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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Racist Japan wants foreign workers out of country

Not surprising since Japan is one of the most openly racist countries in modern society.

Japan Pays Foreign Workers to Go Home
by Hiroko Tabuchi
Thursday, April 23, 2009

Officials in Hamamatsu, an industrial town in central Japan, describe the plan to encourage Latin American guest workers, who are descendants of Japanese emigrants, to return home.

Rita Yamaoka, a mother of three who immigrated from Brazil, recently lost her factory job here. Now, Japan has made her an offer she might not be able to refuse.

The government will pay thousands of dollars to fly Mrs. Yamaoka; her husband, who is a Brazilian citizen of Japanese descent; and their family back to Brazil. But in exchange, Mrs. Yamaoka and her husband must agree never to seek to work in Japan again.

“I feel immense stress. I’ve been crying very often,” Mrs. Yamaoka, 38, said after a meeting where local officials detailed the offer in this industrial town in central Japan.

“I tell my husband that we should take the money and go back,” she said, her eyes teary. “We can’t afford to stay here much longer.”

Japan’s offer, extended to hundreds of thousands of blue-collar Latin American immigrants, is part of a new drive to encourage them to leave this recession-racked country. So far, at least 100 workers and their families have agreed to leave, Japanese officials said.

But critics denounce the program as shortsighted, inhumane and a threat to what little progress Japan has made in opening its economy to foreign workers.

“It’s a disgrace. It’s cold-hearted,” said Hidenori Sakanaka, director of the Japan Immigration Policy Institute, an independent research organization.

“And Japan is kicking itself in the foot,” he added. “We might be in a recession now, but it’s clear it doesn’t have a future without workers from overseas.”


The program is limited to the country’s Latin American guest workers, whose Japanese parents and grandparents emigrated to Brazil and neighboring countries a century ago to work on coffee plantations.

In 1990, Japan — facing a growing industrial labor shortage — started issuing thousands of special work visas to descendants of these emigrants. An estimated 366,000 Brazilians and Peruvians now live in Japan.

The guest workers quickly became the largest group of foreign blue-collar workers in an otherwise immigration-averse country, filling the so-called three-K jobs (kitsui, kitanai, kiken — hard, dirty and dangerous).

But the nation’s manufacturing sector has slumped as demand for Japanese goods evaporated, pushing unemployment to a three-year high of 4.4 percent. Japan’s exports plunged 45.6 percent in March from a year earlier, and industrial production is at its lowest level in 25 years.

New data from the Japanese trade ministry suggested manufacturing output could rise in March and April, as manufacturers start to ease production cuts. But the numbers could have more to do with inventories falling so low that they need to be replenished than with any increase in demand.

While Japan waits for that to happen, it has been keen to help foreign workers leave, which could ease pressure on domestic labor markets and the unemployment rolls.

“There won’t be good employment opportunities for a while, so that’s why we’re suggesting that the Nikkei Brazilians go home,” said Jiro Kawasaki, a former health minister and senior lawmaker of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

“Nikkei” visas are special visas granted because of Japanese ancestry or association.

Mr. Kawasaki led the ruling party task force that devised the repatriation plan, part of a wider emergency strategy to combat rising unemployment.

Under the emergency program, introduced this month, the country’s Brazilian and other Latin American guest workers are offered $3,000 toward air fare, plus $2,000 for each dependent — attractive lump sums for many immigrants here. Workers who leave have been told they can pocket any amount left over.

But those who travel home on Japan’s dime will not be allowed to reapply for a work visa. Stripped of that status, most would find it all but impossible to return. They could come back on three-month tourist visas. Or, if they became doctors or bankers or held certain other positions, and had a company sponsor, they could apply for professional visas.

Spain, with a unemployment rate of 15.5 percent, has adopted a similar program, but immigrants are allowed to reclaim their residency and work visas after three years.


Japan is under pressure to allow returns. Officials have said they will consider such a modification, but have not committed to it.

“Naturally, we don’t want those same people back in Japan after a couple of months,” Mr. Kawasaki said. “Japanese taxpayers would ask, ‘What kind of ridiculous policy is this?’ ”

The plan came as a shock to many, especially after the government introduced a number of measures in recent months to help jobless foreigners, including free Japanese-language courses, vocational training and job counseling. Guest workers are eligible for limited cash unemployment benefits, provided they have paid monthly premiums.

“It’s baffling,” said Angelo Ishi, an associate professor in sociology at Musashi University in Tokyo. “The Japanese government has previously made it clear that they welcome Japanese-Brazilians, but this is an insult to the community.”

It could also hurt Japan in the long run. The aging country faces an impending labor shortage. The population has been falling since 2005, and its working-age population could fall by a third by 2050. Though manufacturers have been laying off workers, sectors like farming and care for the elderly still face shortages.[/b]

But Mr. Kawasaki said the economic slump was a good opportunity to overhaul Japan’s immigration policy as a whole.

“We should stop letting unskilled laborers into Japan. We should make sure that even the three-K jobs are paid well, and that they are filled by Japanese,” he said. “I do not think that Japan should ever become a multiethnic society.”

He said the United States had been “a failure on the immigration front,” and cited extreme income inequalities between rich Americans and poor immigrants.

At the packed town hall meeting in Hamamatsu, immigrants voiced disbelief that they would be barred from returning. Angry members of the audience converged on officials. Others walked out of the meeting room.

“Are you saying even our children will not be able to come back?” one man shouted.

“That is correct, they will not be able to come back,” a local labor official, Masahiro Watai, answered calmly.

Claudio Nishimori, 30, said he was considering returning to Brazil because his shifts at a electronics parts factory were recently reduced. But he felt anxious about going back to a country he had left so long ago.

“I’ve lived in Japan for 13 years. I’m not sure what job I can find when I return to Brazil,” he said. But his wife has been unemployed since being laid off last year and he can no longer afford to support his family.

Mrs. Yamaoka and her husband, Sergio, who settled here three years ago at the height of the export boom, are undecided. But they have both lost jobs at auto factories. Others have made up their minds to leave. About 1,000 of Hamamatsu’s Brazilian inhabitants left the city before the aid was even announced. The city’s Brazilian elementary school closed last month.

“They put up with us as long as they needed the labor,” said Wellington Shibuya, who came six years ago and lost his job at a stove factory in October. “But now that the economy is bad, they throw us a bit of cash and say goodbye.”

He recently applied for the government repatriation aid and is set to leave in June.

“We worked hard; we tried to fit in. Yet they’re so quick to kick us out,” he said. “I’m happy to leave a country like this.”
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 09:33 PM
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Re: Racist Japan wants foreign workers out of country

this is so messed up.

they, more than a lot of countries, actually need immigrants.

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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 09:53 PM
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Re: Racist Japan wants foreign workers out of country

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this is so messed up.

they, more than a lot of countries, actually need immigrants.
I'm guessing you've never been to Japan....

And labeling an entire country racist makes you racist as well

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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 10:03 PM
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Re: Racist Japan wants foreign workers out of country

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I'm guessing you've never been to Japan....

And labeling an entire country racist makes you racist as well
i'm guessing your reading comprehension level is pretty low because i did not say the country was racist. never used the word. now, the original poster in the title of the thread call japan racist. read it. it's right there for you to see. i'm afraid i can't help you with your language skills. but, at least try to direct your pathetic attacks at the right person.

it is a fact that japan does need foreign workers. one does not need to go there to know that. one also does not need to got there to know that they prefer a more homogeneous country.

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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 10:06 PM
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Re: Racist Japan wants foreign workers out of country

UAE Spain etc do the same. Nothing unusual here.

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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 10:13 PM
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Re: Racist Japan wants foreign workers out of country

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Originally Posted by woosey View Post
i'm guessing your reading comprehension level is pretty low because i did not say the country was racist. never used the word. now, the original poster in the title of the thread call japan racist. read it. it's right there for you to see. i'm afraid i can't help you with your language skills. but, at least try to direct your pathetic attacks at the right person.

it is a fact that japan does need foreign workers. one does not need to go there to know that. one also does not need to got there to know that they prefer a more homogeneous country.
I didn't direct the second comment to you. Chill out.

And if Japan needed foreign workers now, why are they sending them away? The fact is Japan is very crowded, and most people's entire apartment in Japan are no bigger than a normal room here in the U.S.

Also if Japan is so "racist" (talking to the OP) why are they encouraging people of Japanese descent to leave?

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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 10:16 PM
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Re: Racist Japan wants foreign workers out of country

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UAE Spain etc do the same. Nothing unusual here.
We all know how racists those Spaniards are

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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 10:20 PM
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Re: Racist Japan wants foreign workers out of country

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Originally Posted by LeonHart View Post
I didn't direct the second comment to you. Chill out.

And if Japan needed foreign workers now, why are they sending them away? The fact is Japan is very crowded, and most people's entire apartment in Japan are no bigger than a normal room here in the U.S.

Also if Japan is so "racist" (talking to the OP) why are they encouraging people of Japanese descent to leave?
well don't quote me and direct the statement to me.

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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 10:59 PM
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Re: Racist Japan wants foreign workers out of country

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I'm guessing you've never been to Japan....

And labeling an entire country racist makes you racist as well
I don't think saying a country is "racist" is the same as saying "all Japanese are racist." It's more pointing out a trend, one that is actually pretty true. Just look at Japanese textbooks on WWII.


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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 11:52 PM
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Re: Racist Japan wants foreign workers out of country

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Originally Posted by LeonHart View Post
We all know how racists those Spaniards are
Are you the same person who just said that?

And labeling an entire country racist makes you racist as well


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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 11:56 PM
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Re: Racist Japan wants foreign workers out of country

I'll be living in Japan next year...been there before and never encountered any problem...

And I'm 1,85 with green eyes and hair on my chest and legs (just like a random Japanese xD)...nobody could care less about me while walking naked in the ofuro. So no big deal there

But I, being poor, have only my dreams
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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 24th, 2009, 12:29 AM
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Re: Racist Japan wants foreign workers out of country

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Originally Posted by spiceboy View Post
I'll be living in Japan next year...been there before and never encountered any problem...

And I'm 1,85 with green eyes and hair on my chest and legs (just like a random Japanese xD)...nobody could care less about me while walking naked in the ofuro. So no big deal there
Maybe you're not the targeted race?


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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 24th, 2009, 12:34 AM
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Re: Racist Japan wants foreign workers out of country

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Maybe you're not the targeted race?
You Americans are freakishly obsessed with racism...do you honestly think it's all this about race? If there are rich Brazilians coming to Japan to spend their $$$ it will be fine believe me, it's all about money as usual

But I, being poor, have only my dreams
I have spread my dreams under your feet
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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 24th, 2009, 12:41 AM
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Re: Racist Japan wants foreign workers out of country

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeonHart
And labeling an entire country racist makes you racist as well
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeonHart
We all know how racists those Spaniards are
Lmao

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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old Apr 24th, 2009, 12:48 AM
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Re: Racist Japan wants foreign workers out of country

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Originally Posted by spiceboy View Post
I'll be living in Japan next year...been there before and never encountered any problem...

And I'm 1,85 with green eyes and hair on my chest and legs (just like a random Japanese xD)...nobody could care less about me while walking naked in the ofuro. So no big deal there
lmao

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