For those of us who are ex-pats, unless we are citizens we are just guests and entitled to nothing, again nothing new. This would be the same in our home countries too if we were ex-pats there. Only citizens have the right and responsibilities of running the show in their land.
Mpqholygrail, if you don't think you have a human right to be with your Japanese family, assuming you have one,
then what about rights of Japanese citizens, aka Japanese nationals? They surely have rights not to be separated from their family, even if that family member is a foreigner who is legally permitted to live in Japan. Is that not the case?
About home countries, where do you come from? (Of course, don't answer that to protect your anonymity, permitted there is any, sigh.) EU permits re-entry of foreign resident nationals if they have family in EU. Even if that family is a legally residing ex-pat and not an EU national. However, in Japan, even families of Japanese nationals are separated.
As of "citizens right and responsibility of running the show in their land" - partially agree, that's why voting is only for citizens, in all countries, and that's actually running the show,
and then partially disagree - when you legally live in Japan, you pay taxes in Japan, that means you're not a guest here. Not exactly the "owner" but definitely not a guest. If local population tries to persuade you that you're a guest - I'm sorry to hear that. Please, remind them that if "guests" are invited to someone's house, they do not pay rent :) So, you have responsibility of paying taxes, then you are entitled (have a right) to social benefits, for example, you'll receive a pension (if meeting same conditions as nationals like a number of years you have worked here), you'll receive a 70% discount to your healthcare services. Like if you weren't a EU national but a legal resident, you'd pay health insurane tax too, and in return you'd get free healthcare back. So, when we're talking about foreign residents re-entry bans, we're talking about human rights of said foreign residents, and rights of Japanese nationals who have foreign family members. (as for Japanese nationals, perhaps, we can also talk about the constitution? like Article 11. The people shall not be prevented from enjoying any of the fundamental human rights. These fundamental human rights guaranteed to the people by this Constitution shall be conferred upon the people of this and future generations as eternal and inviolate rights.
and if we talk about subsequent article 12 talking about public welfare - if that could be treated as suitable for current discriminatory policy, in such case, Japanese nationals should also be banned from re-entry, because, public welfare. a test and 14 days quarantine in isolation is not a threat to public welfare? then utilize same treatment to allow re-entry for legal foreign residents. at least, for spouses/children of Japanese nationals in order to not separate families.)
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I choose to wear a mask, because it's thankfully not mandatory in Japan, so it's my choice. That's why it's difficult for me to answer this current poll about masks. The main reason I choose to do so, is respect for the fellow people around me, and I do so acting in my own freedom of choice (personally, I'm not in a risk group by any means, and - just saying - Covid is not ebola, not AIDS, nor cancer - imagine if AIDS/ebola were transmitted via cough or sneeze or talking, imagine if cancer was contagious! that is speaking hypothetically. but, however, even I do not feel threatened personally by this, I do not want to be responsible for suffering of others, so another point here is to protect myself to the best of my ability so in turn, I can protect others from suffering - yes, masks do not stop viral particles from entering through mask's pores, but, again, if both people have masks on, a large portion of droplets will firstly stay inside mask A, and those that manage to travel to mask B will most likely stay on the outer layers of it, getting killed by UV and just air, they're not viable forever. even if some amount of viruses can enter mask B, the viral load will be too low to do much damage. this works if both people wear masks, so, I choose to be another one of these billions of "masked heroes" lol. if you choose not to wear a mask - no judgement, i'm not a judge and i'm not god, besides there's plenty of people who'll be more than happy to judge and tear to shreds, just saying). Wearing face coverings was actually illegal in some EU member states at some points, maybe somewhere else too, so it's a little ironic it was made mandatory to wear masks. I don't consent to anything by simply wearing a mask, since I can also choose to do so just for the perk of anonymity. Sure, it sucks to wear a mask because I can't breathe well in a mask, and during summer of course it's too hot, however I still keep wearing it just because I choose to do so. However, what I would agree to, is to make mask usage mandatory for all people visting a hospital or a medical facility. That just makes sense, because even before one could catch an infection while just visiting or accompanying someone to the hospital, but previously, if I'd wear a mask to a medical facility, I'd be looked at as crazy or infected by something (maybe not in Japan, but other countries). Used hand sanitizers always - pre-pandemic too, and never touch the handrail on escalators - if it ain't new, it's all sticky and yuck, so gross x.x Makes me re-think whether to use some tool or something to touch elevator buttons (people can have such gross stuff on their hands if they didn't wash them properly especially after using the loo, and what about all funguses thriving in hot and moist climate), and, after all that, I am not a germophobe, I just realize how many millions of people live here with different lifestyles and habits and their own personal set of bugs ( = bacteria, germs, microflora, whatever you call it). Else, how to function in such a large community?
Btw, there's a Saizeriya shop I visited once in Tokyo, and even they've banned smoking inside already, the room which was designated as smoker-seating, wasn't properly cleaned, not renovated, all yellow and properly smelly, however all seating, outside the ex-smoker room and inside of it, was sticky-ish, with grime, menus were oily, tables were wiped briefly but not properly, sometimes resulting in sticky. By all means it was ONLY ONE SHOP from the whole network, so don't get discouraged from trying Saizeriya, but if you find that one shop, just don't go into that one shop. Or, go there, still, if you liked it. Perhaps, they have renovated, or will shortly do so, current economic standstill is more than welcoming to use this time for some renovation.
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So, nightclubs, host/hostess clubs, nightlife disctricts, and "unknown" (hmmm, who'd confess to visiting a soap parlor) are spreading this and remain open. Meanwhile, people who have a LEGAL RIGHT to live (reside) and work in Japan, have Japanese families, but a non-Japanese passport, are banned from returning. From RETURNING to Japan. Unless something terrible (death) has happened to one's family abroad, or one's own health (surgery or post-op checks, as they say), and even then it's not guaranteed. How about visiting families in time of crisis for many other reasons, mainly that one wishes to see dear ones BEFORE they died or are on their deathbeds? Does the word "empathy" exist, or only "tatemae"/"honne" where now the latter is showing its head openly?
Japan has plans to resume travel for: business people, then students, then tourists. "Spouse or child" of Japanese national is hardly any of those. Granted, some could be also students, some also could be very active in business, but definitely not all.
In current situation, I'm either trapped in Japan, or, I'm trapped abroad (in countries that are not Japan and are on Japan's ban list - do I have to travel by sea on a ship from a country that's not on the ban list to be able to come back? I mean, people can do that, because airplanes from those countries usually don't have direct flights to Japan, so... people just can do that. Perhaps, even those, who don't have a legal residency permit in Japan, in theory, since the countries are not on the "denial of entry" list.). That's not a nice situation at all. It's causing me additional mental distress in already troubling times, affecting my mental and subsequently physical health in a very bad way. People who have legal grounds of residency in Japan (permanent or long-term, which is either over 3 or over 6 months), and especially those who have Japanese families, must have exemption from re-entry bans. Are we not family? Do we not have a right to be together? In this way, Japan now has encroached on legal rights of Japanese passport holders, or Japanese citizens, or Japanese nationals - dear government of Japan, what about rights of your nationals to be with their families? Even if Japanese national's family member is a foreign legal resident of Japan, you separate them - why? Japanese nationals have a right to be with their families, don't they? What you're doing to your own citizens now, separating Japanese nationals from their foreign spouses and/or their foreign children who have legal permission to live in Japan - I have a question, is that constitutional?
noriahojanen, your "non-Japanese permanent residents are entitled to a fast-track (re) entry" contradicts your "I think that reopening borders should be decided based on epidemiological assessment".
Akie, if "reopening borders should be decided based on epidemiological assessment", that means that Japanese "nationals" should also be banned from re-entry. If Japanese "nationals" are not banned from re-entry, then neither should be other people holding LEGAL RIGHTS to LIVE IN JAPAN, right?
A non-Japanese is not a citizen and does not carry or hold the same right(s) as a native
Richard Gallagher, sure, but uhm, there are those who are LEGALLY RESIDING in Japan, and are "supposed to have" the same rights as their "citizen" counterparts, of course minus the voting which should always be for citizens only, but... ever heard of HUMAN RIGHTS? Currently, Japan is separating families. (Can go both ways - separating foreign residents from their families abroad, or separating them from their Japanese families. And also, Japan is separating their own citizens from their foreign family members. Now, that is more serious of an issue because now Japanese nationals are suffering, because who cares of feelings of legal foreign residents? But now, for citizens, is this unconstitutional to separate law abiding Japanese nationals from their foreign legal resident law abiding families?) Did China ban its foreign residents from re-entry? Well, what else was China doing in its pre-pandemic days? Is that a good example to follow? (Imho, real numbers do not surface from there to be known to the rest of the world.) If Japan would start to resemble China in some ways, that would be discouraging in several ways. Coming from the old continent, where human rights are very important (notice how allowing foreign family member re-entry in EU is actually protecting rights of EU nationals) , and definitely families are not separated, I didn't expect a nation as seemingly progressive as Japan to do something like foreign resident re-entry ban. This situation is starting to remind me more and more, how many things I took for granted in the old continent. To repeat myself, in current situation, I'm either trapped in Japan, or trapped abroad (in countries that are not Japan and are on Japan's ban list).
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Ok, child p0rn ban in Japan was passed in 2015 (meaning that before that, it was legal...), but i'm still shocked at the fact that there were forced sterilization eugenics-based laws up until 1996! Like whoa. But I do remember that wwii it joined that other side, but after the war, it seems America took over, so then why, why such laws existed?
PS "Japanese people need to be more educated" as I was told by the Japanese people themselves about various such matters, doesn't make a very valid argument. It hasn't been closed off from the world then, and for a long time, there's access to internet which doesn't seem to be firewalled, so no excuses.
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The situation in Japan: spread clusters are karaoke, night clubs, nightlife districts. Government openly talks about it but doesn't do anything about it, not shutting those down, not even issuing recommendations to do so for these establishments. (Makes me think that such businesses are considered to be "essential businesses" in Japan? In such an example, perhaps, I can imagine, "oh, i surely won't go to museum or zoo because of the pandemic, but i'll die if i don't go to that hostess club".)
EU opens borders to Japan, yet Japan adds 18 more countries to the list and extrends its entry ban for previous ones. Oh, EU, this should have been a matter of reciprocity, not just opening your heart too soon.
Imho, it is definity discriminatory to not allow foreign permanent or long term residents to come back to Japan. Many people have aging parents outside of Japan, and you know, every year counts, not everyone fights or hates their family and many people are close with their parents and siblings, and want to visit them, because, once again, as I mentioned, AGING PARENTS. And when we talk about attending funerals as a "safe to return" reason, but weddings are not? Japanese nationals are allowed to come back with 14 days quarantine NO QUESTIONS ASKED (I do mean they are not being asked "why the heck did you leave Japan and went there and there, and where are the documents to prove your specified reason").
It is unfair and discriminatory because there is a legal permission to reside in the country without any restrictions on travel (who'd come to live here or anywhere, actually, if the condition was "you can never leave this country" so "you can never see your parents again"?), and in case of spouse/child visa, no restrictions on work either, and the only thing I thought was different was no rights to vote (of course, naturally, foreign residents in any country don't have a right to vote there and for a good reason, don't even need to explain that). But now, it seems, that permission to live in Japan long term with a Japanese family you have created, is a lot of obligations in paying taxes, but not that many privileges except being able to live in the same country as your spouse and children...
EU companies and businesses are contemplating moving their businesses elsewhere out of Japan for this reason (negative effect on their businesses), and I am now contemplating to relocating my Japanese family members to EU, since if we lived in EU and they would have permissions of residency, they wouldn't have any troubles of returning to EU, as residents, even amid pandemic, but I can't return to Japan if I leave at the moment, even I have permission of recidency here. What's happening here is...very NG, imho.
If, fear of wave two, then: scenario 1) close nightclubs, karaoke, nightlife districts, then - don't allow anyone to leave/return to Japan, including nationals (hey, historically, it has been done for a few centuries, so what's a few months). scenario 2) close nightlife districts, but let those with permission to live in Japan (including national and foreign residents) return to Japan WITH mandatory 14 days quarantine and without any other problems (like separating families). scenario 3) since, it seems, government is currently unwilling to close nightlife districts and other establishments responsible for infection spread clusters, Japanese nationals and foreign residents should be allowed back into the country with a PCR test or something, but only self-quarantined for 14 days, not in government facilities, because domestic spread clusters remain open under government's watchful eye.
Personally, I would say scenario nr 2 is the most sane case for my brain.
But imho, let's see when bans for foreign residents will be lifted, however I have already lost trust and will be thinking about permanent relocation in the future. There are many good things in Japan, but trust is important, and atm I feel discriminated more than before, feel trapped, feel like I have to choose between my spouse + kids and my parents + siblings. That's inhuman (or, perhaps I should say, deeply disappointing), and I suppose I'm not the only one to feel this way here. Or, did I just have had my eyes open and have had things discrimination-wise too easy before? Since many foreign residents talked about discrimination but I didn't encounter it that much, Now it's nationwide and coming from the very top....
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