by Momoyo Tanaka
Now, sham marriage is a big problem in Japan. In May 9th 2012, Filipina hostesses and Japanese men were arrested in Tokyo for suspected sham marriage. In 2010, 5,212 Filipina women and Japanese men couple got married. This is the second largest amount in the world next to China. However, 40.5% of them were divorced. Probably, some divorces were related to sham marriage. Then, what is the background of the sham marriage problems? There are two reasons that Filipina hostesses get sham marriage: money and visa.
First, Filipina hostesses need money. Because brokers arrange for visas, travels, and job placement and lend some money when they came to Japan, hostesses need to return it at high interest. Also, hostesses were robbed of their passport by brokers to prevent escaping. They cannot escape from and change the club where they work. Moreover, hostesses’ wages are low because brokers exploit them. So, a lot of Filipina hostesses get married to Japanese men, not in love, because of money, like hostesses in the video named “Filipina hostess”.
After that, there is a problem of the visa. When Filipina women came to Japan to work as hostess, they need an entertainer visa. Once Filipino can get a visa easily, but in 2005, the U.S criticized Japan as the country that allows sex-trafficked. So, Japan changed the condition to get visa strictly. It becomes very difficult to get a visa because it takes 2 years of training or internship. The number of Filipina hostesses dropped 90%, from 82,471 to 8,607 in 2006, and there become a lot of illegal immigrants. But if they get married, they can get a marriage visa. Therefore, some Filipina hostesses get married to Japanese men to motive to get marriage visa, and to continue to live in Japan legally.
In conclusion, to get money and a visa, a lot of Filipina hostesses get sham marriage to Japanese men. However, not every Filipina hostesses get sham marriage. Such situation causes discrimination against not only legal Filipina and Japanese couples, but also every Filipino. Thus, sham marriage between Filipina hostesses and Japanese men is a very big problem in Japan now.
1 The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. 2010.“Government’s Statistics” May 18, 2012 http://www.e-stat.go.jp/SG1/estat/List.do?lid=000001082331
2 “Uramono News”. May 18, 2012 http://uramono.org/japannews/1532.html
3 “Filipina Hostess on Vimeo”. May 18, 2012 http://vimeo.com/9804921
4 Lecture slides for class 6 (Filipinas in Japan) by Prof. Robert Moorehead