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  • Kyodo: Municipalities to deny services to illegal NJ; Kuchikomi: Rising NJ welfare chiselers “social parasites”

    Posted by arudou debito on June 1st, 2012

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    Hi Blog. We’ve had a discussion recently as part of Debito.org Comments about one of the side-effects of Japan’s new residency-certificate registration (juuminhyou) coming up in July.  People suspect that the GOJ is using this revision as a means not only to make sure that local governments aren’t being “soft” on NJ visa overstayers (by denying them benefits even the Kyodo article below acknowledges they are entitled to), but also to check whether all NJ residents are registered and paying into Japan’s social insurance system. This is controversial because plenty of Japanese also opt out of the system, and also because it will possibly become a means to say, “Pay in or no visa renewal,” something that citizens obviously cannot be threatened with.

    This is yet another example of social Othering on a policy level (if you want to tighten things up, you should do it across the board for everyone in Japan, not just NJ), not to mention with some pretty stiff potential penalties (back paying into the system may run into the tens and hundreds of man yen, which can be financially insurmountable, and unjust especially when some employers in Japan have conveniently forgotten to pay in their half of the NJ employee’s social insurance when hiring NJ full time).  Thus NJ get uprooted from Japan due to their employer’s negligence.

    I for one haven’t done enough research on what’s going to happen in coming months under the new system (my scrivener colleague in the visa industry himself too is waiting and seeing), but when it becomes plainer it’ll be discussed here. What IS plainer is that the Japanese media is already gearing up to portray the perpetual scapegoats for Japan’s social ills — NJ — this time as welfare spongers and social parasites. See the second article below.

    Note that all of the things that are being alleged against foreign “welfare chiselers” in that article I’ve heard and seen being done by Japanese too (especially the fake marriage bit — but what’s not covered in the article is how a NJ visa changes when a divorce occurs, so it’s not that “easy”).  But one need not mention that inconvenient detail.  NJ shouldn’t be here anyway if they’re going to commit, er, the same crimes that Japanese commit.  Once again, social Othering and scapegoating of a disenfranchised minority is SOP in Japan for lots of social ills — and worse yet, the specter of “foreign hordes taking advantage of Japan’s overgenerous system” sells newspapers and alienates the aliens. Nothing less than media-bred xenophobia. Arudou Debito

    ///////////////////////////////

    Some municipalities set to deny services to illegal foreign residents: poll
    Kyodo News Tuesday, April 24, 2012
    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120424b6.html

    Foreigners residing in Japan illegally could lose access to education and health care services when the revised basic resident registration law takes effect even though they are still entitled to receive them, civic groups said Monday.

    According to the Solidarity Network with Migrants Japan and other groups, dozens of the 72 municipalities that participated in the survey plan to deny services when the revision takes effect in July.

    Four said they won’t allow children of illegal foreigners to be enrolled in public schools and 13 said they will not issue maternity health record books to pregnant foreign women who are residing illegally.

    Another 12 said they won’t be able to subsidize delivery expenses for pregnant women in financial distress, while 33 said they will not vaccinate illegal foreigners against tuberculosis and other diseases, the survey said.

    After the revision takes effect, foreigners will registered in the same residence system used by the Japanese.

    In addition, illegal residents and asylum seekers will no longer be covered by the resident registry system, although the central government has repeatedly said they will continue to be entitled to basic services offered by municipalities.

    The survey, which was conducted between January and March, highlighted misunderstandings on the part of local governments when it comes to providing basic services to illegal foreign residents. More confusion is expected to occur at municipal offices after the amended law enters force.

    There were about 67,000 foreigners overstaying their visas as of January, according to Justice Ministry statistics.

    Eriko Suzuki, an associate professor specializing in immigration policy at Kokushikan University, said the local governments polled mistakenly believe they cannot provide services to illegal foreign residents because they weren’t supposed to be in Japan to begin with.

    The professor, who was involved in the survey, urged the central government to better inform municipalities about how to treat illegal aliens after the revised law takes effect.
    ENDS
    //////////////////////////////////////////

    Tabloid blasts growing numbers of foreign welfare chiselers
    Japan Today.com KUCHIKOMI MAY. 29, 2012, courtesy of DR
    http://www.japantoday.com/category/kuchikomi/view/tabloid-blasts-growing-numbers-of-foreign-welfare-chiselers

    “Malicious Foreign Welfare Recipients Increasing Rapidly” screams the yellow and red headline emblazoned across the front page of Yukan Fuji (May 25). The accompanying banner, in inverse white characters on a red background, reads “meticulous investigation.”

    “If there’s a way to receive something, I can’t understand why you don’t accept it. How stupid can Japanese be?” chuckles Mr A, a 26-year-old man who lives somewhere in the Kanto area. The son of parents from an unnamed southeast Asian country—making A the second generation to live in Japan—he works as a regular staff member of a manufacturing company.

    A’s newly purchased car, a Japanese model, cost 3 million yen. He can afford such goodies because he, his wife and their three children receive extra “pocket money” from the government.

    “My wife began receiving welfare payments from last year,” he tells the tabloid. “Including child support and other subsidies, she gets 200,000 yen per month. When combined with my take-home pay, we get over 500,000 yen per month, or about 6 million yen per year. “

    In the past, recipients of welfare had been limited, by law, to “Individuals whose income from work is insufficient to meet necessary living costs,” and by virtue of this, A should not be eligible. So how does he get away with it?

    “Easy,” he says. “I divorced my wife.” And he did, on paper anyway. They still live together, so it’s what one might call a divorce of convenience.

    “My ex-wife went to the city office and claimed she lacked ‘sufficient income to care for the children,’ and she was promptly judged eligible and began receiving welfare payments,” A confesses.

    Should the authorities send a case worker to investigate, they would find the wife residing in a separate apartment, which she rents. But actually she continues to live together with her “former” husband.

    “Once a month, a case worker will pay a visit, but since notification is always made in advance, all my wife has to do is take the kids over to the rental apartment ahead of time,” he says.

    Mr A tells Yukan Fuji that nearly all the inhabitants of the public housing development where he lives are foreigners.

    “There are some Chinese and Indians, but people from my country are the most numerous, more than 300. Most of them are receiving welfare,” he says.

    Yukan Fuji remarks that indeed there may be foreigners whose difficult situation warrants welfare, but in the case of Mr A, we’re looking at flat-out fraud.

    According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, as of February 2012, 73,995 foreign nationals were receiving welfare payments—more than double the figure of 2000, when the average for foreign recipients in any given month was 32,858 recipients.

    An official at the health ministry told the reporter that foreigners deemed eligible to receive such payments include “Permanent residents and residents who are preparing for permanent status, those with officially recognized refugee status and those with Japanese spouses.”

    “There’s no doubt that the number of foreigners taking advantage of flaws in the system has been increasing,” says Professor Ryu Michinaka of Kansai University of International Studies. “Some take the form of spurious divorces or falsified documentation. Even in cases when the government offices suspect something illegal is going on, they’ll invoke the ‘language barrier’ and just pretend they don’t understand.”

    The foreign welfare chiselers also share the tricks of the trade with their compatriots, and parents also give advice to their children, creating next-generation social parasites.

    “There aren’t enough case workers to check out the applicants,” adds Michinaka. “One case worker might have to cover 80 families, or sometimes even twice that number. Ironically, the total incomes for some of the families might be more than the caseworker earns in salary.”

    Japan needs to put its collective foot down and put an end this “haven” that makes it so easy for unscrupulous foreigners to feed at the public’s expense, the article concludes.
    ENDS

    28 Responses to “Kyodo: Municipalities to deny services to illegal NJ; Kuchikomi: Rising NJ welfare chiselers “social parasites””

    1. Andrew in Saitama Says:

      Again, only NJ are capable of committing fraud as described in the second article? Oh, wait, employees of Yoshimoto are doing it too. Let’s crack down on comedians while we’re at it.
      “Japan is a haven for unscrupulous comedians”

      Notice how J-(ex)wife is somehow less guilty?

      Pure tripe.

    2. Mark in Yayoi Says:

      Regarding the second article, as many of the Japan Today commenters have already pointed out, nowhere is it said what the nationality of the wife in this welfare-scamming duo is. Since it doesn’t say, might it not be a safe assumption that she’s Japanese (like 98% of the population) and that she bears just as much responsibility as her spouse? (More, when you consider that she’s the one actually receiving the payments.)

      I’m almost as concerned that a newspaper would print a biased story so clearly designed to inflame suspicion based on a few flimsy anecdotes than I am that some cheats are taking advantage of the welfare system.

      – Ah, but you see, the article isn’t about crime. It’s about FOREIGN crime. So the criminal wife isn’t an issue because she’s (apparently) not foreign.

    3. Charuzu Says:

      This article again points to the human rights failings in Japan.

      “they will not vaccinate illegal foreigners against tuberculosis and other diseases”

      So, foreign children will not be vaccinated against fatal diseases.

      And, the use of terms like “parasites” and “chiselers” is the same type of language used in Europe by the “Blut und Boden” racists.

      What does one do with a parasite? Especially a disease-ridden parasite?

      One exterminates it.

      A 19th century racist, referring to the children of the groups he hated, said “nits make lice” as a reason for their extermination along with their parents.

      These articles do suggest that one need not move the J population too far before they would be willing to consider even more dangerous means of managing a foreign population regarded by many Japanese as a contamination or plague of disease-bearing parasites.

    4. Jim Di Griz Says:

      @Debito,

      Thanks for posting these. Very interesting.
      About the second article, shouldn’t it be clear to all readers that even if the NJ husband is a party to the ‘fake’ divorce, that it is his J-wife who is fraudulently claiming welfare payments? Regardless of whether he is spending that money or not, isn’t she the actual criminal? Doesn’t labeling him a ‘parasite’ qualify as a ‘hate speech’?
      Just asking.

    5. ds Says:

      I don’t see a problem here. The only service that should be offered to illegal aliens is a flight home. People without valid visas or work permits shouldn’t be here. It’s really pretty simple.

    6. Charuzu Says:

      Ds #5

      You state:

      “The only service that should be offered to illegal aliens is a flight home.”

      So, logically, if one of these illegal foreigners is hurt or injured, you believe that they should be offered no medical services, but only a flight home.

      So, logically, if one of these illegal foreigners is hurt or injured, you believe that they should be offered no legal defence services.

      So, logically, if one of these illegal foreigners is raped, you believe that they should be offered no counseling or assistance services, but only a flight home.

      So, logically, if one of these illegal foreigners is irradiated by a an employer who sends them to work on radioactive clean up, you believe that they should be offered no medical services, but only a flight home.

      Your idea would have Japan violate even more severely its international human rights obligations, and make such illegal foreigners an even more inviting group to be marginalised and victimed.

      As such, your idea would appeal greatly to J employers, organised criminals, and others who wish to engage in human trafficking.

    7. Pitarou Says:

      I was shocked to read that vaccinations will also be denied. Could somebody please explain “herd immunity” to these ignorant civil servants before we have a public health disaster (and an utter disaster for non-Japanese PR — “protect your baby from foreigner born diseases!”) on our hands?

    8. Pitarou Says:

      @Ds

      You said: “The only service that should be offered to illegal aliens is a flight home.”

      Many Japanese agree with you, which is why we read things like:

      > The Government of Japan does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking … In general, trafficking victims are viewed as illegal immigrants under Japanese law, and are deported … victims are generally not encouraged to press charges.

      - US State Department 2002 Human Trafficking Report

      (For “victim”,read “woman who was lured into Japan on false promises, had her passport confiscated, and was raped for money”.)

      Admittedly, I cherry-picked the quote from a 10-year-old report, but the “deport first, ask questions later” attitude lingers and Japan remains on the US State Department’s list of countries that “do not yet fully comply”.

    9. ds Says:

      Pitarou; Trafficking victims should be deported. Those who trafficked them should be imprisoned or perhaps executed if their crimes are sufficiently heinous. Fair enough?

      Charuzu; The cases you mention are extreme. Medical services of course should be rendered. If the illegal can’t afford to pay for them, that’s a pity. Perhaps their country of origin can be billed? Once healthy, they can catch their flight home. As for rape victims, other victims, they should be cared for until healthy enough to testify against those who attacked them. Once the trial is over, they can catch their flight home.

      What part of “illegal” is so difficult to comprehend? It doesnt mean they can/should be hapless victims, nor does it absolve those who exploit them of their crimes, but it does mean they should be removed at earliest possible convenience.

      – There are plenty of cases where the overstay is not voluntary, e.g., the human trafficking cases mentioned. Treating every paper crime like a visa overstay as a hardened criminal case is problematic and overgeneralizing, to say the least. But let’s have Pitarou and Charuzu make their cases better.

    10. Charuzu Says:

      ds#9

      Your approach is one that many criminologists view as one that tends to increase organised and violent crimes.

      As but one example, trafficked individuals (as well as many illegal foreigners in marginalised communities) are disproportionately likely to be a witness to criminal activity. In the case of trafficking victims, they are witnesses to their own trafficking.

      Your approach (of immediate deportation) provides such victims with a strong disincentive to ever agree to serve as a witness to any crime, such as a murder by an organised criminal of other Yamato Japanese. As such, the inevitable corollary of your approach is that there will be more unsolved serious crimes in Japan.

      As such, your approach represents a strategic choice.

      Your proposal would represent a choice in favour of no identified illegal foreigners with the cost being that organised criminals will be able to engage in higher levels of crime utilising such illegal foreigners, because the organised criminals will know that they can at any time report the illegal foreigners to the authorities and have them be deported. If they want to silence a potential witness or an actual victim, they just call the immigration authorities and have the person be deported.

      In the area of public health, illegal foreigners will be highly motivated to not present themselves to hospitals for treatment of infectious diseases or conditions caused by environmental factors (chemicals, radionucleides, etc.) that would assist public health authorities in preventing or treating health conditions affecting Yamato J.

      As such, your proposal represents a strategic choice in favour of no identified illegal foreigners with the cost being that infectious disease and environmental hazards will be able to proliferate and affect more individuals at higher levels of morbidity and mortality utilising such illegal foreigners, because the illegal foreigners will know that any presentation to public authorities for treatment or health complaint will have them be deported. It represents a strategic choice in favour of more disease, mortality and morbidity with the benefit being no identified illegal foreigners.

      In both cases, criminology and public health, your proposal ignores the fact that illegal foreigners represent a source of information (regarding crimes or health issues) that can positively benefit the J public.

      As such, it is a choice of competing goods.

      The J public may well be willing to have more violent and serious crimes, and more illness and death so that they can deal with fewer NJ.

      However, it should be recognised that it is a choice with real disadvantages in practical terms to the J yamato public, and not a cost-free option that has only advantages.

      Please note that I am not addressing the human rights issues, because I tend to agree with the notion that the J public is essentially indifferent to human rights of NJ.

      There are also costs there as well, of course.

      A North Korean family that manages to escape to Japan would be illegal foreigners, given their absence of a visa or legal entry, as but one example. They certainly did not legally enter Japan.

      Your approach would insist that they be deported, to virtually certain death.

      Admittedly, the J public would likely be indifferent to the death of Koreans, especially because such deaths would occur well outside of television coverage.

      As a final note, you state:

      “Medical services of course should be rendered. If the illegal can’t afford to pay for them, that’s a pity. Perhaps their country of origin can be billed?”

      Your idea is highly ironic in the context of Japan.

      Numerous Japanese illegally entered China 70 years ago (who were not official members of the Imperial Japanese government), and China and Chinese provided such illegal foreigners numerous services and goods. China has repeatedly suggested over the years that Japan pay for the value of such goods and services as recompense. Japan has repeatedly said that Japan cannot be billed because it is not responsible for any such costs.

      Your idea would presumably serve as a precedent for Japan itself to be billed.

    11. Baudrillard Says:

      “Your idea is highly ironic in the context of Japan.

      Numerous Japanese illegally entered China 70 years ago (who were not official members of the Imperial Japanese government), and China and Chinese provided such illegal foreigners numerous services and goods. China has repeatedly suggested over the years that Japan pay for the value of such goods and services as recompense. Japan has repeatedly said that Japan cannot be billed because it is not responsible for any such costs.”

      Of course it is ironic. The Japan of 70 years ago is dead, in fact “Japan” the nation state is dead, we just have a simulation of it. A zombie state if you will, with the symbols of Japan. These may occasionally stir up wartime nostalgia (Ishihara etc) but just cause trouble for NJ residents without any real benefit for Japan. This country remains a tool, a base of US policy.

      Japan was 1. recreated in a postmodern “branding” by the USA after WW2.
      and
      2. Japanese people do not know/have conveniently forgotten this historic fact. Even if confronted with it, they will deny it.

      Havent you ever felt that for most Japanese, their history starts at 1945? Of course they want to forget history before that, it is ashaming and humiliating to remember it. In twenty years of living in Japan and talking to Japanese people, I can honestly say that none of the thousands of Japanese I have ever spoken to have told me a thing that occurred before 1945.

      As if Japan did not exist before 1945. Indeed, in a postmodern sense, it did not. This so called “Japan” we live in should really change it’s name to reflect that it is in fact a skewed version, a facsimile of what was meant by ‘Japan”, much like “Myanmar” was a reinvention of “Burma”.

      Only 3 Japanese have ever commented to me about pre 1945.
      1.An older lady who “remembered the American fire bombings as a child” and was quite aggressive in telling me. (Japan as victim syndrome).
      2.An older man, an ex soldier, who recanted a story about how a Russian soldier, in the closing stages of the war, treated him ok but asked if he could have a drink of whiskey and then let him sleep in a bunk, which he collapsed in, exhausted. This is probably the best story, but foccussing on one human interaction which though nice does not break any taboos about Japan’s conduct etc.
      3.A current JDF officer who, when I told him I was reading about Doihara and the Black Dragon Society (subtext, the war criminals who started the war with China), made an interesting comment “Doihara? he was RUDE.” I really do not know what this means, I think it was in fact an indirect way to say “all discussion about Doihara or these people who discredited the Japanese armed forces (because they lost) is rude!”

      And all further recollection and conversation ended there as part of the brainwashing or collective amnesia in favour of the current dreamy techno Disneyland called “Disneyland Japan”.

    12. Jim Di Griz Says:

      @ Baudrillard #11

      It is an interesting point that you raise; the amnesia by consensus of pre-1945 Japan, that can only be broken in victim mode. Which is ironic, because I am pretty certain that the average Japanese citizen would have had a pretty dismal time had Japan won the war. As I have commented before, it wouldn’t have been like Japan is today, only ‘somehow better’. But, I digress.
      What I wanted to offer you was that we should refer to the dreamy techno Disney Japan as ‘Japan-Land’, or ‘Japan-World’ in order to differentiate between what is real, and what is a construct, but in writing this have realized that there is only the construct now. Any other Japan that was in some sense more ‘real’ has disappeared to be replaced totally by the fake, twice-removed, copy of an imagined facsimile. That’s as real as it’s going to get, I’m afraid. A kind of ‘frozen in time’ image of what Japan was imagined to be, failing to proceed.

    13. ds Says:

      Charuzu; Thank you for your reply. Of course, if you read my post, you would have seen that I have no problem with crime victims, those duped into coming to Japan, victims of human trafficking, etc. with staying here to act as witnesses against those who commit the crimes. They can be sent home afterwards. Similarly, employers who hire and exploit illegal workers need to be punished.

      The original article, in context, is not about refugees and those escaping North Korea or seeking asylum. Rather, the focus is on those who come to Japan and choose to violate the terms of their original visa. If they were aided by Japanese in that, then those Japanese should be punished too. However, there is no reason for Japan to allow anyone to stay without proper documentation. You only need see what has transpired in the US to find out how that turns out. Wages artificially driven down, social systems and education systems overloaded, increased crime, emergency medical services overtaxed, and so on.

      If you want to argue that Japan should have a more liberal system for allowing foreign workers, I would probably agree with you. However, that is a far cry from limply accepting the situation as is.

      – Er, where does it say in your post that you’re that flexible regarding “crime victims”? You in fact first said, “The only service that should be offered to illegal aliens is a flight home.” Then when called on it, you softened your stance somewhat to say the trafficked should be simply “deported” with punishment meted out to traffickers. You said nothing about allowing victims to stick around to enable that to happen. Did YOU read your own posts?

      Furthermore, don’t fall for the boilerplate that illegal aliens result in all those bad things. Recent studies say different — regarding crime, for one: “In a peer-reviewed paper appearing in the June 2010 issue of Social Science Quarterly, Wadsworth argues not only that “cities with the largest increases in immigration between 1990 and 2000 experienced the largest decreases in homicide and robbery,” which we knew, but that after considering all the other explanations, rising immigration “was partially responsible.”

      No more of this boilerplate without substantiation, ds, and do it at the same time you make your claims so we don’t have too many posts dealing with issues within America, not Japan.

    14. Charuzu Says:

      ds#13.

      I did read your post.

      Indeed, in this post you state:

      “However, there is no reason for Japan to allow anyone to stay without proper documentation.”

      I take you to mean what you say.

      Thus, for example, if a Cambodian woman is brought to Japan on a tourist visa, and on arrival is repeatedly raped and her passport is taken away and told that she must now do whatever her captor says, and acts as a prostitute, and overstays her visa, she is in Japan without proper documentation.

      If she becomes pregnant and bears a child, the child — who also will not be a Japanese citizen — will also be in Japan illegally.

      You state that “there is no reason for Japan to allow anyone to stay without proper documentation”

      You have further stated in previous posts that there should be deportations of all those without lawful authorisation.

      So, the woman who is a crime victim and the child who is the child of a Japanese father will both be deported.

      I find your use of absolutes without qualifications to be highly problematic.

      Your idea seems to rely on the notion that Japan has a very good immigration/citizenship set of laws, when in fact that is not so.

      As to your notion that I am “limply accepting the situation as is” I find that risible.

      First, I argue that the J system is xenophobic and so needs profound amendment. Moreover, if the use of the adverb “limply” is a reference to the fact as I have said on other postings that I am gay, well I tire of that.

      Moreover, I am skeptical and tire of those who offer America as an example to the world, as in your statement:

      “You only need see what has transpired in the US to find out how that turns out.”

      I do not view America as the great teaching example to the world. Americans do like to place all the blame on immigrants, and have done so historically for a very long time, blaming Irish, Italians, and many others for all their problems. They then celebrate the grandchildren of those same immigrants 50 years later.

      I would prefer that America not be viewed as the case study for Japan, just as my own Netherlands is also not such a case study (though I believe it would have more salient points to offer than America) in certain respects.

    15. Chuckie Says:

      “There’s no doubt that the number of foreigners taking advantage of flaws in the system has been increasing,” says Professor Ryu Michinaka of Kansai University of International Studies. “Some take the form of spurious divorces or falsified documentation. Even in cases when the government offices suspect something illegal is going on, they’ll invoke the ‘language barrier’ and just pretend they don’t understand.”

      Why do so many Japanese academics not sound like academics? Is it because they actually say this stuff or because the journos are selecting / embellishing / sensationalising? The tone and content here feel more like those of a newspaper columnist. Maybe he did give the ‘number of foreigners’ (including whether it was gross or percentage) and maybe he has empirical evidence conducted through genuine research of the invocation of the ‘langugage barrier’, but the way he’s represented here makes him sound like any old opiner having a moan over a few beers. Critic and conscience of society, not much.

    16. ds Says:

      Thanks for the answer CHazaru;

      To reply, a person who comes on a tourist visa is not an illegal resident. If that person chooses to violate the terms of their visa, they are. In the case of the unfortunate Cambodian woman, of course she should stay until she sees justice done to those who assaulted her, and act as a witness at their trial. Then, she (and her child) should go home.

      “Limply” wasn’t intended as any kind of sexual slur. I don’t know you or your personal details well enough to do so. Apologies for the implication, though.

      I agree taht the US is a bad example. They are spending too much time targeting the illegal immigrants, and not enough targeting the illegal immigrants’ employers and/or exploiters. I have also seen that even countries with ridiculously generous immigration policies get exploited. My homeland (Canada) allows more than 250,000 people a year to enter legally, a good thing IMHO. However, even more people are too impatient to wait their turn, and through whatever means enter illegally. Once in, they are afforded generous appeals and hearings, given housing/money, and are treated far too leniently. Japan should loosen up the system and allow in more people, the future will be bleak otherwise. However, countries ahve the absolute soveriegn right to decide who to admit and who to deny entry. Refugee claimants of course should be given consideration, but others need to learn that breaking laws leaves them vulnerable on many fronts.

    17. Charuzu Says:

      Ds#16:

      Thank you for your reply.

      I continue to be troubled by your view regarding a woman lured to Japan and forced unwillingly into prostitution (raped) who becomes pregnant, most likely by a Japanese man, that “she (and her child) should go home. ” after judicial proceedings.

      This provides an incentive to Japanese men to use prostitues held as sexual slaves, knowing that any offspring they father cannot be registered as Japanese, due to the sexual slavery of the mother, rigid timeframes in J birth registration laws, and the anonymity of the male purchasing the prostitute.

      I think deportation of 50% Japanese ancestry people to a foreign country is deeply questionable.

      What if the woman’s own country will similarly not accept the child, who is after all also only 50% a product of that nation?

      Implicit in the deportation is that the other country will accept the child for residence and citizenship, and that is not always the case. Some countries have citizenship that is patrilineal.

    18. Charuzu Says:

      I saw this article:

      http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10357829808713193

      which seems to be relevant to the discussion.

    19. ds Says:

      Chizaru;

      Agreed that the situation you mentioned has myriad complications. Determining fatherhood being one of them. If the identity of the father can be proven, then perhaps the child can stay and the father billed for child support. Like I said, I was basing my ideas on the far more common situation of economic opportunists who enter a country illegally for purely economic reasons. You seem not to want to address this, though, and instead concentrate on the more sensationalistic and emotional (but far less frequent) situations like the one we are now discussing!

      As well, the deportation would not be to a “foreign country”, it would be to the mother’s homeland.

      Again, those who lure people to Japan under false pretense and abuse them should be harshly dealt with. This is an area that Japan sadly neglects. This would provide a DISincentive to Japanese men to engage in human trafficking or abuse.

    20. Charuzu Says:

      Ds#19:

      You have proffered a hypothetical that essentially never exists with victims of rape and forced prostitution, when you say “If the identity of the father can be proven,…..”

      Prostitution houses rarely keep detailed records of the identities of all clients, so the identity will virtually never be proven.

      As such, your idea would still result in the deportation of a child to a country in which the child may have no citizenship rights (like Japan) and face strong discrimination.

      Moreover, even in the virtually non-existent situation in which the father of the child IS identified, you state: “then perhaps the child can stay” meaning that even in that rare situation in which the father is known to be a Japanese citizen, you would still not authorise as a right for the child to stay, but would only “PERHAPS” allow that.

      You state about my arguments generally:

      “You seem not to want to address this, though, and instead concentrate on the more sensationalistic and emotional (but far less frequent) situations like the one we are now discussing! ”

      I believe that the law must be founded on principles of justice, and whether the law and principles of justice collide, that justice should prevail.

      As such, I am pointing out that your arguments provide for the reverse — that the existing law would prevail over justice.

      Secondly, when in the Netherlands we craft laws, we generally require that the deal with less frequent situations effectively. Thus, for example, we have laws on murder and rape, even though both are far less common than the reverse, and the typical Netherlander can expect to never be murdered or raped.

      So, since you are arguing for immediate deportation of all illegal foreigners (and your arguments do not generally provide for qualifiers — such as your statement “The only service that should be offered to illegal aliens is a flight home.”), I am pointing out that if this is, as you stated the ONLY service that should be offered, what the results of that would be.

      You could after all, have said “In the majority of cases, illegal aliens should be deported with no other services rendered” but you did not.

      I assume that your choice of words was deliberate, and that when you said that there is ONLY one service that should be offered, you meant just what you said.

      There certainly are J who do believe that, and so it is not a view that is vanishingly rare or non-existent.

      Indeed, J has deported those and continues to deport those who have been victims of crimes, with no medical or legal assistance provided in much the way that your statement supports.

      I would also say that your argument seems to focus a great deal on deportation and its benefits, and the asserted harms resulting from illegal foreigners, and only after prodding acknowledges that Japan sadly neglects the trafficking, enslavement and abuse of illegal foreigners — fellow human beings.

      I would offer the view that the human rights violations that exist on a large scale and are indeed sadly ignored by Japan are a more pressing issue than the effects on wages from illegal foreigners.

      Human rights enforcement is far more fundamental that immigration laws enforcement, in regards to the duties of a civilised society, I believe.

      And, since Japan only seems currently to be willing to perform one of these enforcement functions, I would suggest J needs no prodding to engage in deportations of foreigners.

      Japan does need prodding to enforce and create laws that encompass human rights, because human rights are not viewed as legal rights in many cases under J law.

    21. DeBourca Says:

      I think this is related (the theme is foreigners ripping off the naive trusting Japanese). If not,feel free to move it.

      http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120620f1.html#.T-F87ZE3rWM

      Honestly, this article is jaw dropping. Care companies are actually upset that foreigners won’t accept indentured servitude on subsistence level wages? And where’s the balance and context? When you’re up against this kind of mindest, how do you go about dealing with it? Where do you even start?

    22. Jim Di Griz Says:

      @ DeBourca #21

      Very interesting article.
      It’s the ‘this is Japan’ as veil for culture of abuse syndrome in action again.
      They spent all that money training Indonesian nurses, then gave them a (wait for it) 180,000 yen a month salary (wow!), and then complain that the Indonesians ‘didn’t understand their obligation to Japan’ by going home, instead of staying for ‘a prolonged period’.
      If they want workers to stay, the have to offer a salary and conditions that are attractive enough. Talking about ‘obligation’ is just empty words to reinforce (as the article comments) that these are non-Japanese nurses and therefore unsuitable in some way. Just excuses for lack of policy.

    23. DeBourca Says:

      @Jim

      Thanks for the comments.

      What fascinates me is the mindset. Employers all over the world exploit their workers, but in Japan there still seems to be the view that the Victorian industrialists held; By providing employment, employers are providing vital services to society and individuals by keeping them “occupied”; Hell, we should be paying them!

      There is a very good article by Philip Brasor (who occasionally posts here?) on the JT about an incidence of suicide-induced “karoshi” (that term is fascinating in itself) at the Watami company. It lifts the lid on policy regarding forcing employees to work inhuman amounts of overtime. The company president basically shrugged his shoulders and blamed the employee. He didn’t even see the need to publicly address the issue; What had he done wrong?

      The questions in my previous post were not rhetorical BTW. I’m interested in trying to understand this mentality (pathology?) and why it is so accepted in Japan.

    24. ds Says:

      Jim;

      I think you read the article wrong. The 180,000 salary was paid during their training/studying for 4 years, not the wage offered upon graduation. Plus, as the article said, this was on par with what Japanese were paid for the same job. It seems a reasonable stipend to be paid while studying. Not far under what some eikaiwa teachers/ALTs make actually.

      As for the ‘obligation’ to stay, this was poor management on the part of the Japanese trainers. The expectations needed to be written explicitly rather than implied. It’s only natural that a certain number of the caregivers (particularly women) would want to go home regardless of the result of their training and exams.

    25. Jim Di Griz Says:

      @ DeBourca #23

      Yes, you are right.
      My opinion (very short version) is this;

      Meiji-era Japan re-invented itself as a modern industrialized state, and the idea of working yourself to death for the company (and by extension, the country) was a duty to prevent Japan being colonized by the West, and to help Japan catch-up with the West. Patriotic duty. This mentality has left too large a mark on modern Japan. The collapse of Imperialist ideology saw the replacement of ‘catch-up’ with the West recast in terms such as ‘duty to rebuild the nation’ after the war. Why can’t they stop? Because ‘this is Japan!’ The headless chicken marches on…

      Western nations (on the other hand) went through the industrialization process hand-in-hand with the democratization process that the oppressed workers demanded and fought for (see; Luddites and The Tollpuddle Matyrs). Any attempt by Meiji-era Japanese workers to protest for rights at work were crushed as being ‘unpatriotic’ and ‘due to traitorous external influences’, and therefore ‘not Japanese qualities’.

      Someone wrote a good book about this that I read as an undergrad, if I remember the name, I will post it.

    26. TJJ Says:

      “The total cost, including her ¥180,000 monthly salary, on par with that of Japanese college graduates, came to ¥30 million over four years, according to Nakayama.”

      Well, the article fails to mention that that nursing candidate probably (almost certainly) had an Indonesian nursing qualification and experience already. So to compare them to Japanese college graduates in terms of salary is … unfair.

      But the numbers are interesting. The total before tax income for the nurse would be 8,640,000 Yen over 4 years (2,160,000 per year). That leaves 21,360,000 of the total expenses, being 30,000,000 according to the article, unaccounted for. So over two thirds of the total cost goes to Japanese companies that ‘train’ etc. Business as usual in Japan.

    27. Scipio Says:

      TJJ Says:
      But the numbers are interesting. The total before tax income for the nurse would be 8,640,000 Yen over 4 years (2,160,000 per year). That leaves 21,360,000 of the total expenses, being 30,000,000 according to the article, unaccounted for. So over two thirds of the total cost goes to Japanese companies that ‘train’ etc.

      Thanks TJJ, I was doing the math and was thinking that it must be me and my bad math because the figures looked absolutely crazy.

      As others have said this mindset of the article was totally jaw dropping. ‘Those third world workers, how ungrateful they are after all we’ve done for them’.
      Crazy, totally crazy…The slant in the article borders on the childishly subjective. ‘We Japanese were not the cause of the misunderstanding and we have bent over backwards to accomodate these trainees’ (Note. Most of these trainees were qualified caregivers in their home country before they came here).

      I would like someone to interview these non-Japanese caregivers who passed the exam and have chosen to return to home home countries, and ask then for their reasons for returning. Rather than having an article of reported speech journalism in the third person, where others speak for them. Maybe the reason this hasn’t been done is that the Japanese might not like the answers.

      As a final point, let’s not forget this is the foreign caregivers, not the foreign nurses, whose exam has a much lower pass rate.

    28. debito Says:

      Debito here. Thanks everyone for excellent critique. I’ve made the article a stand-alone blog entry here:

      http://www.debito.org/?p=10340

      So please post further comments there. Thanks!

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