reinvigoration. You'd be surprised at how adaptable and resillient they are. Won't happen though, far too many easy excuses on hand.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

And I wouldn't want the character of my neighborhood changed by introducing 1000s of muslims.

Why on Earth not? Surely there is nothing better than having one's life (and neighbourhood) enriched with diversity!

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

not what has happened with muslim immigration into non-muslim countries anywhere.

Take a look at Southern Thailand, Mindanao in the Philippines, the Uighurs in China

Poppycock! Former Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army, Sonthi Boonyaratglin, is Muslim. Islam predates Christianity in the Philippines, and as for the Uighurs... immigrants? Really??

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Again, however, is this a question of a lack of compassion or just an inherent reticence to expand immigration in general? Indeed, I think we all know that those that work in the Ministry of Justice / the Immigration Bureau can be some of the most conservative officials in government.

Convenient double-speak. You are smart enough to recognize the fact that immigration and compassion are generally inherently linked for rich countries like Japan, since people want to go there for the prospect of working hard to have a better life. And, of course, Japan does not want to be open to this -- because they are too scared and too selfish. And, this lack of immigration will eventually be Japan's downfall.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

No thank you. I'd rather we took much easier people to assimilate from Vietnam, Burma (buddhists), even China to improve relations or catholics from the Philippines. That is if ever Japan opens its border (unlikely)

I agree with this. People from these countries tend to settle and assimilate much easier, not just in Japan but in other countries as well. I agree, though, that Japan has and most likely will keep its strict immigration policies, for good or for bad.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

No. No country should invite in a culture which has proven itself incompatible with the 21st century as evidenced by refugee factions fighting each other in Frankfurt. There is no crisis in Europe. The crisis is the world not militarily wiping outvthe violent islamo psycho animals who are causing the refugees to exist in the first place. The last time a group of violent psychos led countries into invasions, genocide, slavery and atrocities the world militarily wiped them out but they waited too long and 100s of millions we're killed. This time the world seems to be repeating history and the result will be worse.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Wow, it looks like 60% of you have about as much empathy as the reporter who was caught kicking the asylum seeking child.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Only the hot lady asylum seekers between the ages of 17 - 24 with strict 10 year limits on Visas. Yep, I'm a true humanitarian.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

@Moonraker,

Yeah, zones2surf, let's not call it noncompassionate, let's call it "differently compassioned." Problem solved. No need to take anyone in and the critics can be criticized in turn for failing to understand us.

So, to be clear, are we now saying that the sole measure of compassion with respect to refugees is a country's willingness to take in refugees? Compassion cannot express itself in any other way? OK. So, who gets to make that determination? And who gets to determine when a country is compassionate enough? Who makes that determination? Is there a magic formula? And why must acceptance of refugees be the only measure of compassion?

So, now, if acceptance of refugees is now the only measure of compassion, does this mean that all refugees globally should be taken in by other countries? Or is it just the ones that present themselves in countries demanding refugee status? And why do they get preference? Why do Syrian refugees get priority over refugees elsewhere in the world?

There are 13 million refugees in the world according to UNHCR. So, in order for compassion to be demonstrated, the world should be willing to accept all of these refugees? Regardless of the consequences? And how many refugees should Japan accept in order for it to be considered compassionate? What is their "fair share" according to the self-proclaimed arbiters of compassion?

I look at it this way. If I have a 4 bedroom house, but live there with my wife and a very young son, meaning I have 2 spare bedrooms, and I come across a homeless person who is in need of shelter, am I without compassion if I give him/her a ride to a shelter, buy them clothes, etc., donate money to the shelter to allow them to continue their work, but do not offer that homeless person one of my spare bedrooms? Does my failure to offer that spare bedroom make me heartless even if I have legitimate reasons for doing so and even if I do other things to help address that individual's need? That seems to be the message I am hearing....

@nigelboy,

Convenient double-speak. You are smart enough to recognize the fact that immigration and compassion are generally inherently linked for rich countries like Japan, since people want to go there for the prospect of working hard to have a better life. And, of course, Japan does not want to be open to this -- because they are too scared and too selfish. And, this lack of immigration will eventually be Japan's downfall.

OK, so now you are talking about the more general concept of legal immigration, whereas I was trying to make the point that Japan's inherent issues with immigration in general may impact their approach to refugees.

Economic migrants versus refugees are two very different types of people. And two very different issues with different policy approaches.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

NO!! refugees of the WORLD, Stay and FIX your OWN country. FREEDOM is NOT FREE.

YES, SOME of you may die. DIE FREE!!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

All the men or should I say chickens who I see running should stay home to roost!! Let the women and children young children in!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Interesting comment above about bringing their families. Most of them are middle aged men who do not bring their families. They leave their wives and children behind. Personally, I think the world is looking at this crisis the wrong way. They should stop taking these asylum seekers and join forces to wipe out the tyrants that are causing this mass-exodus.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@zones2surf.

I should have thought that compassion was obvious. It does not need to be defined, except by those who do not want to display it but who want to offer up the appearance of it. Sound familiar? But in a world that needs more of it it is quite clear that it is as rare as hen's teeth, especially right here on this thread. It is so thoroughly depressing.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

In the UK there are neighborhoods where you'll be attacked for offending 'Islamic values' -in France too.In the North of England predatory men of mostly Pakistani origin (Muslims) target young girls and force them into abusive sexual slavery.The victims are never Muslim girls but always 'infidels' There are moderate Muslims (of course) but in large numbers there will always be an extreme minority. Allowing the spread of Islam in non-Islamic countries is inviting a clash of cultures. Japan has only to look at the events that have transpired in other countries to have cold feet on this...

6 ( +8 / -2 )

@Moonraker,

It would seem that you think, because of my posts, that I am without compassion. If that is the case, fair enough, it is your prerogative to believe that about me.

Let's agree on one thing. The world DOES need more compassion. Does that include me? Definitely, without question. Does that include the Japanese mandarins who administer the country's immigration policy? Most certainly.

I just find it a little galling when self-appointed arbiters of compassion sit in judgment of how compassionate people and nations are or aren't.

Finally, I find it interesting that many of those screaming for "compassion" for the refugees from Syria now are many of the same people that were vehemently against any aggressive action to end the conflict in Syria over the last number of years that has given rise to this crisis. So, instead of dealing with it at its root and making tough/hard decisions then, the problem was punted down the road, leading to where we are now.

But that is another discussion altogether and very much water under the bridge at this point.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japan is not easy immigration country like America, Germany, France, UK,,,,etc and it has long time not accepted so many cheap labors to develop its own industries. It seems that Japan would not be able to get along with so many Moslems because Japanese are isolated islanders with Buddhism for a long time. Japan would face the same ethnic troubles in the future if accepted so many refugees.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Well, zones2surf, we can agree on that then. I can also agree we don't need arbiters of compassion either. We all know what it is, unless we are emotionally disconnected, through abuse perhaps. But splitting hairs about definitions is the thin end of the wedge to justifying the social Darwinism and heartless exclusionism of fascism.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The economy is a mess, Japan is a difficult culture to learn at best ad there are housing issues too. So where does Japan send all those people? Send 'em to Europe and the US, they created the mess.

OK, compassion. Some families, OK. But I still don't know where you can house them.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

No because their is no mosks here. I for one don,t want to see any religious buildings or place of worship in Japan getting built. Destroying the aesthetics of Japan. Japan has a unique landscape with temples and Gingers throughout Japan. Building these centres and these people walking around in their traditional dress will also take away from Japan,s cultural values. No to taking any refugees. Australia and Europe has these religious centres and culture already establish.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I said no as well. Why? Because look at Japan's economy, and how effective they are about helping their own people in need. What programs are supported by J-gov funding to help the unemployed and homeless find work or some means to try and take care of themselves? The pensioner program is wearing thin very fast, and many other domestic issues are going on in Japan right now.

Here's a saying, "How can you take care of others if you don't even have the ability to even take care of yourself?"

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Idealistically, yes, Japan, as an affluent nation always whining about wanting more of a role on the world stage, should absolutely open the door.

Practically,no, because Japanese society is still far too insular and hard-headed.

Besides, half the refugees would starve in the first month because Japanese put ham in damned near everything!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'd like to see asylum seekers be accepted into countries to which they can assimilate and be treated as productive members of society. As much as I may wish different, I highly doubt that Japan could fulfill that. Not picking on Japan, either... when it comes to assimilation of immigrants, most countries in Europe aren't that good at it either.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

it is a moral question, and morally speaking, yes, they should. it is proactive to work with your allies and to agree on certain quotas, it is reactive to ignore what happens outside and only throwing money. there are times when money is not needed, but compassion.

and as mentioned, japan is hosting global events (like olympic) that can give short term benefits, but does not want to shoulder the burdens that can bring long-term benefits.

i'm just as afraid to host 1000s of muslims here or around my neighborhood, but letting fear to rule over compassionate and love of our fellow humans is not something civil in my opinion.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

No. I don't want to see Japan taking refugees from the Middle-East.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

No. Way.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Germany and the EU are taking in millions and the US and Canada are as well, so why should Japan? Other nations seem more than capable.

Now how about nations more capable like Russia, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore? Why should Japan be singled out? Japan has made clear they do not want them so it seems pretty moot. And by the way, I agree with Japan. Let other nations take them and the problems they will bring.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

No of course not. Not a part of Japanese culture. That would require understanding people as human beings. Admitting 11 people was apparently already too catastrophic.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

jerseyboySEP. 14, 2015

"Convenient double-speak. You are smart enough to recognize the fact that immigration and compassion are generally inherently linked for rich countries like Japan, since people want to go there for the prospect of working hard to have a better life. And, of course, Japan does not want to be open to this -- because they are too scared and too selfish. And, this lack of immigration will eventually be Japan's downfall."

WRONG!!! Immigration will LEAD to Japan's downfall. Do you want Japan to become like Sweden, which is the #1 rape capitol of the world now due to the huge influx of Moslem immigrants????? All these immigrants will destroy Japan and it's culture & the safety of the people and turn it into another 3rd world s**t hole. Haven't you learned ANYTHING. Don't you see what all this mass immigration is doing to whatever host country they settle in??? Idiots like you should be beaten senseless.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Japan can continue to isolate itself from Humanity, and slowly die of hubris.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

We are talking about asylum-seekers here, not economic migrants, which is totally different.The problem is that too many people are blinded by the false equation asylum-seekers = muslims = terrorists.

What about syrian christians, azidi minorities ? you can continue the list for hours.. If Japan was serious about being a modern nation, they would consider asylum based on political persecution, which could also include tibetans, birmans, .. Too many people forget that they are immigrants themselves, even for few generations.

What we need is cold-blooded decision-making, not one governed by fear, by social medias, by racism or by greed... Japan wants the mid-eastern oil, but none of the problems deeply-related to it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

And do these wealthy countries have constitutions or laws of some sort disallowing multiculturalism? Or is it just the loudest cultural extremists who want to preserve the purity of their race? Where have I heard that before.

Nice Godwin. Thankfully this user kindly cleared everything up for us evil racist bigots: If you want to preserve your nation's culture, people, and traditions, then you're equivalent to a genocidal Nazi. If you don't want to invite millions of Muslims into your non-Muslim country, then you're equivalent to a mass murderer.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Crazy idea. It's difficult enough to integrate into Japanese society as a non-religious, well-travelled English speaker with a good job, Japanese wife and 2 kids even after 15 years plus and having plenty of understanding of the language and culture. I can't imagine Syrian or Afghan families assimilating smoothly and harmoniously into Japanese society as some on here have suggested, certainly not in large numbers. Gaijin will always be gaijin in Japan no matter what your job is, or how well you speak Japanese etc. If you add an alien religion/ language to the mix, well that makes it even more problematic. It won't be long before they are demanding mosques to be built, Arabic to be taught in schools, and so on and so forth, and that would never happen in Japan. They would end up living in Muslim ghettos that the Japanese would want to avoid. I can see some of them taking advantage of the 'safe' and 'trusting' Japan thing as well, guaranteed the crime rate would go up. Also, how do you sort out the 'real' asylum seekers from the ones who are 'just' seeking a better life? This is the problem for all the countries that are foolishly allowing thousands of them in without proper checks. I feel sorry for the genuine ones who are peaceful and law abiding but they can't expect to just be handed everything on a plate just because they are from a war-torn country. Many of them say they want to go to the UK, for example because they can get a place to live, money from the government etc. And what do they give back to that society in return? That is the question, At the very least they have to work to pay taxes....

3 ( +6 / -3 )

No way... All Japan has to do is look at France...they have some many problems with migrants it is insane. Japans best interest is served with one word...NO!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This pretty well nails it.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/columnists/article-3239347/Refugees-welcome-Age-Stupid-Yvette-Cooper-s-pledge-migrant-family-proof-noisy-emotion-replaced-quiet-intelligence-writes-RICHARD-LITTLEJOHN.html

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan is about as far from the Middle East and as far removed as one can get.

You can't get 80% of your oil from the Middle East and say "None of our business."

The downside is when two insular cultures meet, you have lingering integration problems.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I hope not, as my future plans involve migrating to Japan as a skilled and language capable tax paying resource, as the current policies here in Europe make living conditions unacceptable. Wife agrees and we see this taking place in 2-4 years at most.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If Japan had any sense, it would think about Japan first and prioritize "skilled and language capable tax paying resources" rather than the needed of under evolved, backward nations.

It should look to the highly developed nations that all the migrants are aiming for (North Europe/Scandinavia etc), and offer a safe civilised refuge for the highly skilled, sincere and educated natives from them who remember who nice things were before their own cities went down the pan and behave accordingly.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What would be the point? Who even imagines a refugee will repatriate more easily from Japan. If safety and temporary settlement are possible, wouldn't Syrians prefer being close to the homes and lands they know best?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wonder how many more pictures of dead 5 year old boys drowned on the beach it would take for some hearts to open a crack?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I voted NO. These refugees are largely cowardly young men running away from a fight within their own countries. What they don't understand is that they cannot run away from their own problems as it follows them where ever they go, dragging the host nation into it. Fights have broken out between Syrians and non-Syrians because Syrians are getting a favorable treatment in refugee policies.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

jerseyboy, I appreciate you are a habitual anti-Japan commentator

ack@home -- Yes I am, and proud of it. Means I left Japan with both my ability to still see the big picture, as well as my conscience/values still intact. (Plus with a lot more koney as well). And that is why your "logic" in defense of Japan is so predictable -- "let's just practice 'checkbook diplomacy".

but have you looked at the statistics for Japan's donations to the United Nation Commission for Refugees? It's habitually amongst the top few donors in the world.

You feel that a country that built its prosperity, and its standing in the world, and still earns billion and billions of dollars a year in profits from exports to these countries, has fulfilled its moral obligation to the world simply because it donates back a small portion of this money to feed refugees, or put a tent over their heads, while they live in camps. Really? That's your definition of "compassion"? Of course conveniently ignoring the obvious question of "what happens to these people after the camps"? Which is why the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees -- that body you so proudly referenced -- has routinely critisized Japan for not providing more opportunities to asylum-seekers. If your conscience allows you to feel good that Japan annually throws some "blood money" at a problem, while only accepting 11 asylum-seekers, that's your choice. Personally, that makes me sick.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Shot and simple...NO! The last thing Japan needs is a large islamic population.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@jerseyboy Your position is confused. On one hand you are saying how bad Japan is, and how great it was for you to get out (why then linger on Japan websites then I must ask?). On the other hand, you are saying how bad it is for Japan not to let migrants in - when, presumably, they are going to suffer just you claim you did.

back@home -- LOL. Don't try to use semantics to try to score points, or match wits -- trust me, you are over matched. There is nothing confusing at all about my post, and you know it. I have never stated I "suffer" in Japan. Starting, owning, amanaging and then selling a company, while living in a 500,000 yen a month "mansion", could hardly be called suffering. But, in response, I will say that the coldness of Japan to outsiders, is nothng to be proud about. And if that is your defense of Japan not taking more refugees, because they will suffer isolationism, then you really are beyond hope.

Does a country have a moral responsibility towards anyone just because a company within once sold someone in the same country a product!?!

Actually, the answer is yes -- it is called being "a citizen of the world". And it is unfortunate that Japan does not get that. But maybe you should listen to some of the the things Pope Francis says while on his trip to Cuba and the U.S. --you might actually learn something in that vein.

I'm sorry. I think you just want to take any opportunity you can to attack Japan, however illogical it is, and have been doing so for years. I thought you were just a Korean-American with a negative fixation about Japan.

Again, LOL. Nice try, but I won't play your sematic games. But will simply repeat my question about how come the very body you allude to -- The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees -- has attacked the very thinking you espouse, and supports my view? And, the reason I "attack" Japan is because I lived there ten years, and employed many Japanese people, and had many Japanese friends, but I hate what its government has devolved into, and don't believe it truly represents the good-hearted Japanese people as a whole. Plus, they are such an easy target.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Nope. Japansee culture is utterly incompatible with accommodation large numbers of refugees, especially Muslim refugees. The citizenry would not welcome them, and they would be miserable. Japan can help in other ways.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No. Its not Japan who cause these people homeless. Its of a more pressing matter for the 'west' to stop bombing and killing innocent people. Otherwise, well, you reap what sow. don't ask other countries to share your load of crap.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites