Saturday, December 09, 2006

Government tells Iranian family to get out of Japan

Japan is not a very friendly country for refugees. It actually has one of the worst records for admitting political refugees of any country. (For example, see the article by Yumi Isozaki of the Mainichi Shimbun here: "we may send money out, but we will not let people in" and "Over the twenty years from when Japan joined the International Convention on Refugees up until last year, I am aware of only one case in which the plaintiff won an appeal to reconsider a denial of refugee status." ) However, Japan wants a place on the UN Security Council.

At present, it, along with the US are being very hardcore on North Korea. In fact, a few people have told me that they are afraid that the US will back off on its pressure on North Korea over nukes because the Democrats won the election. Japan can bluff and run its big mouth with little risk, as it will hide behind the US. Should there be a war in Korea, Japan hasn't a lot to lose unless North Korea is able to attack it. Even then, its risks are limited. The US will have to do most of the fighting with (possible) support from South Korea. Japan will do as little as possible except maybe throw money at the problem.

Should North Korea collapse, China will have to deal with the refugees, as will South Korea, the US, likely Australia, and other countries in the region. EXCEPT for JAPAN. You can bet it will stick to its policy of denying refugees. (30 December: I have heard that Japan DOES have a plan in place to accept North Korean refugees should it collapse. 11 January: The fact on this is that Japan has a plan in the works---said to be poorly thought out---which would allow North Korean refugees to stay in Japan for a year or two at the most. Japan has no intention on allowing any large permanent influx of non-Japanese, be they refugees, starving children or whatever.)

Friday the Japanese government refused to allow an Iranian family to remain in Japan and ordered them to get out by January, despite a petition with 10,000 signatures asking that they be allowed to stay. The family has been here since the early 90s with 2 daughters, one born in Japan who can only speak Japanese. Admittedly, the father came here illegally, but applied for residency. The Japan Times has a short article from which the title of this post came HERE.

Keep out refugees. If some slip in, kick them out.

Japan, in the world, but not of it. This must be the bushido that old Dignity of a State, Masahiko Fujiwara, talks of. Yes, this is a perfect example of the dignity of the Japanese government. And remember (although Fujiwara himself dislikes democracy) it is still a democratic government and as such, represents the will of its citizens.

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