JT/Kyodo: NGO ranks pref support for foreign residents


Hi Blog. Good article on local govt support for non-Japanese residents. Thanks to Olaf for notifying. Debito in Miyazaki

Wide disparities found in local support for foreign residents

The Japan Times: Thursday, Feb. 15, 2007

OSAKA (Kyodo) Large gaps exist in how well local governments provide useful information and linguistic and other assistance to non-Japanese residents, according to a recent study by a nongovernmental organization.

Some of the disparities are quite dramatic, the Osaka-based Center for Multicultural Information and Assistance said in a report on the study conducted between October 2005 and last August.

The center assessed 61 prefectural and large city governments, using a scale of zero to five for 16 categories related to foreign residents for a possible high score of 80. The categories included children’s education, language assistance and civil-servant recruitment.

Scoring more than 60 points were Kanagawa and Hyogo prefectures and the cities of Kawasaki, Yokohama and Osaka.

On the lowest side with scores of less than 19 were Aomori, Ehime, Saga, Nagasaki and Okinawa prefectures.

Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Oita, Kagoshima, Kochi and Ibaraki prefectures earned scores in the 20s.

The overall average score came to 41 points; the 47 prefectures averaged 38 and the 14 major cities averaged 50.

“Enabling harmonious coexistence among residents of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds is a goal that local governments nationwide should strive to meet, but there are large differences depending on districts and categories,” said Taro Tamura, who heads the center.

“There are problems even in some local governments with high total scores, so we want local governments to take appropriate measures by taking advantage of our findings,” he said.

The center examined whether a local government has allowed non-Japanese to take part in formulating measures to aid such residents, whether it has helped foreign residents’ children get a proper education and whether it has helped residents get linguistic training in Japanese.

Another category was whether local governments bar non-Japanese from certain public-duty professions, such as police officer and firefighter.

The center said it gave five points to local governments that have no hiring limits based on Japanese nationality, while assigning three points to governments that impose limits only when hiring for the police and fire departments and one point if they limit foreigners to specific, limited fields.

The Japan Times: Thursday, Feb. 15, 2007

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