Through the Debate on Refugees in Japan

by Sakiko Maruyama

In the last class, we had a debate on whether Japan should accept more refugees. It was helpful for me to think about the matter from both points of views. For side was superior in the last debate, and I think it isn’t a coincidence. Looking back the debate, I think the people in against side are difficult to beat for side. If such an outlook is reasonable, we can say Japan should increase the number of refugee recognition, and so I want to confirm it in this text as possible as I can.

Against sides usually give the examples about the shortage of jobs, the recession, and the public safety in Japan. That is, firstly, they say Japan can’t afford to accept refugees because Japan is in the depression these days and so Japanese employment rate is now bad. Then they say the refugees sometimes cause the deterioration of public safety. But all of these statements don’t have an effect on for sides. Japan has a bad employment rate, but on the other hand, the rural areas are aging seriously and there are few young workers in the agriculture or fishery.  For sides cite this fact and say Japan has many rooms to employ refugees in those industries. Indeed, this solution would help both Japanese society and refugees. They also say it is prejudice to regard refugees as an obstacle of public safety. From this matter, it seems that the basic viewpoints on both sides are originally different. It is important for against sides that refugees may have a bad effect on Japanese society, but for sides emphasize the rights of refugees and the refugees are fundamentally not the objet being measured the value for them.

Therefore, even if against sides give many examples about bad aspects of refugees, anything can’t deny their human rights, and then for side would more reasonable in any case. Japan itself signed the UN Conventions Relating to the Status of Refugees and has responsibility about refugee recognition. But in fact, there are many problems about the system. The rate of the recognition today is 1 out of 300. The problems are lying not in refugees but in Japan. The refugees have already been making efforts to be recognized in Japanese society.  It’s we that need to approach them politically and socially.

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